Brookline, MA (USA), November 2023 - From understanding cultural nuances to learning conversational speech, immersing yourself in television can be an effective tool when it comes to learning a new language. To mark World TV Day, the team at Preply have provided a roundup of the different ways television can aid language learning.
1. Watch real-world dialogue unfold
TV shows and films give people a platform to engage with people's stories and fictional narratives. In relation to language learning, watching this real-world dialogue unfold can inform how language is used in different social situations, and this, therefore, makes the individual learn about the variety of social cues used in a specific cultural context.
TV shows and films also come in a variety of stories, genres, and themes, and this can strengthen people’s grasp of language because they are able to hear language being voiced from different angles.
2. Helps with pronunciation
Another advantage of picking up a new language through TV and film is that you are exposed to a variety of accents by native speakers. When it comes to learning how to pronounce certain words, this exposure is most certainly helpful.
3. Learn new vocabulary through context
From twists and turns, you never know what you're going to get with a film or TV script, and this includes the type of language being used.
That said, when it comes to extending your vocabulary range, watching TV will enable you to pick up new words and use them in the context that is being portrayed on TV.
4. Subtitles can help your reading skills
Reading comprehension is an important part of learning a new language, as it helps visualise sentence structures. It also allows you to write in another language.
If you're not at a fluent level with a language, watching TV in English with subtitles of the language you want to learn, or vice versa, can greatly improve your reading comprehension.
This allows you to visualise words and phrases in another language which will not only help you verbally, but also with reading.
A tip here is to try learning your favourite quotes in another language. This will enable you to expand your vocabulary and give you a better understanding of how to write in the language.
5. TV is entertaining
As watching television is meant to be entertaining, the whole process of learning a language through TV is bound to be as well.
An example of this is children's cartoons. These are specifically created to teach children through music and pictures, which help them grasp a new language.
For example, watching a Disney film in Spanish is a great way to learn, as the language used is simple, meaning children can put context into the images on screen. Even better - if the Disney film has a catchy soundtrack like the recent Spanish Disney film Encanto - children will want to sing along, which helps them pick up the language more naturally.