Magazine topic: 
Entertainment
Total votes: 30

Can YouTube help us learn a foreign language?

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by : 
JennyBlogger

It’s a website that everyone has heard of. Perhaps most people even use it on a daily basis, and it’s a form of both entertainment and social media. But can we use YouTube to help us learn a foreign language?

Of course there are channels which produce video classes dedicated to helping us learn, but what about the standard daily vlog or clothes haul videos? Can they be valuable learning resources too?

In my opinion, they’re a way of being able to experience the way in which real people talk. This can make a good change from the listening exercises we hear in class, which aren’t always authentic. For example, many English speakers have different accents or use lots of colloquial words and phrases – have you ever heard them say ‘all right, guys’ as a greeting in a listening clip? Some English learners don't have the chance to talk to native speakers in person, so surely YouTube videos can offer an invaluable alternative.

To add to this, there is more to learning a language than simply words, phrases and grammar. It’s also about the culture of the language’s speakers. As YouTube increases in popularity, it also offers an insight into popular culture. As well as the channels themselves that are popular, through watching them we can learn about a country’s fashion trends, popular video games and simply how people spend their daily lives.

However, some people would argue that listening to YouTubers will only make us fall into bad habits. Not only do they often use colloquial words, but sometimes their speech is even grammatically incorrect. Why would we want to risk learning to speak in a way that isn’t even right? Then again, others say that this is the way that people really talk, so we should get used to it.

It is debatable whether YouTube can help with language learning. But one thing for certain is that it can be a great source of entertainment!

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Comments

Katie99's picture
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Katie99 18 September, 2017 - 12:06

Surely, it does. Makes us improve our language to a great extent and let us understand the things with a flow. I suggest using as little captions as one can. Because they really hinder the joy of watching and the fun of getting attached with plot and characters. :P

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catastrophe's picture
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catastrophe 31 August, 2017 - 11:54

Yeah, that's true. YouTube is a great way of learning things. And I agree, we can learn a lot by watching English clips and videos rather than English learning videos. And now that it offers subtitles, we can learn the way they pronounce different words in different places.
I usually watch cartoons in YT. But sometimes I even watch movies and few educational videos. And if I'm really desperate, I watch TV series.
YouTube is really a great entertainment website for people of all ages. Though it contains few inappropriate content, there's still an app called YouTube kids for younger ones. It's one of the best things google has bought out for us! ✌

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catmeow's picture
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catmeow 10 September, 2017 - 23:09

hey! i'm learning english and I need suggestions about great youtubers. All youtubers that I know is about make-up and I don't like much this subject ;/

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catastrophe's picture
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catastrophe 12 September, 2017 - 10:55

Hey catmeow, not all YouTubers talk about makeup! There are several videos on latest gadgets, science experiments and so on. And if you want to learn English, you can surely search for the topic you need and find the video that suits you. And the more you browse on videos like those, the other videos start disappearing and the videos you prefer cover your entire YouTube page. Cheers on learning a new language! ✌

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 11 September, 2017 - 06:54

Hi catmeow. Have a look at our YouTubers section in Study Break! We have some great YouTubers making videos for you. The videos all have subtitles and a downloadable transcript. :)

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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