Binge watching has become super popular in the past couple of decades. Broadcasters started with themed marathons. Next came box DVD sets, where people could watch an entire series at one time. Now we have so many great tools to be able to binge watch available to us online. Amazon Prime, Netflix, and YouTube are huge.
I think that learning a new language can be really hard. Particularly at the beginning, there’s a lot of memorization, a lot of repetition, and a lot of activities that in general just aren’t fun. There are also some real emotional difficulties in learning a language that are not fun. For example, making lots of mistakes and being in a place where you feel like you don’t understand everything. There are some hurdles to get over to become a successful learner. With that said, you have to find as much fun as you possibly can to learn a language, otherwise you just won’t stick with it to get past those rough spots.
One of my favorite activities for learning a language is binge watching. I spent the last five weeks binge watching in French. To start, I love Yabla. It’s addictive, and it’s fun. There are tons of videos. There’s a huge variety- music, commercials and news reports. The videos are all cut up into tiny little segments. For example, a documentary might be cut up into five different clips, or a reality show might be cut into eight different clips. There’s subtitles, and they also have this patented player that plays English subtitles underneath the French. It’s an absolutely fabulous way to immerse yourself in your target language and culture.
Another reason I love Yabla are the games. There are several different games that you can play with each video. This time, I fell very much in love with the game of the vocabulary review, which by its description seemed pretty standard to me. After spending some time with it, I decided that it’s fantastic. First, you recognize the word by selecting the correct word in English, and go through a cycle of words. You do the same, where you recognize the opposite. Then, you have to write. This is a super valuable experience for me, as I often forget where accents go. I learned tons of new words doing this. You don’t exit out of the activity until you can write all of the new words in the activity. It’s absolutely fantastic.
I also watched several series on Netflix. Now, this is French, that I’ve been working on for the past few months. Please be forewarned- what’s seen on French TV is just not going to be seen in primetime TV in places like the United States. There’s nudity, language, et cetera, so be warned if you are sensitive to these subjects.
I watched a great film about men and women switching roles and a series produced by Netflix. You can select how you want your subtitles to go. It is an amazing way to get loads of great input in an enjoyable, fun way. Put your pajamas on, get a glass of wine, or a cup of tea. Put your feet up, watch, and learn. Yabla, Amazon, Netlfix and Youtube all have content in a variety of languages.
As with every five weeks, I’ve posted recordings of my progress for you to hear. I got super busy on week two and just couldn’t do anything. The content of the recordings is completely uninteresting. They’re just for me to check in with my progress over the long term. I just use voice memos on my phone, and I record myself talking at least once a week. I think it’s one of the most valuable tools any language learner can have. It’s a great way to document your progress.