https://www.duolingo.com/rycroft6

Overuse of TV Shows & Movies

rycroft6
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This is a post; sharing advice from what I have learnt from my own personal experience of learning languages... I've tried to leave it short and get my point across so it may not be too literate...

Everything you see on forums (such as duolingo) drones on about watching movies and TV shows. About how they expose you to the language: immersing you into the accent, pronunciation, vocabulary and informal lingo of the language - and just how effective they are - now don't get me wrong, they kind of have a point.

But lets move away from just languages lets just take the apprehension of anything: Chemistry, Maths, English for example. You can listen to the properties of every gas, metal, and just every element of the periodic table - but does that mean you will ever be able to conduct a successful experiment. You could read every book by Shakespere (If you could bare that much) and never construct an effective ballad or an ode. The reality is, you learn by doing and become more effective in whatever you do throughout experience.

Watching TV characters do something may help point you in the right direction, may give you some food for thought, or show you how to utilise what you have recently learnt. Just like watching a professor may give you the idea of how to conduct that experiment or be able to utilise different properties of elements. But will you ever become an expert by just watching?

My point is that these TV shows and movies are useful when used in the right way.. however watching hours of a TV series will not be of a help. Can you really give your full attention for 2-5 hours solid? watch half an hour, or an hour. Just get that exposure where you fully concentrate. Spend more of your time learning and speaking to others. You will never make the mistakes or gain the experience by sitting back and expecting others to do the work for you - essentially which you are doing when watching hours and hours of TV programmes.

I would personally dedicate an hour of your time to watching moves after every 2-4 hours you spend doing activities to learn the language such as duolingo and speaking with natives. These TV shows should just be used in a way of a plenary after the lesson(s).

1 year ago

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CarolinaViking

I see your point; but, I think you're reading more into it.

Most people learning a language, or at least a good percentage, don't have the ability to interact with natives daily. So having some resources such as radio, tv, podcasts, and so on really helps with exposure.

Your point about 2-5 hours of concentration also goes both ways. Sometimes, it's important for things to be exercised to the point of exhaustion. Active learning and passive learning are both important. Letting things move into the passive learning area helps reinforce the things you do know rather than focusing on the things you don't know. If you're actively watching TV to learn, you're noting things you hear and trying to infer meaning. Once you've reached exhaustion, you're moving into a passive area. You're more likely to just hear things that you know and develop a different type of familiarity. I think there's room for both.

So I guess I can say I agree with you to a point; but, I also think you're overanalyzing and trying to look at this solely through the eyes of someone doing it as a pure academic exercise. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that a majority of the users of Duolingo aren't that serious about their studies. Those that are know to mix up routines and methods. They use Duo and things like TV as components in a system to learn the language in question.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rycroft6
rycroft6
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To a certain extent you are spot on. I wouldn't say I am academic with my learning in the slightest I more do it as a hobby and something to just give me a break outside of studies. Its just when I found myself using TV/Movies I feel I expected more than what I got from it and that I've never really got the benefit that I and many others imagined that they would get from it! With the active and Passive point you are spot on its just learners such as myself and many others have failed to utilise both types to our full benefit.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/7895123G
7895123G
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Babies spend the first 6 months doing nothing but listening.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WildSage
WildSage
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And pooping and crying.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rycroft6
rycroft6
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My point exactly but they don't become fluent until they practice speaking they only speak utter babble... however if anything babies and children are more confident in trying to communicating than us, they aren't scared to make mistakes. Decent point though.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

True, but I don't think any adult is gonna use this brute force approach to learn a language. We're too busy doing other things, like going to school or work, to watch TV for 6 months straight.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/7895123G
7895123G
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Passive listening to podcasts in your spare time.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

I guess, but being able to understand language and being able to produce it are two different things. Even after spending a year or so doing almost nothing but learning the language the people around them speak, babies are not very good at speaking. They babble and stumble and may not speak with correct grammar. Even if they can understand quite a bit, it can take a while before they can speak proper, grammatically correct sentences.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/7895123G
7895123G
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I know many adults who babble and stumble and can't speak proper, grammatically correct sentences.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

We all make mistakes, but they can understand and speak a lot better than a baby can. And that's how babies learn to speak correctly; they make mistakes and get feedback on what they did incorrectly. Constantly. Over a period of a few years. You can't speak to a podcast (well, you can, but you won't get any feedback).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WildSage
WildSage
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I think speaking with natives speakers is superior to TV and movies if you can do so. However, that is not always an option for everybody. The bigger problem with using film and TV is having to find things where people are speaking naturally.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

I agree. Watching TV and movies is a good supplement, but you can't learn from it alone, especially since you also need to produce language if you want to truly learn it. It should be used in tandem with other resources, such as language classes or Duolingo.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeitschleifer
Zeitschleifer
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I value TV shows as a useful tool, but I have come to conclusion that audio files are even better because they usually contain nothing but words. Bla-bla-bla in its pure form without anyone whispering, running, shooting, screaming, remaining silent for a long time etc...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaGuaGua

interesting point!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Megamuffins
Megamuffins
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I watch TV and movies primarily because they are enjoyable. If I'm going to watch them anyway, I might as well watch them in my target language. I do think they help cement words and phrases that I've learned by other means into memory.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neio75
neio75
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People think that speaking helps improve speaking but what it really helps is the input you get when listening to the person you are talking with.If you had learned your native language talking to yourself in front of a mirror you couldnt have learned your language yet. Language is all about imitation , so watching tv is really helpful, but in order to be helpful you need to choose easy shows for you to watch, like shows for children, in which you can find easy vocabulary

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanPawlowi

I started learning French on Duolingo because I watched lots of French movies and listened to lots of French music. At my stage of learning it is almost more difficult to access these sources, because I can understand some, but not all of it. I see tv, movies, and music is a tool to keep the excitement in learning. Maybe next week / month I won't need as many subtitles, perhaps I will understand that next verse without looking up the lyrics.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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Being able to follow movies and TV shows effortlessly would require to possess a rather high level of mastering that natural language already. So only something which happens for learners already in the more advanced stage of learning. But in general just use of course any method which you like of course. Even if you do not understand a word or only a few you can always look at it and maybe grasp meaning from the context, e.g. so to expose yourself to that language and maybe getting (more) used to it.

1 year ago
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