#1: Why watching TV shows and reading books is a legit excuse for language learning

#1: Why watching TV shows and reading books is a legit excuse for language learning


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I'm not going to pretend I know everything, because I don't. But with language learning, and passive language acquisition I know enough to be able to give a few pointers that could probably help you out a bit. If you give them a legitimate shot, at least.



Before I start though, I should tell you why I'm such a fan and why I consider myself to have the 'expertise' that I say I do. I've been raised in a multi-lingual environment. While my parents are from Punjab and solely speak Punjabi to me, at home I watched a LOT of Bollywood movies and because of that I picked up Hindi without ever realising that they were two separate languages until I was older. I went to a multi-lingual school that gave me the opportunity to have a first, second, third and fourth language. While by no means will I ever say that my French and Spanish are proficient enough for me to not stumble through a conversation with you, with Dutch and English that is not the case. Dutch has been my first language throughout my primary/middle/high school career, and English my second. Yet it is English, out of all these languages I have the most confidence in.


Why?


TV Shows. It's always been easier for me. Most shows I liked were English, and when you finally realise how terrible, awful Dutch dubbing truly is - you will want the original, even if you then have to make the effort of reading while you're watching (I know, terrible hardship). Regardless, I started surfing throughout the channel catalogue trying to find shows that would be in English, because I equated them as being better than Belgian TV (sorry, but honestly - name one show that was not awful, or was even average and you cannot count the dubbed ones because that's cheating). Friends, Charmed, My Wife and Kids, According to Jim, and the Simpsons. There are so many once you start looking. I ate them up, and once I had a laptop? They never had a chance.


Books. They're wonderful beautiful things that pull you into world unexplored. Just the power they have to transport you into worlds made by the author's imagination has always boggled my mind. So what if I don't understand every word in that sentence. There's something called contextual clues, and situational awareness and play common sense that will get me through - and it did, time and again.

Right, so I might have ended up on a bit of a tirade on TV Shows and professed my love of books there. But, my point comes to this: the more time you spend with a language (whether you understand it or not). The more you will learn.

Regardless of the language you want to tackle - take time getting to know it. Don't force tenses, conjugations and all that into your brain. Just, find something you'd enjoy - in the form of a tv show, a book (Harry Potter is a favourite in the language learning community), or even a podcast. Spend a bit of time every day with it, and your progress will show. If anything, it'll make your studying easier. If nothing, you'll have discovered a new aspect of a culture.


Hope you guys made it through my first article here in one piece. Thanks for reading :) And if you're avid language learners yourself, tell me about your personal journey with language learning. Assuming I blog regularly enough, I'll post a list of languages I'm aiming for, progress I've made as well as the material I've used if there's enough interest for it.

Have a great day!



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I want to learn a lot of languages (French, german, Russian)
| 14:48 |
A really nice article. Regarding Belgium TV, I very much liked to watch 'Man Bijt Hond', the shows of Urbanus and 'FC De Kampioenen' (I don't watch TV anymore, stopped doing so several years ago),

As for learning languages, reading newspaper articles is a good means to kearn a language in an easy way, as newspapers are written in 'living language' and usually a relatively small vocabulary is used in newspapers. Learning new words in the context of topics that have your interest will be remembered more easily than by memorizing lists of words with their translations.

You too, have a great day and thanks for sharing this blog with us.
| 20:02 |

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