Best Way To Learn A Language Online For Free
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There is a whole bunch of advantages when it comes to audiovisuals for language learning. They make our language learning process much more fun and enjoyable. We automatically receive information through 2 different senses (visual and hearing) to process it and remember it much easier. And audiovisuals are those we tend to work with the most, and the learning comes naturally to us.
This article will introduce you to the best way to learn a language online for free using audiovisuals.
The Best Way To Learn A Language Online Are Audiovisuals
So, now you know that the best way to learn a language online for free are audiovisuals. These are the types of audiovisuals with which you can learn a language online:
- Youtube Videos
- TV Shows + Series + Soap Operas
- News + Weather Forecasts
What Are Audiovisuals?
Let me tell you something. Who doesn’t like watching Netflix, TV, or a favourite movie? It’s usually a great time for us to sit down, watch our favourite TV series or a movie, and relax after an exhausting day. For some, it’s the highlight of the day. But have you ever thought about the fact that you can actually learn languages this way?
So yeah, you guessed it right. Audiovisuals are any material with which you can learn a language using two different senses – sight and the sense of hearing. That means any material with which you can boost your listening skills and overall understanding of the language.
How To Learn Languages Using Audiovisuals?
As with everything, you have the choice. You can use audiovisual aids like movies, TV shows, series and learn languages with them in the following ways:
1. Just Watch It & Listen To The Language – UNCONSCIOUSLY
If you really feel tired but you haven’t completed your daily dose of the language, choose audiovisuals to do so. Sometimes we feel like we don’t want to do anything, just chilling on a sofa and watch a movie.
How about you just watch it in your foreign language? You don’t have to pay extra attention to the vocabulary and make an extra effort to learn it. Just listen to the dialogues and stories in the movie, catch the accent. This will help you boost your language skills in the following ways:
Improve your understanding
Prepare you for various situations when you have to talk in the language
Adapt to various accents
2. Watch, Listen & Write New Vocabulary Down – CONSCIOUSLY
You can work with audiovisual material with the intention of learning new vocabulary. So have your language travel notebook prepared and write down new words you want to remember and learn. Then come back to these words the next day and try to memorize them. After, watch the same movie again and pay attention to the vocabulary you wrote down. You’ll learn these new words in a context and understand more and more from the movie this way.
The Benefits of Audiovisuals For Language Learning
There are tons of benefits to learn a language using audiovisual aids. Let me name a few of them for you:
- Processing information/the language using 2 different senses at the same time – visually and listening
- We can learn a language unconsciously (just watching something we like)
- Is very enjoyable
- Easily accessible
- We can adapt to various accents of the language
- Improve our understanding
- It can take us to the real situation; we can imagine we are talking to the characters in the movie
Types of Audiovisuals For Language Learning
Now, what types of audiovisual aids do we actually have and can work with? I’ve picked up the 3 most important and easily accessible ones with which you can start learning the language from now on.
In each section, I also explain the exact ways you can learn the language and how you can work with the materials.
1. YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Watching Youtube videos is one of my favorite ways to use audiovisual aids when learning a travel language. The videos are accessible, and I can choose whichever topic I like to study and watch a video in.
Just choose some travel channel and listen to the people talking in the language you are learning. You won’t only learn the language but watch something you like and get to know new places. You can plan your trip at the same time, too.
Many channels focus on the language itself and travel through the destination where the language is spoken. This perfectly fits our study plan. Let’s say you are learning food & drinks vocabulary to order something in a restaurant. Find a Youtube video in that language (best if it’s targeted for beginners) and watch how native speakers order something in the country. Listen to how the locals react, what they reply.
PRO TIP: You can watch such videos after you have learned the desired vocabulary and practice it. For instance, you have learned food & drinks vocabulary to order something in the restaurant. Find a suitable Youtube channel and do a play role with it. Just play the parts where the waiter is talking, pause the video, and reply yourself. Then play it again and see whether you have reacted appropriately.
This is a great way to learn languages. Mostly because it’s a lot of fun. You’ll learn a lot. Try it and practice your language skills this way.
I’ve written a separate article about the top Youtube Channels to learn Spaninsh language. So Spanish learners, check it out. And articles for other languages are coming your way soon.
Youtube Videos As Inspiration For New Topic Vocabulary
Suppose you are just about to learn new vocabulary within a topic. In that case, you can use Youtube videos to get inspiration for new words you’ll learn within that topic.
Watch the video, write down new vocabulary, then learn it, and watch the video again several times to memorize the vocabulary. Come back to the same video the next day and see if you now master the vocabulary. If yes, you can watch it later on and do a play role as I described above to practice the vocabulary.
Movies are a great relaxation therapy :D. Whenever I watch a movie in a foreign language, I take it rather easy. What I mean is that I don’t strive too much to focus on learning new vocabulary, writing it down, and memorizing it. This is much better to do with short videos (like I described above). Movies are long and we usually watch them in the evening to relax.
That’s why I take a different approach when it comes to watching movies in a foreign language. What I do is that I just watch the movie and try to catch as many words as I possibly can. Try to understand the context of the movie and the story itself. I don’t focus too much on individual words. Instead, I like to take it as one story and only try to understand the point of that story.
PRO TIP: I like to watch movies I am already familiar with (watched them 4 or 6 times already). I know their story, sometimes even the exact phrases the characters say. Then I watch it in a foreign language, and I can make these connections. I know what they normally say in English, and when I hear it in a foreign language, I realize the meaning of those words they use. It also helps me to learn new vocabulary.
Also, it makes me more confident in using words I already learned.
So tonight, make yourself some popcorn, choose your favourite movie on Netflix, and watch it in the foreign language you are currently learning. Just try to catch some words and understand the whole story, its point.
3. TV SHOWS + SERIES + SOAP OPERAS
TV shows, series, and soap operas are other great audiovisuals when it comes to language learning. There are some targeted explicitly to language learners. They use easy-to-understand and simple vocabulary. The settings are usually in the everyday life of people, talking about usual things. This way you can learn useful vocabulary, even for travelling or meeting new people.
I am not the person who likes to watch a TV show, but I know many of my students, and people in general, love them.
With TV Shows, you can choose both approaches to study the language. You can either watch 1 episode, write new vocabulary down, memorize it and watch the same episode again. It’ll motivate you because you will already understand a lot, more than the first time you watched it.
Or you can just watch it without paying extra attention to single words. Instead, you can focus on understanding the point of the episode and its context.
4. TV NEWS + WEATHER FORECASTS
With news, not only will you get updates about what’s happening in the world. You can also learn languages with them. Even though they usually talk fast and use more advanced vocabulary, you can still work with them as a complete beginner. Don’t worry. Remember that the most important thing is to catch a few words and understand the point. You don’t have to understand everything. It’s a great way to practice your understanding.
For example, new come handy when you are learning vocabulary about the weather. Just watch the weather forecast and listen to how do people talk about the weather in a country.
You Will For Sure Make Progress
Whichever approach you choose, the best thing about all audiovisual materials is learning the language unconsciously. I’m trying to say that you shouldn’t feel guilty that you didn’t pay extra attention or write new vocabulary down.
And for sure you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t understand too much from the episode, video or the movie. Just take it easy. You’re already making an effort and watching it in a foreign language. And the language is getting into your brain. The body is processing it.
It might take some time until you understand. Still, you’ll definitely be making progress without even knowing about it at the beginning.
So take your time, relax, and just watch something in your foreign language. You’ll for sure see results.
More Tips For Language Learning
If you want to improve other language skills and need some resources, check out my article about 7 types of language skills and resources to build them. You’ll get a lot more reading, listening, speaking, and vocabulary resources. Get my 8 language learning tips as well to stay motivated on your language learning journey.
Let me know if you have any questions and write a comment below, which audiovisuals you’ll use to boost your language skills.