Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Technology and Language in 2017

Now that it's no longer 2012, I think it would be weird to leave out the technological updates that exist when it comes to language learning. In 2012, when I first proposed this program, I was still stuck in the advice of the older generations. I have modified my understanding and have embraced the technological advancements of Youtube, Netflix, Smartphones and internet games and apps. The following are the technological items that I have found useful in my language learning.

  1. Youtube: Say what you will about Cat Videos and Epic Fails, but Youtube is an extremely good source for language learning. On top of being able to find pronunciation or common vocabulary videos, there are a whole lot of videos made by normal people like you and me in which they speak in their native language. Most of the time, they speak alot. There are political debates, news broadcasts, and even generic cooking or make-up videos. That's a whole lot of information.
  2. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc.: The user driven streaming video companies make a killing, but in order to do so, they have to provide content for their subscribers. What that means is that they have "foreign films" and shows. While someone suggested changing the language (this does help a little), the best way to get the most of your programs is to filter searches to only those with the "audio" for your target language. That will me that all the options for you will be in your target language. There's alot of science that suggests people choose options within restrictions with just as much thought and enjoyment as option without restrictions. This will be a good way to make sure that you immerse yourself in the language. (PS Subtitles are not as good as audio)
  3. Smartphone Apps and games: I like Duolingo and Memrise. I know there are many many others, but I like that Memrise turns vocab into a real game and Doulingo's requirement for you to form sentences. These are both very good apps when it comes to learning languages. They make it fun.
  4. Networking and Platforming apps: I recently learned about Lingbe and I have found it be awesome. It actually connects you to people randomly in the target language. The exchange is that you also have to spend time talking with people in your native language. Basically, it forces you to actually GIVE in order to receive as part of the language exchange. This means that there are always people willing to speak to you in their language because it means they can speak to someone else in the language they want. The biggest failing about language exchange companies and pages is that you have alot of people wanting to speak English and very few people willing to tutor other languages. I guess that's where the money is. And while I recognize that there is not real POLICING of the issue on Lingbe, people still have to open themselves up for people to talk to them in order to get what they want. It's good stuff.
Well, I hope you could get some advice. I didn't want to get into specifics on how to filter your searches for movies and TV because there are different for each service. I'm sure you can google how to do it if it's not very intuitive.

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