In the previous article, we questioned if the potato couch method (aka lying down on a couch to watch passively movies or any kind of video in your target language, maybe eating junk food) helps your learning experience. We keep going here, focusing on advanced learners
If you use subtitles, use them in a useful way:
- Double check how expressions are translated.
- Every now and then, try to turn the subtitles off; do that every 10 minutes.
Bear in mind: subtitles sometimes are not the exact transcription. They can be quite distracting, so be sure you listen carefully to the video and you do not end up reading the subtitles. Advanced learners need to challenge more themselves. They can try to watch documentaries or debates. Personally, I find political debates quite useful, because the politicians, in order to keep their audience attention high, speak a bit slow and they highlight some key concepts, rising or stretching their intonation. In addition to this, there are more chances to learn new and complex words, helpful to increase your technical vocabulary as well.
If you learn, for example, English or Spanish, now it is time to focus on other variants. Why limit yourself? You should learn some British or Australian terms, in order to even understand their accents and, maybe, their slangs. Same for Spanish and other languages spoken in more than 1 country.
Final Tips for all learners
If you are interested in a particular expression and you want to learn it, read it loud but slowly. Then repeat it just after the actor (check my article about Shadowing. It is a very good method).
Look the gestures. If you do not understand some dialogues, facial expression and hands might help you.
If there are any cultural or historical references, it is better to pause the video and have a look at them on internet. Otherwise it will be very hard to fully understand the meaning. And it is a good way to know more and more about that culture. Remember: language is the first big step to understand a country and its culture.
Let’s sum up some important points discusses in these 2 articles:
- Check out the movie plot on internet. The Internet Movie Database or Wikipedia are more than enough.
- Buy good headset.
- Pause often.
- Take notes.
- Find a video/movie that you are interested in it. It needs to entertain you and teach you something useful and new for your learning experience.
- Learning a new language takes time and practice, it does not happen from day to night. Don’t rush. Basics first and then movies.
- Don’t always lie on your sofa while watching films. Yes, it is a fun activity, but you should make some efforts.
- Be constant. If you do not have enough time, even 5-10 minutes every day makes the difference.
I hope you enjoy these tips and let’s watch a movie now. On the couch.