Digital English or American TV channels are another possibility we have at hand. If you have access to some of them, so much the better. Even if not, provided you have a good TV set, you’ll be able to watch some films in their original version: English on many occasions, as you know, with subtitles or without them.
On the Internet, we can find good websites like TED, TED, WHICH is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. On TED.com, they make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 900 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.
One example, Patricia Ryan: Don’t insist on English!:
The amount of material available on YouTube is huge. The task of finding out what we want can turn out to be very difficult and time consuming. And we have no time to lose as we know. Having all that in mind, our advice to you would be to be very selective.
- Some sources
One example: How (not) to chat someone up in a nightclub
One example of this channel (The History of English):
Having as much contact as possible with authentic real language is one of the key factors for learning. Years ago it was really difficult; English was not round the corner. That was only feasible if you were learning the language in the country where it was spoken or through satellite systems good enough to resist breakdowns and interferences. Fortunately things have changed so much that the issue is an entirely different matter. Digital radio, for instance, provide us with that possibility.
Here you are some useful sources:
BBC (World service)
A podcast is any sort of digital audio and/or video recording, usually part of a themed series that can be downloaded from a website either on a computer or a digital music player. Named after the Apple iPod, Podcasts are usually free. The variety of topics is enormous, as you will come to realize. And as other resources we have discussed here, they will give you opportunities to enjoy and learn English.
Some good references:
English listening exercises. Online lessons for ESL students.
Listen to English-Learn English.
Songs are a source of meaningful and engaging input. Many people like them. And they are a great help to committ language to memory. Disadvantages? That sometimes lyrics are difficult to be understood because lack of background knowledge, amount of metaphors… But the advantages are so big when it comes to memorize key chunks of language…: “nothing compares to you” says Sidney O’Connor in her famous beautiful song; and that’s a key linguistic structure. If you learn it, it will come up easily to your mind when you need a chunk of language of that kind.
“Today the wealth of resources is huge. When I studied English we didn’t have as much. I rememeber we used some books; one by Mario Papa & Giuliano Lantorno: Famous British & American songs and their cultural background, published by Longman.
Watch and enjoy the videoclip as many times as you want.
Eg. George Michael’s White Light
You could just listen to the song or if you prefer listen to it while you read the lyrics.
A good webpage to practice this is Lyrics Training.
Enjoy this example (Call me maybe).