Monday, 9 May 2011

Get More Out of Foreign (English) Language TV

Watch TV and learn a foreign language! Sounds good, sounds too good to be true and at the moment it is for most people.

The trouble with most TV is that it’s too difficult to understand so people stop watching. One thing that has worked for me is watching a lot of kids TV in Dutch. I’ve certainly learned a lot of language this way and I’m much more comfortable with Dutch now. The great thing about kids TV is that it’s easy to follow. Unfortunately, many adults don’t like kids TV. Another alternative is to lookup ‘How to’ videos on Youtube.

‘How to’ are good because the subject is restricted, they're usually laid out in steps and there’s some repetition in the language used.

Here is a video for English learners.

‘How to make the perfect cup of tea’

It’s American English and aimed at women who are on a diet. So the language is step by step, on the subject of tea and it’s about health.

1st listening

• How many people do you see in the film?
• What are the two main types of tea?

2nd listening

• What’s the name of the woman who makes the tea?
• First step – do you have to use cold aerated water?
• Which tea (black or green) do you use a kettle to boil the water?
• Do you need to wring out a tea bag?

If you’re really good try these questions – take as many listenings as you like.

• 0:00- 0:15 – woman has started to drink tea this winter. What three reasons does she give?
• What would the ‘tea police’ check, if they came to your house?
• Do green and black tea come from the same bush?
• Can you re-use water in a kettle?
• When the kettle whistles, you need to get to the kettle quickly. Why?
• How is the tea bag protected?
• 3:45 – 3:55 – Why does the woman put a saucer (plate) over the tea cup? 3 reasons.
• How long do you steep: Green Tea
o Black Tea
• What can you use to boil green tea?
• Why don’t you wring out a tea bag?

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