I’ve already written a post about sources I use for developing my English skills. Today, I’ve prepared a new list of video bloggers who influence my learning process significantly. Before the discussion of the list, I want to share several thoughts on how to make watching/listening more productive.
Baby way to learn
I separate, as in reading, intensive and extensive listening.
The latter is about listening in a background mode when I am doing some domestic routine: cleaning the house, washing dishes or cooking. The way is not for pure understanding of something but mostly for collecting in my mind some sounds, syllables, words, collocations even if I do not know their meanings. It is ok. I rarely make pauses for getting better ideas or contexts.
This approach is like babies or children learning their mother tongue. They extensively listen to others again and again and again… In one year they begin to talk basic words and phrases. In a later period they can replicate phrases, simple or even complex sentences without knowing grammar. But because they watch, listen and repeat. It is how extensive listening works.
Intensive means goal-based
Intensive listening is different. Here the way depends on what I want, depends on my goal. New grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, or knowledge from the speaker can be the target. Authors of different materials often use different diagrams, charts, tables, lists of examples.
So I make pauses and sometimes roll back the stream and watch again.
This watching/listening is a very energy consuming process. Follow the way in the cases you should really want to learn something new and you are keen on the topic. Demanding huge amount of energy can reduce enthusiasm and in the worst case demotivate learners to discover new terrain. The method is also time consuming. 5 mins video can take 15 minutes or more. Therefore, intensive listening should be intentional and goal-based.
How to define language goals I want to describe in my further blog posts.
Subtitles as an exception
I strongly suggest avoid them. There are at least several reasons. The first one is about disturbance. You begin to read but not to listen. The second reason reveals chasing. In other words, subtitles change very quickly. It makes watching like running. The content and the particularities of a language can be lost. So, subtitles are a tricky substitute for reading, because they help to procrastinate listening.
How to deal with them:
- To begin with, if a blogger has very difficult pronunciation for me, just choose another one with a similar topic.
- Next, if there are many new words in the video, try to find some easier topic explanation.
I use subtitles episodically when I need to grab some interesting or new language patterns or idioms. In all other cases subtitles spoil the learning process.
List of bloggers
The first youtuber is Emma. She focuses on British pronunciation. Pronunciation is what most of my students need to improve. Follow her vibrant lessons and improve your talk.
Here is an Australian English lingua master Emma. She discusses a broad range of topics. There you can find grammar and vocabulary directions as well as a colloquial language. One small hint. You can commence watching from the third minute because of the ad length that she usually presents in the beginning of her videos.
This channel is made by British English teacher Lucy. She creates content not only with a London accent but also a wide list of topics like grammar or vocabulary for daily English. What is more, you can subscribe to her delivery list and get on you email summaries from each video in PDF format.
Rachel’s English channel is my favorite in the pronunciation domain. She helped me to change my attitude to pronunciation. After following her issues I began to consider pronunciation as an infinite process in sentence. Each word as well as sentence is a combination of rhythms and rhymes. Strongly suggest. She work with American English.
A tutor from Speak Confident English tries to look and discuss English as a practical tool. So here she focuses watchers on different speaker’s needs and how to employ language tools for meeting the needs.
The next youtuber discusses any and often gray sides of a language like swear words, sex, slang, pronunciation and mostly focus on listening and colloquial practice in a free and easy way. Follow Learn English with Anna.
The first male blogger in my list. He makes an emphasis on British pronunciation, accents and vocal skills.
It is a well-established media company channel. Different people from BBC briefly explain hot topics happening in the world. You can also find many grammar materials. Here you can hear “classical” popular British English. I suggest the channel for people who have no much time and prefer knowledge in a brief form.
Last channel but not least in my TOP of youtubers explains how to learn English without grammar. It is relevant for many people who think that grammar is the most important in spoken practice. The tutor shows another more relaxed way and explains how to change attitude for learning speaking language.
What is more…
In one of my previous materials I wrote how to expand active vocabulary. There I mentioned “hobby” as one of the most productive way to memorize fresh words and phrases. The same is here. Hobby-centric method always combines extensive and intensive ways of listening or watching.
Be free to leave your comments and write favorite youtubers down below.