I bet many of you like to keep up with the latest news and events that happen every day. Then why not start watching the news in your foreign language that you are trying to learn no matter the level of your advancement?
Actually, watching TV news on a daily basis can help your learning and overall comprehension of a foreign language. I used to follow my TV News strategy when learning Spanish. I started with 24Horas and their Noticias (the link can be found online). At first it was just hard to catch up with all the information. To be honest with you, during the first week I could barely understand a few words, but with time when the level of my vocabulary and grammar knowledge increased I could grasp more.
While watching we will always hear more than we can really understand (at least in the very beginning). You can deal with it by watching the entire news broadcast and then come back to those bits that were difficult to understand to watch them again. Don’t give up if the news pieces appear to be presented in a fast motion. This is very common for Spanish and Italian news as the presenters have the tendency to speak real fast. If you just begin to watch the news attempt to answer some basic questions such as for instance when, where, who, why and how that concern the news.
Well, news and world events are always broadcast in major TV news services. This way, you can first follow news in your native language to get a general understanding of what is happening around the world. This general knowledge of current events will help you understand more when watching the news in your foreign target language and your anxiety level will decrease significantly.
Yep! Looking for news channel of your choice would be the first step. Well, of course you can search your own TV channel and choose any News Service that you like.
Any Benefits from watching TV news? So what’s in it for me?
Another good thing is that following news will allow you for getting used to both the sounds of a foreign language and different accents. By following the news you will usually get various speakers and news announcers who are speakers with good diction and pronunciation to be followed. Furthermore, presented news stories will give you a good idea of what’s going on in the country where the target language of your choice is spoken.
Also, usually TV news have the so-called news tickers (also known as “crawler” or “slide”) that are put in the lower third of the television screen space on TV news networks dedicated to presenting headlines or news pieces. News tickers usually differ among the TV stations. For this instance, Sky News always displays a ticker of black color with white text throughout the whole broadcast day. This ticker turns yellow with black text to highlight breaking news.
News tickers can be also a good source of new vocabulary for you as while watching the news you can write down all the new words that appear in the news pieces. TV or Radio broadcasting news service. When I began learning English (my first foreign language that I wanted to learn) I tuned in for the latest BBC Radio news. The thing with radio news is it is harder to follow as you have no visuals (images) to support your general understanding of the news being presented in TV news footage. You are actually exposed to the sound – this can also enhance your listening comprehension skills and sounds of a foreign language and you are not distracted by images.
Quite often radio news services also offer podcasts – MP3 files with the news that can be downloaded and listened to later. You then are able to play the downloaded recordings as many times as you wish to understand better the pieces of news that otherwise might have been missed.
Having no time to follow the regular TV news?
Hmm… there is an option for you as well. You can install an application that will help you follow the latest news in your computer, iPad or your mobile phone (e.g. Breaking News). It is up to you to follow news in a form of your choice.