Friday, February 25, 2011



Journal    : Volume 15 Number 1 (February 2011) Multilateral Online Exchanges for Language and Culture Learning          
Author      : Joseph M. Terantino

Joseph M. Terantino is the Director of the Foreign Language Resource Collection and coordinator for Online Learning and the Critical Languages Program at Kennesaw State University. He is also an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Foreign Language Education. CALL, FLED, and the integration of technology in teaching are his interest in doing researches.

This article is written to enclose the issue on how YouTube can possibly be beneficial to the learning of foreign language. In the history of YouTube, the author stated that even though many people use the web for entertainment purpose, the web still have many functions that benefit foreign language learners. Before moving into the educational emphasis of YouTube, there is a vital term used, digital native that refers to a person who has grown up with digital technology. Socializing on the net, video games and text messaging had become the new norm of the digital native, replacing the normal daily activities before the emergence of the Internet and digital technologies. The author had placed several methods in utilizing YouTube in regards of having it as an instructional tool for foreign languages which are 1) YouTube for providing content and information, 2) video for less commonly taught languages, 3) culture-based videos, 4) YouTube for student-created video, and 5) YouTube for collaboration; as well as few concerns.
The first method to utilize YouTube is that the web can be used to provide content and information by having the videos uploaded provides linguistic and cultural content, as well as information related to the target language. These videos are created and uploaded by individuals or instructional institutions. YouTube videos utilization in informative manner is beneficial for illustrating a concept, presenting an alternative viewpoint, stimulating a learning activity and also motivating the students.
The next method mentioned is that the videos uploaded is beneficial to less commonly taught languages in which the videos grant learners access to spoken samples, instructional units, and reading and writing practice. Languages that are usually hard to access are now available for users around the globe through YouTube.
The third method is to use YouTube to give insight to learners of the representations of cultural information that may regard to foreign languages. It gives valuable resources for the content courses, and allows learners to experience bits of other cultures without being physically present at the place of event in the videos, although it might only be a glimpse of the real ones.
 The last two methods are YouTube used for student-created videos and collaboration. Student-created videos give learners or students the opportunities to create their own presentations in the target language, in which they apply the target language into the real-world situations. As for the collaboration, learners can collaborate with each other in making language-based project that will be viewed by others around the world almost instantly, giving them a worldwide venue that has real feedback from viewers. Also, learners and teachers can subscribe to certain channels that uploaded videos of their own, and are maintained by either individuals or companies around the world.
Whereas the concerns stated by the author is that there would be issues of privacy and safety in regards to the student-related videos posted on YouTube, as well as the appropriateness level of the videos uploaded where it might have explicit or sensitive contents. The other concern of the author is the potential problem that exists in accessing the videos online. There might trouble with the Internet connections or users might experience instability while waiting for the videos to get uploaded for viewing.
As conclusion, YouTube presents a radical new approach to providing linguistic input and motivating, as well as encouraging learners to engage in foreign languages. It is no longer a mythical fact that YouTube can provide powerful and sociable venue in which the learners’ potential can lead to be exponential.  

            The article to me is really interesting as YouTube nowadays, are a common website that receive millions of visits a day. People are inclined to visit the website as it offers multiple kinds of videos that could either be watch as part of entertainment or to help in doing educational project, as well as learning. There are tons of tutorial videos in various categories that will definitely gives a lot of help in the learning process. For example, my friend learned how to play guitars from YouTube and another friend of mine followed a series of learning Japanese language tutorial to improve his foreign language.
Having videos that definitely have audio embedded with it are a very big bonus to teaching and getting the students attentions and interest in learning language. Students nowadays are circled and surrounded with lots of Internet and digital technology usage that entitled them as digital natives. This means that they are grown attached to technology especially Internet. Students often spent their time socializing on the net, and have many things by the Internet. Prensky (2001) in the article stated that digital natives had several things that would make them more prone to education which are:

1. To receive information at twitch speed
2. To be able to multi-task
3. To have hands-on activities
4. To have graphics before text
5. To have random access to information
6. To be networked socially
7. To play games rather than do serious work
8. To have frequent rewards

From above demands of digital natives for education, it can be seen that they prefer to have something that is interesting and graphical, as well as being able to be networked socially. Looking at this describe how beneficial it is if the teachers are able to use videos from YouTube as learning materials that will definitely be fun for the students and also interactive. Teachers have to know how to pick the correct videos that can have the students’ eyes and attention glued to videos, making them more interested to learn the language. Not to forget, teachers can also look for ideas to be used in their teaching simply by browsing the videos on YouTube. English for example, would have various and tons of video material that can be found on YouTube and interesting videos can be evaluated by looking at the “likes” and “dislikes” rating down under the video, as well as the responses given by viewers. This method of using videos is very much applicable to all language learning classes, be it in Malaysia or foreign countries like Japan or Korea. Different videos introduced in class would make the learning more variable and fun for the students to learn, instead of learning the traditional way. So teachers, wait no more! Lead your classroom learning with interesting yet educational videos! Use YouTube!

* Click picture to see example of tutorials on YouTube

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