Learning English through Mass media
Ramis Gabasov 9th form
Media education today is one of the fastest developing trends in the field of education around the world.
The aim of the work is to analyze the importance of using Mass Media in learning English. What are the main sources of the English language for the students? The best way would be the immersion into the English-language and culture, preferably by sending every student to England or the United States for 6 months. It is possible for some young people, most of students cannot do that. Where do they obtain knowledge about foreign cultures and foreign countries? Their personal experiences they gain from the media- television, radio, feature films, Internet, music, etc. Media has become an indispensable part of lives. This is not only a fun way to learn but it is also very effective. By watching English films (especially those with English subtitles) students can expand their vocabulary and hear the flow of speech from the actors. If they listen to the news they can also hear different accents. In many movies, the dialog is like real spoken English. Movies let students learn informal and slang words which are not yet in English dictionaries. Movies let improve pronunciation, not only grammar and vocabulary.
Newspapers provide a natural source of many of the varieties of Written English that become very important to students, and valuable for language study as the students progress. Newspapers report real-life events, and this arouses students’ curiosity.
Books are among the most enduring of the mass media. Some people save them for years, and libraries save them for centuries. Here is the right place to mention the words of Franklin Roosevelt: “People die, books never die”.
Internet helps students to compare and classify information, to induce and deduce ideas, to analyze errors, to abstract concepts, to analyze perspectives, to gather information, to work in teams, etc. The Internet is an excellent tool for locating the latest news not yet published.
Media Education has to do with film and television, press and radio, their impact on the students’ progress. Its aim is to enable students to develop critical thinking, analyzing and reflecting on their experiences while using various means of Media.
Newspapers and magazines p.7-8
The Role of Books in Everyday Life and Education p.8
The Internet p.8-9
List of tips which may help to master the English Language p.11-13
Media education today is one of the fastest developing trends in the field of education around the world. I will not go into the detailed account of the history, theory foundations or the current research related to media education. What I want to say introducing this collection of activities is why I think media education is important in learning English as a foreign language. The aim of the work is to analyze the importance of using Mass Media in learning English. At school we learn grammar rules, new English words, topics. We study grammar, as with any other aspect of the language, so that students can communicate in English successfully, understand oral and written speech, speak and write. What are the main sources of the English language for us? The best way would be the immersion into the English-language and culture, preferably by sending every student to England or the United States for 6 months. And while this is possible for some young people, most of our students cannot do that. But what we can do to bring part of the English language world into our classroom. Where do we obtain our knowledge about foreign cultures and foreign countries? Besides our personal experiences we gain it from the media- television, radio, feature films, Internet, music, etc. Media has become an indispensable part of our lives; children spend more time watching TV than on doing their homework, media are sometimes called “a parallel school”! Direct or indirect influence of media on our lives is growing constantly, and traditional literacy skills- the ability to read and to write print texts, must be supplemented with media literacy skills- the ability to “read” and “write” audiovisual materials along with print media texts (television programs, films, web sites, advertisements, etc.). The argument for media education is that, drawing upon the students real life experiences. We can learn the English language and cultures of the English-speaking countries. It also develop students’ critical thinking, encourage them to become active viewers, listeners, thus becoming producers of their own messages.
I am a fan of movies. I noticed that they are much better in the original. Watching a dubbed film will never be as good as watching the original version. Why? Because in the original version, the actor's voices are real. Everything is just like the director imagined. Learning English by watching movies is learning by input. First I get lots of correct English sentences into my head. Then I can imitate them and I can make my own sentences. Of course, there are important differences between movies and books. With books, I learn how native speakers write in English. With movies, I learn how they speak English. I learn what words they use. When speaking, native speakers use words and phrases that I often won't find in a book. In many movies, the dialog is like real spoken English. Movies also let me learn informal and slang words which are not yet in English dictionaries. For example, in a movie we might hear: Give me the freaking keys!, but you won't find the word freaking in a dictionary. We learn how they say these words. Movies let improve pronunciation, not only grammar and vocabulary. If we listen to Americans or British speaking English, we can learn to speak like them. We learn to understand spoken language. Movies are made for native speakers, not for learners of English. So the actors talk fast, just like native speakers talk in real life. This is one big problem with movies: They are much more difficult to understand than books. If I don't understand a word in a book, I can simply look it up in a dictionary, because the word is written there. With a movie, I sometimes hear something, but I don't know what it is. Sometimes I don't even know if I've heard one word or two. There are other reasons why listening is more difficult than reading, and they all mean one thing: If I want to understand a movie, I have to know a lot of English words — and not only their spelling, but also their pronunciation. Most CDs let me turn on subtitles. With subtitles, it is easy to look up difficult words in dictionary.
III. Newspapers and magazines
There are different purposes and ways for using newspapers in language classroom. They may be used for the culture they transmit. The more widely students read, the greater their understanding of this cultural meaning will be. Most newspapers are linguistically up-to-date and provide valuable linguistic data. They may be used for the wide variety of text types and language styles, not often found in textbooks. At the same time, newspapers provide a natural source of many of the varieties of Written English that become very important to students, and valuable for language study as the students progress. So, they may be used as supplementary material and examples in Text Analysis, Academic Writing, Stylistics, Semantics, etc. while analyzing different types of texts. The variety of subjects and topics makes newspapers interesting. Newspapers report real-life events, and this arouses students’ curiosity .Newspaper-based activities in the classroom may engage students in enjoyable activities and encourage their further reading. Newspapers are an invaluable source of authentic materials. The more students read, the more they want to explore.
“People learn through reading, and reading about interesting new things in one’s interest subject, undoubtedly helps motivation”. (Paul Sanderson, 2002)
As with newspapers, magazines are resources for different subjects, cutting out pictures and passages associated with particular topics. Magazines are also sources in language development in providing pictures to stimulate verbal or written stories. For example, they may be used for introducing colors and clothes, means of transport, short stories, stimulating picture discussions and for other supplementary materials as well, which cover a topic that may be under discussion in a language class.
IV. The Role of Books in Everyday Life and Education
Books are crucial in modern life as well, a driving force in education, business, law, science, medicine and entertainment. Through books the students gain the legacy of knowledge earned by those who came before. (Beckert, 1992) People of all ages find information, pleasure, relaxation and inspiration while reading books. Books lack the immediacy of other mass media, but they make up for that by greater thoroughness and permanence. Books are saved and treasured in great public libraries and in personal collections. Readers go back to famous books, rereading them again and again. Others enjoy a book once and pass it on, wanting others to share their discoveries.
‘Those who have already discovered the joy of books, however, are hooked for life. And as others become aware of the vast array of books available, they too will find that unrivaled knowledge and pleasure await them between the covers of books’ (Beckert, 1992). There is also a vast area that textbooks cover. Besides them there are a lot of books that we read as a class assignment, a novel in the English class, in the course English through Prose and Poetry, in British and American literature course; a book on the planets in the science class, and many others.
So, books are among the most enduring of the mass media. Some people save them for years, and libraries save them for centuries. Here is the right place to mention the words of Franklin Roosevelt: “People die, books never die”.
V. The Internet
It is very important to know how to communicate on the Internet and how to search, explore and locate information. Internet is not merely a source of authentic material in English but also a source of information about all sorts of topics we may want to discuss and at the same time a source of professional knowledge in the form of bibliographies, articles, courses and conferences. But to get all these we need to have some practice and experience. It is often that we spend a lot of time searching the Internet, and we feel that we are wasting time and finding nothing that we really wanted. So, it is crucial to have some tips about the ways how to search the Internet, especially the key words of research.
Internet helps students to compare and classify information, to induce and deduce ideas, to analyze errors, to abstract concepts, to analyze perspectives, to gather information, to work in teams, etc. The Internet is an excellent tool for locating the latest news not yet published. Information on the Internet has three characteristics that distinguish it from traditional classroom materials such as books, supplementary readings, videos and films. The information on the Internet is extensive, dynamic. Information is obtained immediately, inexpensively and without a great deal of effort. The extensive, dynamic and accessible nature of information on the Internet presents new challenges to the learner. Through the Internet we should focus our attention, think critically and attend to various chunks of information.
The Internet is nowadays considered to be the greatest innovation in Information Technology. The benefits and uses of the Internet for education are growing with every passing day. Internet can make education more attainable by more people. It can promote improved and new types of learning. Today schools and universities are spending a lot of money for technology. Nowadays you can hear everywhere “the Age of Internet”. Recently computers are being used in the classrooms in our country.
We could have not thought about using internet in the classroom ten years ago. Today our schools have several computer labs, which have internet access, and hundreds of students do research or tests till late in the evening. Students are learning a lot by using computers, the Internet or other ‘fancy technology’.
There are a lot of issues that can or cannot be solved by media.
Internet has three main educational uses. It serves as a source of information, a place for collaboration, and a place to learn and publish.
English songs have been very popular for people around the world for many ages. From Elvis Presley to Ricky Martin , from the Beatles to Eminem have all been sitting in everyone's heart, even for people who doesn't speak English.... even for people who speaks zero English. Song is an important aspect to language learning. Students are interested in extra practice or learning English on their own. The specific songs will depend on the student's age and current English level. Using songs to study English improves memory and pronunciation, and makes learning more fun. I think the easiest and the cheapest way to improve English language is to go to a website with the words of favorite English songs and copy the words to the song. Listen to how the singers pronounce the words, and then try to sing or say the words at the same. People like using English songs to practice English skill because it's easy and enjoy.
Using various kinds of Media in the classroom provide students with
creative and practical ideas. They also provide students with a lot of language practice through activities using newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, movies, books, Internet, etc, and tasks which develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. They entertain students and encourage reading English in general, both inside and outside the classroom, promoting extensive reading by giving the students the confidence, the motivation and the ability to continue their reading outside the classroom. Media “inform, amuse, startle, anger, entertain, thrill, but very seldom leave anyone untouched”. (Shirley Biagy, 1996)
Why is the Media Important?
- Media is important because we get to know the world through using them; we understand the world and try to change it.
- Media Education is important because it develops students’ creative powers for those images, words and sounds that come to the students from various Media. Thus, creating more active and critical media users, who will always be more demanding in the future.
- Media Education has to do with film and television, press and radio, their impact on the students’ progress.
- Its aim is to enable students to develop critical thinking, analyzing and reflecting on their experiences while using various means of Media.
- Mass media provide students with a lot of language practice through activities using newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, movies, books, Internet, etc, and tasks which develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
List of tips which may help to master the English Language!
Speak without Fear
The biggest problem most people face in learning a new language is their own fear. They worry that they won’t say things correctly or that they will look stupid so they don’t talk at all. Don’t do this. The fastest way to learn anything is to do it – again and again until you get it right. Like anything, learning English requires practice. Don’t let a little fear stop you from getting what you want.
Use all of your Resources
Even if you study English at a language school it doesn’t mean you can’t learn outside of class. Using as many different sources, methods and tools as possible, will allow you to learn faster. There are many different ways you can improve your English, so don’t limit yourself to only one or two. The internet is a fantastic resource for virtually anything, but for the language learner it's perfect.
Surround Yourself with English
The absolute best way to learn English is to surround yourself with it. Take notes in English, put English books around your room, listen to English language radio broadcasts, watch English news, movies and television. Speak English with your friends whenever you can. The more English material that you have around you, the faster you will learn and the more likely it is that you will begin “thinking in English”.
Listen to Native Speakers as Much as Possible
There are some good English teachers that have had to learn English as a second language before they could teach it. However, there are several reasons why many of the best schools prefer to hire native English speakers. One of the reasons is that native speakers have a natural flow to their speech that students of English should try to imitate. The closer ESL / EFL students can get to this rhythm or flow, the more convincing and comfortable they will become.
Watch English Films and Television
This is not only a fun way to learn but it is also very effective. By watching English films (especially those with English subtitles) you can expand your vocabulary and hear the flow of speech from the actors. If you listen to the news you can also hear different accents.
Listen to English Music
Music can be a very effective method of learning English. In fact, it is often used as a way of improving comprehension. The best way to learn thoughts, is to get the lyrics (words) to the songs you are listening to and try to read them as the artist sings. There are several good internet sites where one can find the words for most songs. This way you can practice your listening and reading at the same time. And if you like to sing, fine.
Study As Often As Possible!
Only by studying things like grammar and vocabulary and doing exercises, can you really improve your knowledge of any language.
Do Exercises and Take Tests
Many people think that exercises and tests aren't much fun. However, by completing exercises and taking tests you can really improve your English. One of the best reasons for doing lots of exercises and tests is that they give you a benchmark to compare your future results with. Often, it is by comparing your score on a test you took yesterday with one you took a month or six months ago that you realize just how much you have learned. If you never test yourself, you will never know how much you are progressing. Start now by doing some of the many exercises and tests on this site, and return in a few days to see what you've learned. Keep doing this and you really will make some progress with English.
Nobody likes to hear their own voice on tape but like tests, it is good to compare your tapes from time to time. You may be so impressed with the progress you are making that you may not mind the sound of your voice as much.
Listen to English
By this, we mean, speak on the phone or listen to radio broadcasts, audiobooks or CDs in English. This is different than watching the television or films because you can’t see the person that is speaking to you. Many learners of English say that speaking on the phone is one of the most difficult things that they do and the only way to improve is to practice.
Finally Have fun!
Anastasia Novikova “Teaching Media in the English Language Classroom” Vilma. Tafany ”Teaching English through Mass Media”.
Alessi Stephen, Trollip Stanley (2001), Multimedia for.
Beckert Christine (1992), Getting Started in Mass Media, National Textbook Company, Chicago.
Garrett (1991), Technology in the Service of Language Learning, Modern Language Journ.
Through this diagrams we can see that a lot of teenagers using the Internet to improve their English language.
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