Manchester City recommending BBC kids’ channel CBeebies to its foreign players

…although my only source for that is the Daily Mail, which might well mean that it’s been completely made up (rather than just slightly rewritten from PR press releases like many Guardian “articles”). Still, an interesting topic.

I highly recommend children’s literature and TV programmes for adults learning foreign languages. You will pick up some odd vocab and the surrealism can make you think that you’re not understanding the story even when you are, but they are a lot more motivating than content designed for language learners like graded readers. The language can also be much more memorable, be it because of the amount of repetition or because the memorable situations also make the language stick. If you choose older content, it can also help you learn exactly the kind of cultural knowledge that all native speakers share but language learners rarely catch up on.

Don’t know if anyone else has recommended Manolito Gafotas for Scott Thornbury’s quest to improve his fossilised Spanish, but was the best of all sources for me.

This entry was posted in Linguistics, applied linguistics and SLA. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Manchester City recommending BBC kids’ channel CBeebies to its foreign players

  1. It’s clearly a good idea. I made a lot of progress reading bandes dessines while in France. I wish there was the range, quality and availability/affordability of similar materials in English.

    As per usual, the key point is to DO SOMETHING and often if you pick up a more serious book/magazine and struggle with it you will ultimately do a lot less reading than if you try something for kids. My French teacher in the local FE college recommended kids books along with a lot of really sound advice that I mostly followed and reaped the benefits.

    Something I’m becoming more and more convinced of is that we essentially know what students can/should do to improve but cannot motivate them to do any of it!

    Perhaps it’s my age and stage of ‘career’. I think it’s called ‘aged and jaded’. I was hoping to achieve ‘mellow and contented’. Oh well.

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