Most people assume that watching TV is the antithesis to keeping your brain turned on. After all, it is a common activity that people use in order to turn off. Surely sitting in front of a TV for hours on end will not make you smarter!
There is truth to this. If you do put on mindless TV shows and scroll through your phone while watching, you’re not going to learn much. However, there are new ways to learn by watching TV, and you don’t have to stick to boring educational shows.
In 2022, you can learn languages while enjoying yourself with thousands of episodes of TV. Make the decision to learn Russian with Lingopie, for example, and you will soon benefit from pure entertainment.
Here is how it works.
‘More Efficient Brains’
Before going into the ‘how’ of learning language by watching TV, let’s take a look at why it is a good idea.
Of course, if you are going to live in another country where they speak a different language, you need no more reason than the ability to communicate.
But is there a compelling reason to simply learn Russian on your own, for example?
Science indicates that there definitely is good reason to learn languages, even if you don’t plan on using them. According to a study done by the New York Academy of Sciences, two things lead to ‘more efficient brains’: learning music and speaking another language.
These two things have a major impact on your thinking, keeping your mind sharp throughout your life as you get older. They train your brain to use efficient methods of solving problems that you don’t come across when learning other skills.
While we generally associate watching TV with brain stagnation, it can have the opposite effect if it helps you learn a new language.
Watching TV to Learn Languages
So how does this work? Is it really possible to keep your brain busy and learn languages while binge watching series?
The answer is simple. By watching people speak another language, you start picking up words and phrases, as well as styles of speaking, without even trying.
This is true even if you simply watch a show on Netflix with subtitles. However, you can go a lot further than that without much more effort.
Lingopie is an app that provides endless content in different languages for you to binge watch. This content is not just entertaining. It actually allows you to engage with the language. To do this, it provides interactive subtitles.
The process works best if you engage with the language, pausing and getting more information from the subtitles about words and phrases that you don’t yet understand.
The platform also keeps these words and phrases so that you can go back to them when you are finished watching the show, or when you are trying to remember them later on.
This way of learning languages is effective because you don’t just learn vocab and grammar. You get to hear how it’s spoken, which makes it easier for you to eventually speak the language yourself.
Instead of trying to translate your English sentences into the other language, you have a more intuitive knowledge of the language, including its slang and the intonations with which it is spoken.
This is also a great way of enjoying streaming for people who feel guilty about switching off at the end of the day.
While it allows you to relax and appreciate the entertainment, you are learning at the same time. You are gaining experience in the language, and you don’t have to feel like you wasted your time.
You may still feel like it is too easy. Some people simply don’t feel like they are making use of their time unless they are challenged. But you don’t need the challenge in order for your brain to benefit.
Your brain is working behind the scenes, remembering words and figuring out how the language works. You might not be working, but your brain is not relaxing.
Useful Language Learning
It also helps that you will be able to make use of the language if you do decide to travel to a region where they speak it. Many people learn languages in school, only to find that they are unable to hold a conversation when they actually speak to people.
When you learn a language by watching it being spoken on TV, you get used to hearing it, and you learn to keep up.
The benefits are therefore twofold. You learn to speak a language while keeping your brain trained. Even without taking into account the enjoyment, you can gain a lot from simply watching TV.