How Netflix could transform the way we learn languages

Streaming movies in class

Language learning revisited. It is a known fact that Netflix is on every students’ computer and a tempting way to kill time for students in high schools. This article I read in the Guardian gives new hope to the time spent on watching movies to learn another language.

LLN is a Chrome extension that gives you superpowers over Netflix. It makes studying languages with films/series more effective and enjoyable.  Language Learning with Netflix is a Chrome extension that lets you watch shows with two subtitles on at the same time so you can visually pair translations with dialogue and learn some new vocabulary in the process. It’s a clever service that makes use of Netflix’s massive catalog and all of the major languages in which it already offers subtitles, including Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Amid concern over the fall in pupils studying foreign languages, a new online tool has turned the streaming service into a classroom

For years people around the world have learned English by watching Hollywood movies and costume dramas on the BBC. Now British monoglots have one less excuse for not returning the favour: a new online tool that turns the streaming service Netflix into a sofa-based language lab.

Language Learning With Netflix (LLN), a tool that allows viewers to watch foreign language shows with subtitles both in the original language and English and pauses automatically to allow the learner to absorb what they have just heard, has been downloaded by tens of thousands of people since its launch in December.

Amid growing concern over the falling number of pupils taking foreign languages in secondary schools, some linguists have hailed LLN as a dynamic way of harnessing the educational potential of Netflix, which has programmes in 26 languages in 190 countries and aims to have 100 non-English language series in production by this year. David Wilkinson and Ognjen Apic, the two independent developers behind the tool, began the project as a hobby a few years ago and launched their Chrome browser extension in December. A trickle of users has turned into a flood – in the last three weeks, more than 30,000 people have downloaded the tool.

LLN helps users absorb the language they are trying to learn by allowing them to view two translations simultaneously – an automatic, machine translation which tends to be literal, and an official version made by a person who understands idiom. Source: The Guardian. 

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