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The good side of TV

Learning through TV

Television is an important electronic medium among children and teenagers. You must be aware of the positive and negative effects this medium can have on your personal development. As you have learnt in the previous section, too much TV or inadequate programme contents may not be good for you. However, television also has a positive side which we want to present you here.

At the end of this section, you will have:

  • watched some excerpts of TV series.
  • talked about what you can learn from TV shows.
  • written a review of a TV show or a film.
  • dubbed an excerpt of a TV show or a film.

Television can be a great teacher of lessons related to history, society, arts, science, nature, social and practical skills, among many others.

You may think that your favourite TV shows just make you laugh or have a good time, but in one way or another be sure that you can also learn from them about social relationships, moral issues and, also, get some basic cultural knowledge. 

Watch the excerpts of some TV series on the Mashable site and take them as examples of what you can learn while you enjoy yourself. Comment with your teacher and your classmates on the points below:

  • What can you learn from these episodes?
  • What other TV series do you usually watch? What contents can you learn from them?

Write down notes of the ideas that you all comment in class as this can help you write a review of your favourite TV series.

Your teacher will explain to you the contents on the Kids TV Movies About webpage which presents some reasons why watching TV can be good. 

Think of one of your favourite series and write a review with more details than the ones you have included in your TV guide mission. State what you can learn from watching this series.

In your Weebly site, publish your review in the page entitled 'My writing guide'.

Share your writing on Pinterest with your classmates on a board entitled 'Educational TV' that your teacher will create for the classgroup. Do not forget to accompany your text with an image that illustrates your TV series. 

With your own words

In this section about educational television, do not forget either that television can be a really efficient tool to learn English or any other foreign languages.

With a partner, comment on the questions:

  • Where can you find videos, TV films or series in original version with subtitles?
  • How often do you usually watch TV programmes in English?
  • Do you know about any TV shows from an English-speaking country? Which one/-s?

Watching and listening to soap operas or films in the original version is a great way of getting out of the 'artificial English' taught in your text books. 

TV series actors reflect the colloquial language used by English native speakers in real life. Also, you can listen to the right intonation and to different accents while watching TV, which will help you improve your communicative competence in English.

Enter the English at home site and read some tips on how you can use TV to learn English. Which tips are new to you?

Listen to Marika talking about TV on the elllo.org site. With a partner, answer the questions below.

  • Does she understand everything in Japanese?
  • What helps her understand what is happening in a drama?
  • What programme types does she find difficult to understand?

There are some educational TV channels which are great to learn English, but do not worry if you do not have a cable or satellite TV at home. From a computer connected to the Internet, you can also access websites where videos on many varied topics or different TV programmes are broadcast. Take the following sites as examples of resources that can help you learn and improve your English.

  • LinkEngPark, a site with access to sitcom episodes, news programmes in English.
  • ESL-lab Video Clips. Video snapshots created to reinforce listening activities of the same site.
  • British Council site. Resource bank of online reference for learning English through films and TV programmes.

Listening and comprehending what is happening on a TV series is good for developing your English communicative skills. In the mission you are about to carry out, we go a step further as we want you to create and reproduce your own dialogues. 

Notice the assessment criteria in the 'Rubric for assessing a podcast' that your teacher will use to evaluate your work in this mission.

Please, read carefully  the guidelines.

Learning diary

How is it going? Open again your Learning Diary on your site and write down your reflections on your work progress.

your learning diaryPeter O'SheaWriting tools (CC BY)

Create a new post on your blog with the title  'The good side of TV' and answer the following questions:

  • What are the most difficult aspects?
  • What tool was the most difficult for you to work with?
  • What do you think is the most important aspect you have learned?
  • Are there any aspects you didn't understand?

Do not forget it would be great if you shared these feelings and thoughts with your classmates. You will have 10 or 15 minutes to complete this part.