Live Internet Video for Language Learning

Web-based video is a hot topic in 21st century language education. The Internet offers a cornucopia of options for language students to include video and television in their target language in order to help them learn the language. Researcher Elizabeth Mejia points out that “video” can mean a variety of things including popular films, documentaries, television advertisements, materials produced by textbook companies to accompany their books and accompany classroom instruction, educational broadcast and amateur videos made by teachers and students.

Sites such as YouTube and Vimeo offer educational videos, as well as “how to” videos produced by language teachers and students alike. Students can get tips, study strategies and answers to question through such video sites.

In addition, news sites such as CNN, Deutsche Welle and the BBC offer multilingual live, real-time news casts, available both on television and via the Internet. At the time of this writing, for example, Deutche Welle offered current news in 30 langauges. The BBC has an entire section of its website dedicated to language learning that includes courses, testing and activities all centred around real world news.

Web-based, live video has become an valuable augmentation, and may eventually replace, static video that is stored on tapes and DVDs, as a means to offer studetnts exposure to relevant and current information and content in a multilingual context that connects them to real issues of pressing concern around the globe.

Live Internet video provides a means for language learners to make sense of the world around them, while making sense of the language they want to learn.


Mejia, Elizabeth. Video in Language Education:  Making News Broadcasts Work for You. Retrieved from


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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

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