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Do you watch a lot of YouTube videos? Well turn your routine YouTube video watching into an opportunity to improve your English. These 5 tips will allow you to utilize YouTube’s built-in tools to maximize your English learning:

1. Use Subtitles/Closed Captioning

When you understand more, your desire to listen increases! The CC button on the right hand-side of your YouTube video stands for closed captioning (or subtitles). This button allows you to see the video’s text on the bottom of the video. This is helpful because it allows you to read the text as you listen to it. You can check the spelling of words and your understanding of the spoken text.

As your English improves, you can challenge yourself by listening to the speaker, writing down what you think he/she said, and then turning on the captions to see if you got it right.

2.Vary the Video Speed

Many people give up listening if the speed is too fast! If you click on the gear icon on the right hand-side next to the CC icon we talked about above, more options will appear. One of these options is Playback Speed. The playback speed option allows you to change the speed of the video. Slowing down the video can help you improve your perception of words by hearing sound by sound of the words. Speed up the video to “normal” to get used to hearing English spoken at a faster pace.

3. Watch the Video Non-Stop

The first time you watch the video, try to watch it completely through. Even if there are things you don’t understand, don’t worry. Just watch the video completely all the way through — to get “the big picture.” This is just to help you understand the main ideas. You won’t catch everything but you’ll get a general sense. That’s the first step in becoming comfortable with listening.

4. Watch the Video More than Once

After watching the video completely through at least one time, go back and watch the video again this time taking notes of the things you think are important or of questions you have. A second viewing allows you to get more details about the video, and to anticipate what’s next. Anticipation is a key part of listening!

5. Use the Comments Section

Do you have an “emotional response” to the video? The comments section can be a great tool for helping you ask questions about points you still don’t understand about the video. It also helps you to identify your point of view about the video.

 

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