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2.2.2 How to Use YouTube for Learning English
YouTube became full of a large amount of content since it became the center for virtual entertainment and video sharing, which makes it hard for users to find the soughed educational videos that they need. However, according to Pappas (2014), there are some useful techniques that help users to achieve a successful learning experience through YouTube. To start with, YouTube offers users the ability to create fully customizable playlists. Users can create their own playlist that consists of their chosen videos that will help them expand their knowledge about the topics they need, which makes it an excellent tool for accompanying guides and learning courses without the necessity of providing individual links for each video.
In addition, Learners can add an interactive and collaborative aspect to their eLearning experience by having collaborations through group YouTube projects and having group discussions online.
Correspondingly, Lweis (2018) claimed that if learners’ knew exactly what they were looking for, YouTube can become an excellent source of learning for them.
Through YouTube’s search box, learners can easily find many teaching videos about their target language. Moreover, YouTube has a very helpful feature, where it recommends similar videos that are suitable for the learners’ level watching certain educational videos. Lweis (2018) also suggest that learners can mix between entertainment and learning at the same time by watching TV shows and movies in their target language while writing down words that they may find difficult.
That is to say, YouTube is English learners’ best friend.
It is because of ESL teachers that have been willing to turn the camera on themselves; learners are able to find thousands of videos that can help them improve their English language skills. Although it can be hard sometimes to find good quality English learning videos, Giordano (2018) recommends some YouTube channels that can help steer ESL learners toward some of the best ESL content on YouTube. British Council LearnEnglish, this channel is the official channel of the British Council. The videos include skits of real-life scenarios and animated grammar lessons. For beginning ESL learners, JenniferESL videos make learners feel as if they are learning from a caring tutor. Her videos are assisted with colorful slides and graphics and the cover a wide variety of topics. Another resource for beginners is, Learn English. This channel consists of staged skits and basic English lessons, complete with graphics, subtitles, and visuals. Learners can also save time by watching short lessons from the channel ESL Basics, this channel provides mini-lesson on vocabulary, phrasal verbs, and idioms.
2.3 YouTube as a Reliable Tool for Learning
YouTube can be used for many purposes including education; most of YouTube’s content is not educationally relevant. The majority of users use YouTube only for entertainment, some use it for posting funny pranks, family videos, and even for advertising a company or a product. However, YouTube has a unique educational value that can assist students from all across the globe. YouTube provides users with fast and fun access to language and culture based videos and instructions from across the world, working as a bridge in connecting foreign language students with native speakers (Terantino, 2011).
Additionally, Fralinger and Owens(2011), explain that YouTube is no longer considered to be a place for entertainment only, it has become a great source of learning as the University of California (UC), Berkeley has become the first university to transfer an entire course of lectures and special events on YouTube. YouTube became filled with learning material that is available for many users, which makes YouTube a place and source of learning as well.
On the contrary, being a free website, YouTube allows everyone and anyone to upload their videos and speak through it without any filter. Thus, for being an overwhelmingly popular website, with the lack of barriers to strict usage, YouTube might not be the most reliable source. However, YouTube has users who upload reliable articles and content that is fact-checked or can be fact-checked, so does not be afraid to use it (Gonzalez, 2016).
All in all, (Bastos & Ramos, 2009) conclude that the possibility of YouTube to become an effective educational resource lies within the way that it is handled, rather than in itself as a technological tool. So, the reliability of YouTube as a learning resource depends on how it is used with the intent of learning.
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