Pros and cons of language learning from TV

I watched a bit of TV today and picked up some small words and phrases. I’ve taken to watching TV with a notepad because I absorb so much and feel so overwhelmed by it all so I’ve started taking notes. I’ve heard so many stories about people learning languages almost effortlessly simply by watching TV. Unfortunately I haven’t found very many interesting TV programmes or films on Russian TV so after a while it feels like work trying to stay interested in what’s on. So I’ve established some positive and negative aspects that I’ve observed thus far:

POSITIVE
1. It’s can be interesting and even entertaining depending on the content. It’s relaxing and doesn’t feel like work so you learn without realising it.
2. You learn conversational language, slang, new contexts for old words, etc.
3. It improves listening and comprehension even if you don’t understand every word.
4. You can learn about the culture through films, advertisements, reality shows, etc. I know it doesn’t relate to language but it’s a definite plus.

NEGATIVE
1. It can be challenging to find interesting content depending where you are and what options you have as far as programming.
2. It can limit you from practicing your speaking. You may feel like you’re learning so much and be thrilled that you understand what you hear. But can you speak too?
3. Dubbing and subtitles are sometimes painfully inaccurate.

But overall I still think it’s a great method and I think it will continue to be implemented despite the negative aspects.

Without a washing machine I resorted to washing my clothes the old-school way: in the sink. Now I’ve got clothes hung up and dripping all over my room. I’d give an arm and a leg for a Laundromat right now but at least I’ll have clean clothes…when they eventually dry. I suppose such a labour of love will make it all the more appreciated when it is finally repaired!

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