Learning language through a different subject

Yale Psych lectureOne of the recent trends in China is for people to watch video lecture series from high profile universities in the USA. Students and regular workers alike have started learning through these free open courses, and are benefiting greatly from them. The first series I looked at, The Psychology, Biology, and Politics of Food, from Yale University, has already been viewed over 50,000 times on Sohu.

Video learners are using the opportunity to receive free instruction from overseas, and are getting support through online study groups based in China. Many people are getting up earlier or using their lunch breaks and commutes to watch videos online or in downloaded formats.

The videos are being translated and subtitled by groups of volunteers, and are available in English with both English and Chinese subtitles. The huge task of translating, proofing, and adding the subtitles for just one lecture will typically take a group of over 10 people around 70 hours to complete. The benefits to thousands of Chinese learners are huge, though.

One of the things I like best is that Chinese students are getting genuine English to learn from, as well as the contents of the lectures. Sure, people don’t speak like lecturers in real life, but having exposure to this content will help with learning English and learning in English. The fact that the subtitles are bilingual means that people can pause and go over sentences in detail.

Now I just need to find some foreign language lectures that are subtitled in English. Any recommendations?

Full article: Shanghai Daily