For the auditory and visual learner, learning a language via videos would probably sound a lot more appealing than the usual dry textbooks.
Youtube (and other video streaming sites) has a wealth of materials. BUT! The problem is usually to turn these great native materials into a teaching tool.
This is where Laughing Beans comes in as a potentially great tool.
I’ve seen a number of past attempts at trying to videos into teaching materials (I tried doing a few posts on this blog too) but either they were short-lived or the platform was lacking.
That’s why I’m doubly excited this time when it comes to Laughing Beans.
Although a rather new platform, I’m greatly impressed at the simplicity of the site and how it’s not simply based on the idea of having a few content creators provide the lessons, but it’s based on community learning and crowd-sourcing of knowledge.
Firstly, what is Laughing Beans?
Learn a foreign language from native speakers around the world through TV dramas, movies, songs, cartoons and many more!
Pretty much explains everything!
The site is divided into the TEACH and LEARN sections, which means you can post your own lessons on your native language and then learn from the materials native speakers have posted!
Each lesson is based on a short video clip and it’s also categorised by level of difficulty.
For example, ever watch a Korean CF and get really confused by the slangs they used? The lessons at Laughing Beans help by dissecting some of the phrases for you.
One lesson typically has 4 – 5 sentences or phrases that is highlighted and the owner would explain the grammar / vocabulary and cultural nuances in great details ^^ It’s also a great way to find more content that you may not have come across on your own.
A new TV series to add on your to-watch list, a new song to listen to or even a new … bias? 😛
I like how if you click on each mini sub-lesson in the clip, the clip would automatically jump to the part where the sentence is said so that it serves as some form of listening practice too.
It’s a great supplement tool to language learning as you really get to learn quite a number of colloquial phrases usually not seen in textbooks! The explanations are also highly detailed and I felt like I’ve received a lot of positive energy from how everyone seemed to be highly enthusiastic on language learning and teaching 😀
The site currently has more Korean and English lessons. Do take a look and contribute to building the site 😀
- Very neat and organised platform
- A lot of potential to become a great language learning tool
- Encourages participation and content creation
To improve on:
- lesson can be more organised by dividing each part into grammar / vocabulary / idioms / set phrases
- Focus on explaining the grammar point (if any) and adding in more example sentences
- Carve out a niche for themselves by adding in clips on colloquial language use such that learners can learn phrases usually not seen / used in textbooks
- Having the entire transcript for short videos!
- Allowing users to post links to clips that they would like to have a lesson based on
It’s a new and budding platform and it would be such a shame if people don’t know about such a great potential tool, so I’m blogging about it! I always think such platforms can only be as successful and useful as the amount of support that they get. It’s all about content-building and kudos to the team for creating such a platform!
Now that the platform is there for language learners, let’s try to do our part and contribute to it by either posting content, using it or simply sharing it with other language enthusiasts! ^^