Speaking a language other than your native can be and usually is valuable in different segments of your life. From your career through your social life and to your well-being, language learning is a great way to open more doors to yourself. But, it can be hard to find motivation and push yourself towards engaging in language learning.
Short films are often used as a great way to restore and preserve your language-learning motivation. They can keep the learners engaged, focused, and persistent. Below, we’ll connect all the dots to help you understand the role of short films in motivating language study.
Do We Need Language Study Motivation?
Statistics show that nearly half the world is bilingual, meaning they speak more than one language fluently. But, According to the US Census Bureau, only around 20% of the US speak a language other than English.
This shows that Americans are less interested in language study or cannot persist.
Language study motivation could be essential for changing these alarming statistics and having more people embrace language learning as something fun, valuable, and even obligatory.
What Kind of Short Films Can Help?
A short film is a type of film that is typically around 40 minutes long. It’s a popular art form, especially in film festivals such as Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and more.
For a person to be able to learn a language using a short film, the film has to be in a language that is foreign to the learner. It could also offer multilingual content – that is, dialogues and text in more than one language.
The genre and plot are irrelevant as long as they appeal to the learner and capture their attention.
How Does Short Film Motivate Language Study?
Watching a short film can motivate us to study a new language in different ways. Below, we’ll break down the most potent influences of short films on language study.
- Discovering Languages
One of the main steps in language learning is finding a language you like and developing an interest in it. But, we don’t often have a chance to be exposed to foreign languages in our daily routines.
This is where short films can be of great help.
Discovering a new language through short films is easy and seamless. You’ll be enjoying a work of art while also hearing a ton of new languages that you may like. The important thing is to diversify until you find just the language you’d like to learn more about.
- Removing the Routine
Many language students struggle with the dull reading, writing, and listening routine that typically comes with a standard language lesson. But, unfortunately, that routine can soon wear them down and force them to quit their mission to master a second language.
But, short films remove this repetitive routine from the picture. Instead, you receive a different learning experience with every new short film you watch.
You’re also exposed to listening, speaking, and reading (if there are subtitles), making your learning journey more effective.
- Hearing Authentic Language
When you’re learning a language the traditional way, you’ll only be exposed to the proper and most correct form of the language. Rarely will you hear different dialects, slang, or accents that vary across other regions and territories where the language is used.
Fortunately, short films portray authentic language and allow you to develop a better sense and understanding of the language. This also helps you use the language more naturally later in real-life situations with native speakers.
- Providing Practice Materials
In the language learning process, students must be motivated to practice their acquired skills and strengthen them. Short films provide a great source of practice materials and can be used in different ways:
- as conversation topics for classes
- as translation practice by translating dialogues
- for storytelling
- for writing essays
Writing an essay about a short film you’ve just seen is a way to repeat what you’ve seen, remember some new vocabulary, and practice retelling a story. WritingUniverse provides free essay samples. You can use it to practice and make your essays even better.
- Boosting Confidence
Finally, a significant role of short films in motivating language study is boosting the learners’ confidence. Being exposed to the language naturally makes the learners feel more encouraged and experienced when the time comes to use the language.
It will encourage you to start a conversation in this second language, use it actively with native speakers, and remove the language barrier. Later on, you’ll switch to more complex tasks like writing a motivational letter or doing your high school diploma translation. And, the more exposed you get, the better you’ll perform.
Learning a new language is difficult, especially if you’re starting. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself and turn this exhausting process into something fun and relaxing. For example, watching short films to motivate language study is the perfect way to achieve your language goals easier without stress and burnout.
Check out our list of best short foreign language films for learning a new language and starting your language-learning journey.