domingo, 18 de septiembre de 2011

BBC Video Channel on YouTube

The BBC video channel on Youtube is an excellent resource we have at our disposal to peek at segments of popular BBC TV programmes.

All the video clips are on the short side, lasting two or three minutes maximum. There are also channels for specific programmes like Top Gear, Eastenders, Dr Who, BBC Food, BBC Earth, and so on which we can subscribe to.

It is true that no transcripts are available, not even the (mostly) inaccurate closed captions that YouTube sometimes provides, but by using BBC video channel we can get acquainted with real TV programmes thought out for native speakers and try to improve our listening skills by watching clips regularly.

There is something else we can do, though, to improve our listening skills with BBC video channel. This suggestion will only work if you have a study group: Individually, choose a clip you enjoy and which you mostly understand. Prepare a few listening comprehension questions (true/false questions or open-ended questions) the answer of which you are a hundred percent confident about. Then give your friends the activity to see how many of your questions they understand.

I have devised an activity along these lines below. Try and do it yourself and check the answers below. No transcript, sorry!

1 How long does the cheetah take to reach sixty (miles per hour)?
2 What is the cheetah compared to?
3 How long is a cheetah’s stride?
4 How long does the cheetah spend in the air when she’s hunting?
5 How long does the cheetah have before her muscles burn out?
6 How fast does the cheetah go when hunting?
7 What percentage of efficiency does a cheetah have when hunting?

1 three seconds 2 A Porsche 3 Seven meters 4 Half the time 5 Twenty seconds 6 seventy miles an hour 7 fifty percent