How to use radio programs and parallel texts to learn a language

Photo by S Siddy

Photo by S. Siddy
In a previous post I explained the reading-listening method that consists in reading a book while listening its audiobook version. As an alternative I found very useful to use free on-line content that is available both in audio version and in text version.


For example, I found that both audio and text versions of Grimm’s brother fairy tales are freely available in German. The problem is that after a while I got bored of fairy tales. Another alternative that I found to apply the reading-listening method to learn German, while using interesting content, it is to use the content available on the on-line radio dradio.de . The advantage is that this radio provides also the full transcript of every program.


6 simple steps to create content for the reading-listening method to learn a language

  • I find an interesting article
  • I download the audio version in German
  • I create a new word document with an empty table with 2 columns and only 1 row
  • I copy the text of the german program in the first column
  • I use google translate to translate in English the text of the German program and I copy the translation in the second comlumn of the table in the word document
  • I align the text in the two columns



By following these steps you can quickly create parallel texts that can be followed while listening the audio version of the radio program in German. Electronic parallel texts are really useful because you can use colours to highlight corresponding sentences, or words, in the two languages so that it is easier to follow the text and understand it while you are listening it.


As mentioned, the great things about using this method are that it provides you with a lot of exposure to comprehensible and interesting input and that you can create your own archive of material that you can revise then at optimal intervals.

Peter

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