As mentioned in my previous post that was about following your interests, I mentioned that I like to play games during my spare time, or sometimes watch a game being streamed on Twitch. As someone who has enjoyed playing games or watching competitive e-sport events, sometimes I can’t be bothered to actually play a game and I’d rather sit back and watch someone else play instead, which can be just as entertaining.
What is Twitch?
If you’re not familiar with Twitch, it is basically a video streaming service that’s very popular with gamers. You can find streamers playing pretty much any game, so there’s usually something to cater to everyones need. To make the most out of Twitch I think it’s worth finding a streamer with an entertaining personality and who is interactive with their viewers. However Twitch isn’t all about games, they have recently added a community feature which allows you to follow a community that pertains to a particular interest i.e music, programming, painting and food. As you can see there is quite a large range of interests and not just games if they’re not your thing.
How to use Twitch for language learning
Twitch can be a great tool for learning a language, but why? Well, I believe the main reason is that you learn the authentic colloquial side of a language, compared to what you would learn in a standard language course. It’s important to learn the colloquial language when you’re learning a language because that’s what most people use day to day, and learning it will allow yourself to sound more natural and less like a robot. I personally found Twitch extremely useful as a language learning aid, especially for improving my listening comprehension. An awesome feature Twitch has is something called language features, basically I can select a game that I wish to watch someone streaming, then using the drop down menu select the stream language that I prefer. It only takes four easy steps;
1. Go to Twitch.tv and go to browse
2. Select a game or community that you’d like to watch.
3. Use the drop down box to select bring up streams in certain languages.
4. Choose a stream to watch! Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
When watching a stream, as a viewer you’re able to interact with the streamers and other viewers also by typing in the chat window. The quality of the chat depends on the streamer, sometimes the chat is just bombarded with 12 years olds spamming memes, however I’ve found it quite useful on the smaller channels with not so many viewers, they tend to be more interactive as the streamer has less people to deal with.
Twitch isn’t the only platform for watching streamers. YouTube gaming is also a great choice and another one worth checking out is Smashcast.tv formely known as Azubu. So, if you’re into gaming give one of them a go! Perhaps you’ll find some interesting personalities streaming in your target language ! Watch my video below.