Using more input is the single biggest positive difference you can make to improve your language learning. Good input is any text, podcast, video, or whatever that is both comprehensible and interesting to you.
Sometimes content will already be integrated in the course you are doing. Even if your lessons already include texts or audio, it will be useful to ﬁnd your own that interest you. More content is always good.
How to choose input
As a beginner, the best content for you will probably be intended for beginner-level language learners. As always, try to ﬁnd recommendations from other learners.
Finding content as a beginner can be difficult, particularly for languages that are not as popular. We recommend you simply use the best, most interesting content you can ﬁnd that allows you to practise reading and/or listening without being overwhelmed by the difficulty.
Here are some examples of input you might use:
- News websites
- Conversation transcripts
- YouTube channels
- TV series
- Dialogues for learners
A common method is to use resources intended for children; however, the vocabulary is often not very useful nor the topics very interesting to an adult.
TV series, music, movies, and real news websites are generally intended for adult native speakers, and hence probably too difficult to use effectively. We don’t recommend beginners use them regularly. If you’re truly starved for interesting content and want to try them, feel free to give them a go. At the end of the day, your learning is self-directed, and you should engage with what you enjoy.
The best content for a beginner generally sits at the sweet spot between comprehensibility and adult-interest. Here are the best resources you can ﬁnd as a learner:
• YouTube channels with conversation or dialogue intended for adult learners
• Podcasts intended for learners
• Short stories for learners, in books or online
• Books for young teens
• Websites with articles or news intended for learners
• Graded readers
• Anything with audio and a text transcript
• Anything with naturalistic dialogues