Something that I have heard about, though pretty much ignored the last months, is a relatively “new” app called Periscope (it is only been around about a year). It is owned by Twitter.
I love languages so I thought I would check it out to see if it would be of any use helping me learn other languages or to see if I can use it to help others.
What is Periscope?
Basically it is live video streaming of people from around world showing a glimpse of where they are and what is happening in that part of the world right now. Live viewers can ask questions or comment directly to the person doing the periscope and they respond in real time. There is a world map and you can zoom in on any location to see who is live right at that moment.
Note, you don’t need a Periscope account to see any live feeds or replays though it helps because you will get a message when someone that you follow starts streaming live and only users with an account can post messages to the speaker.
All scopes (which are what each video streaming session is called) only last for 24 hours so it pays to be following someone so as not to miss out on anything they share.
How can Periscope help me learn English?
You can follow periscope accounts that have been created specifically for people learning English. Usually they are ESL teachers or schools but it is also good to follow native speakers that are not teachers to get a real taste of the language. Yesterday I watched someone in Paris while they were preparing breakfast (great for helping me with my French vocabulary and getting used to the accent). A moment later I was watching someone driving around Rome (they were the passenger) so I could see some local sights of the real, non-touristy Rome and listen to the comments she was making in Italian (yes, another language I am learning).
Note: at night, especially on the weekend, I noticed that you will encounter more people that are in “party” mode which may not be the optimal moment to try and learn a language.. but you sure can have a laugh watching what they are up to.
Yes, sometimes you will stumble across people that don’t say much and just look at the screen while they play with their hair. Just skip to the next person if they are not interesting enough.
Woodward English on Periscope
What will I be doing with it? Well, every now and then I will give the English word of the day with its meaning and example sentence. This is the same one I put on Twitter every day, but now you will have a chance to HEAR the pronunciation of it and ask any questions you may have with it. Of course I won’t be able to do this every day but I’ll do it whenever I can.
Other times I may have an open question and answer session for any doubts you may have. This will also be a great way for me to get ideas for new charts and grammar pages and also just to interact with everyone.
If you know of any good periscopers that are good for learning English (or French or Italian for me), then please let me know on Twitter or Facebook or even in one of my live scopes.
I look forward to interacting with everyone.
– Rob W.