This is a good topic. Thankyou for starting it, New2Commuting.
[quote=“twocs”]FWIW, S.D. Krashen said that nobody has ever learned a language by watching TV. Since that time I have given up trying to learn Chinese by watching children’s TV shows.[/quote]Do you remember where or when he said that? I don’t doubt you at all, just interested.
Presumably he was referring to the necessity for comprehensible input. Most of the input has to be comprehensible for acquisition to take place. And I find that when I watch Mandarin-language TV, most of the input is incomprehensible so it’s frustrating and inefficient at best.
I sometimes watch the dubbed animal programmes on National Geographic and Discovery, though. I have learned a few Chinese words (mostly spoken, a few character recognition as well) through that. And the programmes are relaxing enough that I can just watch the pictures and not stress about the incomprehensible input flowing through my ears.
I do think that TV can be of benefit to those who have reached what Krashen calls an “intermediate level” – that is, when one has acquired enough language to be able to continue to acquire on one’s own.
I have met several people who have attained good fluency mostly through comprehensible input in the form of TV movies. At least that’s what they told me and I have no reason to doubt them. Obviously they will have had other forms of instruction first.