Language learning with Netflix: from extensive to intra-formal learning
Keywords:Extensive learning, Netflix, German, Intra-formal language learning
This article introduces the concept of intra-formal learning. Building on approaches to extended learning (in reading, listening and viewing) it suggests that instead of extending learning from formal into personal learning spaces, learners should be encouraged to draw on informal learning experiences to extend learning opportunities in formal settings. The concept is illustrated through extended viewing. With the emergence of Netflix as a global provider of international and multi-lingual TV, language learners have unprecedented access to second language video. Mainstream media has picked up on the opportunities of this resource for language learning, as have many informal language learners who share their experiences on social media. The pilot study presented in this article examines the viewing behaviour of 12 intermediate German language students who engaged in out-of-class viewing of self-selected German TV series over a period of three weeks. Drawing parallels between principles of extensive learning and emerging patterns from the data analysis of the participants’ reflective blog entries, the findings suggest that the principles of variety and frequency apply similarly to extensive and intra-formal learning, and that appropriate use of learning strategies develop through reflective viewing.
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