One of the best ways to learn a language is by consuming content relevant to your life. Food is a topic relevant to everyone, and cooking is a hobby for many. This makes cooking videos one of the first places learners might go when looking for relevant content to gain new vocabulary. The best part is that the advantages even go beyond the relevance to daily life.
Something that makes them somewhat unique in comparison to other authentic content is that cooking videos essentially have vocabulary lists built in. Every recipe has a list of ingredients with amounts and, often, units of measurement. After giving learners this vocabulary list, cooking videos go on to use the vocabulary in context repeatedly and naturally.
The context is very helpful. Ingredients are generally shown clearly as they are mentioned. The person cooking also describes actions done with the ingredients and often mentions cooking utensils and appliances.
Another advantage is that all levels can benefit. Beginners who don’t understand much can still catch ingredients that get mentioned repeatedly. More advanced learners can learns terms for more obscure dishes and ingredients.
Besides being a good learning tool, they can also be entertaining. This can help a lot with motivation. Learners can cook the food that they are learning about and make it into a whole project. They can also learn about recipes that they otherwise never would have heard about.
The disadvantages are few and not major. Cooking videos can get repetitive. Although they are great for all levels, there might be a bit of diminishing returns. However, no matter what source you use, you should have a balanced language learning routine and consume content on a variety of subjects anyway. There is also a risk of not following the recipe correctly, especially at beginner stages. Make sure to check anything you aren’t sure about and make sure that what you’re doing makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with looking up words when you’re not sure. Also, you don’t have to start cooking immediately, especially at lower levels. They can be fun to just watch.
Cooking videos are a great way to keep language learners engaged. They can be very effective ways to build vocabulary, and make the learning process a lot more interesting.