dimanche 27 février 2011

iTunes U University lectures

The other day I was reading something somewhere.. a blog, a forum.. I can't remember and don't really keep track of WHERE I read things.. and someone mentioned iTunes U as a way of finding stuff to listen to to learn foreign languages.

• Load up iTunes which should be already installed on your computer
• Click on the left: iTunes store
• then once that loads, iTunes U in the bar on the top
• then click on Universities and Colleges.

Then you can search for all sorts of free things. At first I wanted to find stuff for learning French but I kind of got 'lost' and then realised I could find stuff about my favourite hot topics: relationships and jobs/careers! Actually, it wasn't even intentional.. I just accidentally stumbled on some lectures about these topics.

I found this 53 minute introductory lecture from UCLA about relationships which, to me, was really fascinating. The professor, Benjamin Karney, goes on to say that the happiest moments as well as the saddest moments in your life are likely to be ones shared with your intimate partner. I really agree with this. The death of a loved one is sad but to me, it does not even compare to the hurt and pain you go through after a relationship break-up. I think it's because you know people die and that's just life (er, death ;) ). Especially if someone is terminally ill or really old, you are already mentally prepared for their death. But with a relationship, you never start one thinking or expecting it's going to end and even if you realise it won't last long it still hurts a lot (at least it does with me. I don't know about other people. I know some cold people feel nothing afterwards and can just bounce back quickly...).

This is just the intro and there are further lectures. If you are interested in the psychology of relationships, I highly recommend watching these as the presenter is excellent.

And then onto my other favourite topic, I found a series of lectures about job searching from Seattle Pacific University such as this one. The presenters are not that professional but the content is pretty good. There's even a lecture about how to use LinkedIn for your job search (although for me, because I'm pretty good with technology, I found it really slow). There are also lectures on resume/cover letters and interview techniques, etc.

I highly recommend iTunes U. You can learn a whole heap of stuff there! (and it's free to download and watch). Or if you just love learning in general sometimes it's fun to listen to university lectures (especially when you can do so in your pyjamas and know that you won't have an exam or essay afterwards!)

To do a search for lectures on iTunes U use this link here: itms://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSearch.woa/wa/advancedSearch. You will need to have iTunes installed on your computer and the link will take you to a special search window inside the iTunes interface. Select iTunes U in the drop-down menu then type in your search terms.

There are a quite a lot of French learning lectures through the Open University. You can use search terms in French (ie 'français) to find native speaker level stuff, or lectures on various topics in French (but there aren't that many yet). Centre Régional de Documentation Pédagogique CRDP de l'académie de Versailles is the only one I've found. The good thing about their lectures is that they are sorted into A2, B1, B2 and C1 levels for you :) Great!

More tips for how to use iTunes U here.

If you want some more French listening practise, search 'bac oral' on YouTube (that is, the 'oral essay' exam the final year students have to do for their Baccalauréat exam).  If you can figure out what they are talking about it's actually more like 'bloopers' and it's hilarious. I wonder how the teachers keep a straight face! The 'racine carrée' one cracked me up.


Have fun!!


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