Here's one from the "One more reason not to block YouTube" files: Univision will be posting its content for free on YouTube. The details announced yesterday provide easy access to programming online for a quickly growing segment of the US population. Just as importantly from an educational perspective, though, Spanish language teachers and those working with English language learners will have ready access to a large library of materials.
There is, perhaps, no better way to learn a language than through immersion. While many curricula include supplemental materials allowing students to hear languages spoken by a variety of voices, the ability to access free, current materials is a real boon to language instruction. Better yet, these materials can be searched and embedded. Whether showing excerpts or full episodes, all instructors need is an Internet connection. Want supplemental materials for home? Just assign a bit of YouTube viewing. They're doing it anyway, right?
As PC World explains,
Essentially, Univision could make its content ubiquitous, while American networks seem happy to keep their shows behind very specific gates.
Given that Spanish is arguably the single most important foreign language for US students to learn, ubiquity isn't a bad thing in this case. This also gives Spanish-speaking students one more thing in common with their English-speaking classmates: plenty of online video content with which they can relate (and that eventually, they'll be able to watch together with their classmates as easily as they can watch English YouTube videos).