“Have you seen this video?” “You have to see this video.” For the students belonging to the digital natives (Prensky, 2001), these phrases are used frequently to express their enthusiasm and overwhelming interest in new and fascinating videos that they have found via the Internet. These commonplace phrases also demonstrate their genuine desire to share and discuss what they have found. Inspired by Chinnery’s (2008) column in which he describes Google-Assisted Language Learning, this column aims to accomplish a similar feat with regard to YouTube. The descriptions offered here are geared towards integrating the practice of creating, watching, and sharing YouTube videos, which appeals to the current generation of students, into foreign language teaching and learning. To accomplish this, there is a description of the brief history of YouTube and its impact on society, and of the defining characteristics of the digital natives and their unique educational needs. This is followed by an explanation of how YouTube can be used to bridge the gap between satisfying the particular educational needs of the students and meeting the demands of foreign language education.
Language Learning and Technology