Created :
December 5, 2022
|Updated :
December 5, 2022
Written By :
Pragyan Sharma

Why just learning from YouTube is not sufficient?

Table of Contents

    If you don’t find something on Google, where else do you head?


    YouTube is the search engine when you need to learn something new. Whether it’s a tutorial or a new language!

    If you search on YouTube “learn english”, here’s what you get:

    But is it sufficient?

    You can learn anything through short videos. But they are only good for a short span. Though they attract all age groups, they lack a proper system.

    YouTube has many content creators with millions of subscribers. And the audience entertains themselves by giving likes, dislikes, and comments.

    In fact, 40% of teenagers think their favourite content creators understand them better than their real-life friends.

    But there’s a catch. YouTube works in a vicious cycle:

    The creators create content to get more likes and views - viewer engagement drives them - creators keep bringing different ideas to attract them.

    Hence, viewers see what they want to see. And creators create more ways and ideas to keep them engaged. Watching and learning from videos is addictive. It is also a shortcut for learning instead of opening a book.

    But in all of this, they lack something important - providing a better learning approach. While videos can be a fun way of learning, it makes you lose the real purpose of learning.

    So, is YouTube not enough to learn a language? Here are the reasons why it isn’t:

    High on information, less on time

    YouTube videos are short and include a high-intensity of information. They are informative but don’t give you enough time to grasp them. The creators keep points heavily loaded but they have to explain them in lesser time.

    Why? Because of the short span of viewers, videos are effective only for a shorter period.

    Views > information.

    An average viewer engages in the first 30 seconds. And after the 1-minute mark, around 45% of the viewers stop watching. The time-window is very short.

    Most creators would want to limit their content under 10 minutes. If anything goes beyond that, they risk losing their viewership. It’s also because of the short attention span of viewers.

    It works on the concept of “Out of sight, out of mind.” If someone asks what did you learn watching this video? It would be difficult to recall and recollect.

    Hence, you can clear your concepts with these videos. But they are not enough to make you remember them for long. Visual aids go hand-in-hand with learning material. You have to practice also what you learnt.

    Abrupt learning without any planning

    Learning is an ongoing process. You have to stay focused throughout the session. It happens in face-to-face interactive sessions because you get to ask questions immediately.

    While watching videos, you skip some parts. You also don’t listen properly because there is no one to keep a check.

    YouTube videos work that way because they don’t have a curriculum to follow. They create syllabi on the go based on the wishes of the viewers.

    While you can rewind and pause, but are you going to take notes from it? Notes are important to keep a check on all that you have learnt. And it also makes you more focused, because you write down what you saw.

    Videos might be a better way to process information, but they don’t let you remember it for long. It’s a shorter version presented to you.

    For example, you are watching a summary of how your body language affects your conversations. You would also want to know some real-life examples of it. Videos would either show a collection of images, or people talking to each other. They won’t show how an actual conversation will go on.

    Most students learn English for cracking interviews where they need to work on their delivery too. That is not possible by watching only videos. And even if you have made notes, its difficult to practice them. The reason is, there isn’t any benchmark that you can compare with it.

    Too many options to select

    A simple search would give you many options to select from. Every day YouTube receives around 500 hours of video content through uploads. That’s a crazy amount of video content!

    Imagine, you search for “how to maintain eye contact”. The query is not clear. And you might get many unrelated videos. Your search intent was the communication skill. However, YouTube might show results like:

    “how to talk with your eyes”

    Are these related to your queries? No. Then why do they pop up? Because YouTube works on the algorithm of showing the most watched videos, and shows videos with highest views in that category.

    Videos don’t leave enough for imagination

    Videos don’t leave enough for imagination. You already see the things happening in front of your eyes. But, reading makes you creative and increases your imagination.

    Reading is basically a bigger workout for your brain. It processes an imaginary scenario where you can apply the information you just learnt. And that situation is different for everyone, based on their experiences. This makes reading personalized.

    Watching video limits that power. It defines the extent to which you can use that information. When you apply what you learnt from a video, you would probably do exactly how you saw in a video. This makes videos generalized.

    Probably why different ideas for creating videos usually stem from books. And it’s not vice versa. For example, Game of Thrones lost track when it reached 8th season because the writer George R. R. Martin didn’t have books ready. It lacked content and hence, the imagination to display it.

    No personalized mentoring

    YouTube lacks the personal touch of having one-on-one interactions. First, you don’t know the person who is in the video. And second, they also have no idea who watches this video.

    Hence, it becomes difficult to establish a relationship. But when there’s a face that you look to, it gives a personal touch. The relationship a tutor and a student has is not the same between a content creator and his viewers.

    Also, a personal mentor guides you when you go wrong. You can make mistakes in the session and they would tell you how to correct them.

    They also give you better insight on where you lack in the skills. And based on that, they give you exercises to upgrade them. Plus, videos don’t let you track your performance.

    Because you don’t have anything to compare it against, you don’t know where you stand. Perosnalized mentoring gives you enough scope to track your performance.

    BBR English has personalized live courses with a mentor to guide you on your journey to learn English communication skills. You can sign up for the first session at Rs. 499.

    No scope for clearing doubts and answers

    The only way to ask a question on YouTube videos is to leave a comment on the video. And chances are the creators might not even bother looking at it. Even if they look at it, it depends on them if they want to address it in the next video.

    Hence, there is no scope of acknowledging your doubts. If you have a new question on a topic or an opinion, the only way to express it is through a comment. Whereas, if you have someone who focuses on your progress and wants you to ask questions - you will learn better.

    And it happens only in the live online classes with a tutor in front of you.

    While there are many content creators who also live stream their content, they don’t interact with you personally. They can even bring some known personalities on their platform to give expert opinions. But it won’t be personalized according to each person watching it.

    Every person who watches these videos has their own specific challenges. Hence, they need a specific set of guidelines to work on their problem areas. The videos show a generalized approach to teach. It is not suitable for everyone.

    Makes you lose track of time

    They say, YouTube can lead you to some dark alleys if you keep browsing. It’s even ironic that short videos are time-consuming. It goes to the extent that YouTube starts recommending unrelated content based on the viewers’ interests.

    Views > information.

    Even though the videos are short, the “suggested videos” keep popping up after each one. And they are relevant for you only till a point. Sometimes you would start at learning English skills at workplace, and end up watching 10 videos on the same concept.

    And the suggested videos might even lead you to showing a video on “watch how the boss pranks the newest employee on his English speaking skills.”

    The crazy thing is I wrote that name of the video only as an example. And if you search for that, you WILL get such results. Like this:

    Videos aren’t enough to learn a skill.

    One of my recent favourites David Perell has a brilliant piece of advice on learning a skill. He says “If you want to learn a skill, don’t just consume information. Every activity has some unknown aspects. And you can only discover through the course of action.

    For example, I like watching Guitar videos on YouTube. When I try to learn from them, I focus on the chords the creator plays. But when I try it, I completely forget the hand movements and switching.

    So, I have to refer to the chord sheets after watching a video. When I read the chord diagrams, it’s easier to remember. And yet, what works best for me to learn this skill is joining an online learning course.

    So that I can apply what I learnt from videos, make mistakes, and have my tutor correct them. Same goes for learning English communication through an online course through BBR English.

    Final words: You apply what you learn from your knowledge level.

    When you are in the real world, you apply what you learnt from your own knowledge. And your knowledge is based on your personal level. That’s why BBR English foundation session focuses on individual challenges and creates a report based on that.

    The BBR English live 1:1 mentoring online learning courses have the perfect balance of personalized learning through visual aids and a curriculum based on your level.

    They help you form a connection with your “content creator”. The personalized approach lets you talk without any fear of judgment and the freedom to make mistakes. And that is the true purpose of learning.

    You can book your foundation session for just Rs. 499!

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