CC (Closed Caption)
Last night I watched the TV program "Beverly Hills Cop". (I like this kind of movie. Now I am writing this column while watching "Die Hard".)
I have been in San Diego since last October. And I think "Beverly Hills Cop" was broadcasted over 4 times within these 4 months. Some channels play same movies twice in a day. ("Beverly Hills Cop II" was also played. But I wanted to watch "III" !)
I mean, It is no problem for ESL people. Movies are a good place to practice listening. I can train repeatedly.
One of the good systems of American TV is closed caption. I know, It is developed for hard-of-hearing people. But it is also very useful for ESL people. We can understand English conversation with closed caption more easily. If same TV program is broadcasted repeatedly, firstly, I watch it with "cc", and next I try to understand it without "cc".
DVD is also good training for listening. Most of DVD movies have the "cc" option. I have a "Friends" DVD-set. (It is a good deal. 4 disk-pack is only 35 bucks. And each disk includes 6 episodes, over 2 hours!)
I think one of the good point in US is the careful systems for disabled people. We can find parking spaces for disabled people everywhere. Most buildings are designed with stepless slope. And sometime these systems are good for not only disabled people.
In this point, Japan is still a developing country. Now, Japanese are trying to change many society systems to be good for disabled people. Many buildings and houses still have many steps and most of TV programs are played without closed caption. And these are not only bad for disable people, but for foreign people. If you visit Japan, you can find some beautiful views, kind people, safe living. But sometimes you would feel some inconvenience because many billboards are written only in Japanese and many TV program are broadcasted only in Japanese without "cc".
But please don't dislike Japan for only these reasons. I think such difference of society systems were caused by historical and geographical backgrounds. I'd like to write my opinions on these points another time.