2.2 The History of YouTubeIn February 2005, YouTube was founded by Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, and Chad Hurley. In November 2006, the founders sold YouTube for Google’s subsidiaries (Bellis, 2018). YouTube very well known as a video sharing website, it allows users to watch, upload, rate, share, report and comment on videos. The content that is available on YouTube varies from video clips, TV show clips, documentary films, audio recordings, music videos, movie trailers, to live streams and educational videos (Almurashi, 2016).Furthermore, the most distinguishing quality of YouTube is that unlike many other social networks, YouTube does not require users to create an account before watching any content or searching for videos.
Users have the ability to search and watch videos anonymously on the website, but if users desired to comment, rate, or upload videos, then they will need to register for a Google account to get a username and a password, as you will not have the ability to engage with videos without an ID.
The majority of videos on YouTube are free and accessible for everyone. According to Kanani (2012), after his visit to Baghdad in 2009 and being enlightened by the local students and seeing how YouTube was able to connect them to the rest of the world, he began to believe that YouTube has the potential to become the next TV, but with less restrictions with more open, social, and fulfilling platform.2.2.1 Using YouTube in learning EnglishSince the mass spread of technology, students started to adapt visual learning studying materials in their studies such as, DVDs, TV programs, Documentary films, and YouTube. Films and videos have the ability to grasp other cultures and mentality. Also, by learning from videos, students are able to experience how native speakers of the language they are learning from behave in different interactive situations (Bjrami and Ismaili, 2016)ESL learners choose to use videos for learning English because they find it to be easy and entertaining at the same time. Kelsens (2009) conducted a survey that explores the opinion of EFL students in Taiwan about Using YouTube as Supplementary Material, the responses of the students varied from I love it’ to It’s wonderful’. Others commented with: I can learn more natural English’, It lets English be more interesting’ and It’s funny to see something out of book’.2.2.2 How to Use YouTube for Learning EnglishYouTube became full of a large amount of content since it became the center for virtual entertainment and video sharing, which makes it hard for users to find the soughed educational videos that they need. However, according to Pappas (2014), there are some useful techniques that help users to achieve a successful learning experience through YouTube. To start with, YouTube offers users the ability to create fully customizable playlists. Users can create their own playlist that consists of their chosen videos that will help them expand their knowledge about the topics they need, which makes it an excellent tool for accompanying guides and learning courses without the necessity of providing individual links for each video. In addition, Learners can add an interactive and collaborative aspect to their eLearning experience by having collaborations through group YouTube projects and having group discussions online.Correspondingly, Lweis (2018) claimed that if learners’ knew exactly what they were looking for, YouTube can become an excellent source of learning for them. Through YouTube’s search box, learners can easily find many teaching videos about their target language. Moreover, YouTube has a very helpful feature, where it recommends similar videos that are suitable for the learners’ level watching certain educational videos. Lweis (2018) also suggest that learners can mix between entertainment and learning at the same time by watching TV shows and movies in their target language while writing down words that they may find difficult.That is to say, YouTube is English learners’ best friend. It is because of ESL teachers that have been willing to turn the camera on themselves; learners are able to find thousands of videos that can help them improve their English language skills. Although it can be hard sometimes to find good quality English learning videos, Giordano (2018) recommends some YouTube channels that can help steer ESL learners toward some of the best ESL content on YouTube. British Council LearnEnglish, this channel is the official channel of the British Council. The videos include skits of real-life scenarios and animated grammar lessons. For beginning ESL learners, JenniferESL videos make learners feel as if they are learning from a caring tutor. Her videos are assisted with colorful slides and graphics and the cover a wide variety of topics. Another resource for beginners is, Learn English. This channel consists of staged skits and basic English lessons, complete with graphics, subtitles, and visuals. Learners can also save time by watching short lessons from the channel ESL Basics, this channel provides mini-lesson on vocabulary, phrasal verbs, and idioms.