Using movies and other media to increase your proficiency in a foreign language is great if you cannot afford to travel and immerse yourself into a particular language. If you’re a beginner, it’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with common phrases and cultural nuances.

In order to help language learners on their path to proficiency, a program called Lingual Media Player (LaMP) was created that allows two subtitle tracks to be played alongside a movie or video.

So if you wanted to learn Spanish as a native English speaker, you could load two separate files and learn new words and phrases on the fly, as the program can be set to pause after a phrase is said.

LaMP even allows users to load YouTube videos within the program to test or develop their skills. While watching a video, you can also double-check the translation with Bing or Google Translate right in the program.

The idea that subtitles on movies can help language learners is not new. The developers of LaMP cite same-language sutitling (SLS) — which originated in India as an inexpensive way to boost literacy rates — on the program’s official website.

“Initially, SLS was used to teach reading to predominantly illiterate poor population in India. Later, researchers started to investigate the relationship between the subtitles and foreign language acquisition. It turned out that both children and adults who watched videos with subtitles in the target language were significantly better than the ones who used subtitles in their first language or didn’t use them at all.”

Lingual Media Player (LaMP) is a free, Windows-only application, compatible with XP, Vista, and 8. It is also available with limited features on the web.

Related: Learn a Language for Free with Duolingo

Source: AddictiveTips via Lifehacker