Learning English at the Movies

 In Learn English

You might know some people who think that movies and TV shows are useless forms of entertainment. Well, if you’re an ESL student who wants to continue improving your English language skills outside the classroom, American movies and TV shows can be a great tool.

How To Watch And Learn

Now, it’s not about of just sit back with your feet up, and a giant bowl of popcorn.  Learning English while watching movies is an active exercise.  Follow these steps to improve your English language skills while you watch movies and TV shows:

  1. Select a movie or TV show that’s appropriate to your English level.
  2. Turn on the English language subtitles. Words can fly by, and character accents, or emotions can make it hard to hear and understand the spoken words.
  3. If you’re more comfortable using your native language subtitles, do it.   This should be a fun exercise.  But, try to move on from translating English to your own language.  Remember, constant translating back and forth from your native language to English is a crutch that will slow down your English language comprehension.
  4. Use the pause and rewind functions to replay parts of the movie or TV show that you don’t understand.
  5. Try to speak along with one of the characters. You’ll get a better feel for the natural pace of spoken English, and learn intonation, word stress, and pronunciation.
  6. Pick a two-person scene that’s just a few minutes long, and get it down cold. Recruit a friend to play the other part, and act it out. Record yourselves, and become YouTube celebrities! Hearing your own spoken English will help you see where your pronunciation needs work.

Watching movies and TV shows can be a fun way to improve your English speaking skills.  You’re hearing English spoken by native speakers at a natural pace.  You’re learning slang, and idiomatic expressions Americans use regularly.  And, you’re watching movies and learning English!

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