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How to Learn English With Movies

Do you like movies? If you don’t, you may wish to start watching them, not only for the entertainment...

Avatar Written by Emi Ilievska · 2 min read >
Watching movies

Do you like movies? If you don’t, you may wish to start watching them, not only for the entertainment value, but also for the purpose of learning English. Moving pictures and sound tell interesting stories and teach us something very useful. Watching movies is a fun way to improve your English.

Mother and son watching movies on a laptop

Some studies say that movies can be used effectively to develop different language skills such as speaking, listening, vocabulary acquisition and writing. The participants of those studies were extremely positive regarding the connections between watching movies and their language development. Speaking and listening were mentioned by almost all the participants who wanted to improve their English language. Another skill that can be developed as a result of watching movies is pronunciation. Pronunciation is one of the most significant aspects of language to be taught and learned.

Movies offer a more realistic representation of the world than traditional language-learning materials, such as textbooks. Learning through authentic situations increases motivation and makes watching movies more effective and beneficial with regard to learning English.

Besides language development, watching movies increases the cultural awareness of the learners. Culture and language are interrelated skills.

So, grab your popcorn, sit back and enjoy learning English with these 6 tips:

1. Watch it again

If you are a beginner, watch a movie that you have already seen. The reason is that you are familiar with the plot so you can now focus on the English language. Also, you will be able to recall some words if a scene in the movie was very interesting to you. That’s why you should pick an interesting movie with which you are familiar.

2. Turn on subtitles

One of the very important aspects of learning this way, is that you can read something that you listen to. Because let’s be honest, how many times have you misheard a song lyrics and realized you’ve been singing it wrong. Also, you will learn how unfamiliar words are written.

Singing is also a good way to learn English, so you may want to watch a musical movie.

3. Use an online dictionary

When you hear a word with an unfamiliar meaning, which is repeated continuously, use an online dictionary to check it. It’s a lot faster to look up words nowadays on our phones. Yes, you will have to pause the movie, but hey, because you went through the trouble to find what that word means, you’ll not forget it in a hurry! And with online dictionaries such as Cambridge Dictionary, you can save them and build your own dictionary so you can refer to them later if you wish.

4. Watch a movie that suits you

Whilst it is important to watch a movie that you are interested in, it is more important is to select a movie that matches your current English level. If you are a beginner, you may want to start with a movie that will not engage your thoughts deeply, or which does not require a deeper understanding of culture and history, in order to stay focused mainly on the language. 

5. Rewind

It’s a great option that helps you repeat sections that you didn’t hear well or feel like you need to understand more. As the old saying goes „Repetition is the mother of all learning“ That’s why you will need to rewind but at the same time that is a step forward for your English. You have control, don’t rush it.

6. Turn off subtitles

When you’ve watched your favorite movie a couple of times try to watch it without subtitles. You will notice the difference. Now, it will be easier to hear and understand some words that you remembered, because you had trouble with them. If you don’t want to watch the whole movie without subtitles at least try some memorable scenes. 

Learning English is fun!

Written by Emi Ilievska
Emi is the Communications and Community Manager at English Forward. She has a Bachelors degree in e-Business and has been working in the eLearning industry for three years. She has previously managed social media for various brands from diverse industries, including health, technology, coaching, and education. Profile