Magazine topic: 
Entertainment
Total votes: 178

Films - a great way to learn English

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by : 
RosemaryM

Films provide more than just entertainment. For many people, watching foreign language films is a way to develop their language skills. Whilst watching a film you are immersed in the language and can pick up new expressions that you might not find in a textbook. Some difficulties can arise when watching foreign language films - for example, unfamiliar colloquial language or strong regional accents. With this in mind, here are my tips to ensure you get the most enjoyment possible out of watching a film in English.

Choose a film genre that you enjoy.
If you like action films, watch an action film - for example, Indiana Jones. If you prefer comedies, watch a comedy - anything with Hugh Grant in always provides a laugh! It's simple enough, but if you choose something you enjoy watching in your native language, you're more likely to enjoy it in English. 

Choose something that you are familiar with.
It's best to start off with something simple; this way you have a higher chance of understanding the content of the film. Disney films, such as The Lion King or the more recently released Tangled, are classic examples. Other animations such as Up and The Lego Movie are also worth a watch. The recently released Paddington is also an enjoyable and entertaining film.

Ask friends for advice.
Perhaps you have friends who have already seen an English film? If so, they may be able to recommend you a film. 

If you need to, use the subtitles.
For beginners, subtitles are very useful. Using subtitles in your own language is the easiest option, but for more advanced learners why not consider using English subtitles? This way, you can match the written subtitles to the words spoken on screen, helping you to develop your language further.

If you don't know where to begin, here are some suggestions:

Harry Potter - an obvious suggestion but nonetheless a fantastic series which can be enjoyed by people of any age.

Home Alone - for anyone still in a festive mood, this is a great comedy which takes place over the Christmas holidays.

The King's Speech - perhaps a little more difficult, but for those who like biopics this film won't disappoint.

Leap Year - for those who like romantic comedies, this one is highly entertaining!

I hope you find these tips useful - if you want to recommend a film to other users feel free to use the comments section below!

Discussion

Do you think that watching films in English is a good way to learn? 

Comments

Mememaster01's picture
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Mememaster01 8 December, 2019 - 15:18

Hi, watching films and series is great way to learn English and have fun. I recommend new one 'The Mandalorian'. Also good way to learn English is playing multiplayer games.

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1 user has voted.
Cintia15's picture
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Cintia15 6 July, 2017 - 22:27

I like some movies in inglish because the voices of the movies are better than the movies in spanish. And my favority movie is megamind.

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15 users have voted.
fghfgh's picture
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fghfgh 6 July, 2017 - 22:25

I like watching movies in English to learn new grammar and vocabulary, my favourite movies are "Need for Speed", "Transformers", "the girl of my dreams".
The comedy films in English are very funny.

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14 users have voted.
AlanUper's picture
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AlanUper 6 July, 2017 - 22:19

Hi...... in my opinion learning English through watching films is not only a fun way to learn but also very effective, my favorite movie is "CALLED A WAY HOME" a bit sad but has a very good message....

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11 users have voted.
josue6699's picture
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josue6699 6 July, 2017 - 22:18

Hi
I think watching movies in English is the best way to learn it. Because you can practice vocabulary and how to pronunce the words.

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14 users have voted.
karly's picture
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karly 6 July, 2017 - 22:18

Hello mi name is karina, I am from Mexico and I never watch movies in English, but by seeing the comments it is very good option to be able to have a good vacubulary and can speak with most people.

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14 users have voted.
ValeriaZoe's picture
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ValeriaZoe 6 July, 2017 - 22:17

HELLO!
I'm from MEXICO and i always watch movies with my family in English and this helps me a lot with my vocabulary, is a good way to practice, and learn, it is really fun! The best comedy on English is Night at the Museum! is really fun!

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15 users have voted.
danielcastro98's picture
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danielcastro98 26 August, 2015 - 02:22

I'm from colombia and i always watched movies with my father in english and this help me much with my vocabulary

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43 users have voted.
9maj2001's picture
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9maj2001 27 June, 2015 - 19:40

Watching movies is the best way to learn english because when we see the subtitles in our language and listen the words in english our mind understand more

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41 users have voted.
SnakeV's picture
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SnakeV 27 June, 2015 - 15:09

When it comes to learning English, there are lots of ways and methods and it depends on each of us but I think that using English movies is one of the best ways. We can learn lots of skills at the same time. While we are watching we can improve vocabulary, how to pronounce, we can copy what the actor and actress are doing, and so on.

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37 users have voted.
NATALYY's picture
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NATALYY 9 June, 2015 - 09:03

Yes I think-I have learnt Italian like that.English is very dificult for me!I'm hardworker:-)but still don't see results.

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44 users have voted.
Silvermist's picture
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Silvermist 19 April, 2015 - 17:34

Watching English films does help it s lost to improve both spoken English and the vocabulary. But the production of the film matters whether it is American or British according to what trait we follow

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41 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 2 April, 2015 - 09:29

Absolutely! But sometimes I'm concerned about which film to see for language learning…. I don't want to be fluent like a historical play actor or speak like a native hoody or a native kid! It's a tough choice between a great film I like and a simple film for learning...

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46 users have voted.
hadia's picture
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hadia 2 April, 2015 - 08:20

Yeah! I think that watching English films is a superb source of improving English because of this we can improve our speaking and reading skills and surely will add to our vocabulary If you feel difficulty start with English cartoons and if you feel that you are ready now.... then start watching English movies and you will also feel the difference in your accent and no doubt your pronunciation will be far better! Try it and feel the difference!

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44 users have voted.
Ken's picture
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Ken 9 June, 2015 - 13:42

We watched a film, 'Hatch' in our English class today. We, high school boys, really enjoyed the story and learned some of the useful phrases. I hope we're at least improving our listening skill!

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42 users have voted.
hadia's picture
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hadia 28 June, 2015 - 12:24

Hey ken~! I'm glad that you watched and feel the difference..................Well you're quite right...If atleast you're improving your listening skills it's far more better than to just waste time here and there.....Even listening different things help you to increase your speaking habits like pronouncing different words correctly!...................I wish best of luck to u for your listening sills practice!
!~Stay Blessed~!

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32 users have voted.
Lavender's picture
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Lavender 12 March, 2015 - 02:47

I have two movies with British accent to recommend. The first movie I think you should watch is “About time”, starring Rachel McAdams (she’s from “Mean Girls”). The movie is about a man who can go back in time, the story of his travel to the past to change his mistakes implies a life message, that we only have one life to live, so try to have good attitude and love our family. The second movie I find entertaining is “Stardust”, it’s kind of a fairy tale about the love between a fallen star and a boy (who will become a king in the future).

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39 users have voted.
RosemaryM's picture
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RosemaryM 12 March, 2015 - 13:09

Hi Lavender,

Those are both great suggestions! "About Time" is one of my favourite films - Rachel McAdams is a really good actress. She is also in a film called "The Time Traveller's Wife", which is similar to "About Time".

I hope you continue to enjoy watching English language films!

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45 users have voted.
LoveSnake's picture
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LoveSnake 1 March, 2015 - 12:09

This way of learning English is my cup of tea. It's a rare opportunity to combine enjoyable and useful.
You can choose any genre which you like and watch the film admiring your favorite actors' voices instead of boring dubbed version.
However, if the watching films is my piece of advice to you as way of learning English it would contain some "but" as there are two sides that has any way of learning.
First of all, you will most likely choose an American film because of a number of which the Hollywood make. Choosing this one you will meet dirty English where exist some changes in pronunciation and features of dialect.
One more "but" is the completeness of learning.
You will unlikely meet some English grammar rules during watching.
Anyway you will have to find such information in books.
In spite of all mentioned above it's the most interesting and enjoyable way of learning.

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40 users have voted.
RosemaryM's picture
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RosemaryM 2 March, 2015 - 14:48

Hi!

It's true that there are a lot of American films out there in the English language. However, there are some great British films which shouldn't be missed! Recent films such as 'The Theory of Everything' and 'The Imitation Game' are both great British productions; as they are historical biopics the pronunciation is clear to understand. Classics such as 'Oliver!' and 'The Railway Children' may have clearer pronunciation for learners of English to understand. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is one of my all-time favourite British films! You are quite right that grammar in films is not textbook-grammar; however as other readers have noted, it tends to reflect the grammar used in spoken English.

 

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47 users have voted.
RGA's picture
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RGA 28 February, 2015 - 06:04

I think it helps a lot to actually learn the "natural" usage of a language. You will learn a lot of informal words which you don’t find in the dictionary, it will help you to chat and have a good conversation with people and also you can improve your listening skills. However, you should choose films attentively, because some films have: the hardly understood speech, not correct pronunciation etc. As a result, you can be disappointed.

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40 users have voted.
RosemaryM's picture
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RosemaryM 27 February, 2015 - 19:37

It's great to see that some of you have mentioned English language films that you have enjoyed so other members can check them out too! I hope you all continue to enjoy learning English through films (as well as other mediums!) :)

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40 users have voted.
212Atk's picture
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212Atk 26 February, 2015 - 17:04

In my opinion learning English through watching films in the original is not only a fun way to learn but also very effective. By watching English films you can acquire a good stock of common words and improve your listening skills. After all, learning through enjoy is always more intresting than to grind at your English. The only problem is that you may not understand every word the actors say. Therefore for the beginners it is far better to watch films with English subtitles. I prefer to watch old films because the pronunciation there tends to be clear, although some of the expressions may be out of date.

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39 users have voted.
english_student94's picture
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english_student94 26 February, 2015 - 15:13

I also think that watching films is the best and the most effective way to learn English language. For some students listening to the teacher's explanation at the lesson is very undertaking, so they have an opportunity to watch films in English just lying on the bed and eating pop-corn and at the same time they learn English. Even if it's not their point, they remember smth(i mean words, constructions etc) subconsciously. You can also improve your pronunciation listening to the actors' speech. But you should be aware of slang, accents, colloquial language. So, watch films in English,intertain and learn at the same time. All the best)P.S. i advice to watch such movies as Sherlock Holmes, they use British English. Its very good

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43 users have voted.
NKjk's picture
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NKjk 25 February, 2015 - 20:44

I consider watching films in English is a good way to improve your language skills. Through watching films you can observe how language is spoken and how intonation is performed by many native English speakers. In addition, you can learn much about colloquial language. Moreover, I believe watching films is a lot of fun. It gives you emotions and, if you decide to watch them in English, you will certainly get much more positive emotions from films.

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39 users have voted.
Ness__212's picture
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Ness__212 25 February, 2015 - 17:30

Watching films in the original is a good way to learn English language for non-native speakers. To my mind, it may be any genre of the film: comedy or thriller, drama or cartoon, documentary film or science fiction. The main thing is that you can hear the speech of English speaker. By watching films it is easier for us to remember and imitate the intonation of native speakers. I like watching films in English because while watching I have the great opportunity to enrich my vocabulary with many colloquial words and phrases which are quite necessary in real communication.
The last film I`ve seen in the original was «The Illusionist». I was really impressed by the acting and the way the actors speak English.

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42 users have voted.
dariamazitova's picture
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dariamazitova 20 February, 2015 - 14:46

I agree with this post. Moreover, I guess that learning English through watching films is the most effective way. You can train everything, with the exception of oral speech. You work on audition: you learn to understand the speech of the partner and catch the important information. But this is not the adapted record, this is such speech that you could meet in everyday life, for instance, when you're communicating with a foreigner. Besides, you learn a new lexicon. Not literary one, but that can be useful when you go abroad. I noticed such regularity that actors use phrasal verbs very often. There are a lot of them in movies. But you have to be careful with the movies you have chosen for watching. Because sometimes the harmless slang can turn into obscene abuse. Good luck in learning English!

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38 users have voted.
IloveallinConan's picture
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IloveallinConan 4 February, 2015 - 12:52

yes, I think that watching films is a good way to learn English (namely all disney movies) this is my favourite films in English.

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37 users have voted.
iva16's picture
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iva16 26 January, 2015 - 15:07

Yes I think that watching films is a good way to learn English.The best comedy on English is mask,watch it it s very funny.

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39 users have voted.
Darbinizrade's picture
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Darbinizrade 8 January, 2015 - 18:07

I think,watcing movies in English is one of the best ways to learn english.Because,when you watch a movie,you improve your listening skills,you learn new words etc. and while doing this you enjoy the movie. As researchers say;If you improve your listening skills,you improve your oral skills automatically.Believe me,it works.After watching and English movie try to speak in English,you'll see the difference.

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37 users have voted.