I have always found that watching television series and films in the language which you are learning a very helpful exercise. It is a fun and relaxing way to practise your comprehension skills, and pick up useful phrases and idioms that you might not hear otherwise. When I speak with my French friends here in Nancy, I often ask them if they can recommend any French series to me – but usually I am met with a grimace and a shrug! A lot of French people seem adamant that there are very few French series worth watching, and many people that I have spoken with prefer to watch English and American films and programmes.
From popular BBC period dramas like Downton Abbey, to feisty American dramas like Suits, it appears that Anglophone television is steadily taking over the world. The popularity of websites such as Netflix are testament to the growing audience of such shows and the large influence that television continues to have within our everyday lives. I have to say, I was more than a little disappointed when I realised I wouldn’t be able to use catch up websites like BBC iPlayer and 4OD during my time in France!
Nevertheless, I do think it is important to try and find things to watch in a language other than your mother tongue. Although most people I have met are at a loss to recommend French series to me, generally people have been a lot more enthusiastic and receptive if I ask them for a film recommendation! French films are often thought of as being very high-brow and sometimes avant-garde, but a lot of them are really accessible and very entertaining.
So whatever it is you like, try and find a film or a programme suited to you, and get on with improving your language skills!
Do you like to watch anglophone television? What are your favourite anglophone shows and films? Do you watch them in English or in your own language?