We have all been there.
“Hey, have you watched The Walking Dead series?”
“You need to watch it!”
Then, 1 week later, you haven’t had any human contact, you have watched all 7 seasons and your room is starting to smell a bit odd.
The wonderful thing about Netflix is that you can change the language of practically every series or film you are watching. You can even change the language of the subtitles! A few months ago, I started watching my all-time favourite series, Friends, on Netflix in preparation for my year abroad in France. I am now currently working as a language assistant in the Poitou-Charentes region. The idioms and fast-paced phrases I picked up from Friends have honestly been a huge help. Also, I have noticed that students who watch their favourite Netflix series in English have a higher level of spoken English.
Why you should watch your favourite series in the language you are learning:
- You get used to the sounds and different rhythms of the language.
- You can pick up colloquial phrases and words that are repeated.
- If you have already seen the episode or film, you already have an idea of the storyline. This will help you to learn new, specific vocabulary.
- If you are already spending an evening watching TV, why not watch it in the language you are learning?
Tips for fellow Netflix lovers:
- Relax! You don’t need to understand every single word. We work with context: use what is happening in the episode to work out what the word meant. I recommend letting the episode/film flow as it is likely the word will be repeated.
- Find a film that you love. Then re-watch it in English (or the language you’re learning) and turn off the subtitles! This will help you concentrate on the pronunciation of words.
- Watch something you enjoy, otherwise it will feel like homework. Remember that it will get easier the more you hear the language!
Now that both you and I are feeling a lot less guilty about our binge-watching weekends, I’m off to catch up on Orange Is the New Black …
Have you tried to watch a film in another language before? Did you find your language skills improved?