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Can You Learn English By Watching Movies?

But does this approach really work? In today’s article, we are asking whether or not you can learn English by watching movies, and if so, what are the best ways to get the most out of that experience?

Can You Learn English By Watching Movies

Can You Learn English by Watching Movies?

  • The most important thing when it comes to learning English from films is to follow your own interests.
  • Secondly, sticking as close as possible to movies about real-life is also more likely to be of more use.
  • Thirdly, using subtitles while watching is another critical step that some forget. These three points and more we will expand upon in the following sections.

Benefits of Learning English Watching Movies:

When we say learn English watching movies, it is a tried and tested method that comes with loads of advantages.

  • Cultural Immersion: Immersing oneself in movies is like taking a virtual trip to English-speaking regions. By watching movies, you’re indirectly participating in celebrations, understanding humor, and learning about the culture.
  • Natural Dialogues: Classroom English often tends to be structured and, to an extent, sanitized. But real-world conversations? They’re unpredictable and organic. Films provide a window to such exchanges, from heated arguments to heartfelt confessions.
  • Varied Accents: English isn’t just one language. It’s a range of accents and dialects, each with its own charm and level of ease of understanding! A movie from Australia, for instance, would sound distinctly different from one produced in London or New York.

Movie Recommendations to Learn English:

  • Forrest Gump: This isn’t just about a man’s journey through life. It’s a linguistic trip through American history, politics, and social culture. The language is mostly straightforward, making it easy for learners to follow.
  • Pride and Prejudice: For lovers of classic English, this is a treat. The setting, the narrative, and the dialogues provide a deep dive into British English of the past. The conversations, while intricate, are a great exercise for intermediate and advanced learners.
  • Toy Story: Ideal for beginners and children, The language is contemporary and straightforward, making it an excellent choice for those starting their English journey. Plus, it introduces a host of everyday situations and emotions, each a learning opportunity.
Can You Learn English By Watching Movies

How to learn English by Watching movies.

Next, let’s look in more detail at how to get the most out of watching movies to improve your English. The following tips should help ensure that each film you choose makes a net contribution to your language learning.

Follow Your Interests

Stick Close to Real-Life

Turn On the Subtitles

Can You Learn English By Watching Movies

Watch with Native Speakers If You Can

Another good tip here is to find native English-speaking friends to watch films with you, if possible.

Interactive Movie Watching Activities

  • Pause and Repeat: Movies often contain dialogues delivered with natural speed and intonation. Pausing to replay a specific line or dialogue ensures you grasp the pronunciation and meaning of each word.
  • Role-Playing: Transform your living room into a mini theater. Choose a memorable scene, and try to emulate the characters, mimicking their speech patterns, emotions, and gestures.
  • Movie Reviews: After the credits roll, take a moment to jot down your impressions, opinions, or critiques about the film — in English. This exercise encourages you to process and convey your thoughts coherently.

Incorporate Writing into the Experience

  • Film Summaries: After watching a movie, try to write a concise summary capturing the plot, character arcs, and key events. This encourages you to recall and describe details
  • Character Diaries: Choose a prominent character from the film and imagine their thoughts or experiences that weren’t shown on screen. Pen down a diary entry from their perspective.
  • Opinion Pieces: Beyond just reviews, delve into opinion pieces regarding themes, character motivations etc. This not only improves your English but also helps with critical thinking and the ability to present arguments effectively.

Integrating Movies with Traditional Learning Methods:

  • English Courses: Courses provide the necessary grammar, vocabulary, and foundational elements that movies might gloss over. A classroom environment or online forum can also provide opportunities to discuss the movie’s language.
  • Textbook Exercises: Use textbook exercises that follow the themes or topics the movie explored. If you’ve watched a film centered around a family reunion, for example, you might opt for exercises that explore family vocabulary.
  • Practice Conversations: using dialogues based on movie scenes is an effective way to practice spoken English. Choose a memorable dialogue or scenario, and practice it with a partner or tutor.

Challenges of Learning English Watching Movies: Being Aware

  • Complex Phrasings: English movies, especially genres like period dramas or fantasy, sometimes delve into old style or poetic forms of the language. While they offer rich vocabulary, they might not always reflect day-to-day conversational English.
  • Fast-paced Dialogues: Modern films, action sequences, or heated debates within movies can feature rapid dialogues. These instances can be overwhelming for beginners or even intermediate learners. It’s okay to feel lost occasionally. Rewatch these portions or use them as exercises to improve listening speed over time.
  • Lack of Grammar Focus: Movies showcase the language in its most natural form without structured lessons on grammar rules. They’re fantastic for exposure but shouldn’t be the sole method of learning. Pair your movie sessions with traditional learning resources like textbooks, online courses.



I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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