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How to learn English from TV shows and movies: 5 effective tips

The way you learn English from TV shows and movies combines several invaluable benefits. First of all, you get acquainted not with the literary, but with the real spoken language. In addition, the video sequence complements the speech with an audiovisual context: combinations of intonations, gestures, facial expressions and other details on the screen involve several of the viewer's senses at once, attract his attention, and improve the memorization of words. Writes about it Lifehacker.

Photo: Shutterstock

However, it must be recognized that even this method requires considerable effort on the part of the student. And without hard work on yourself, learning a language will not work.

1. Do not try to learn a language from TV shows and movies from scratch

Without basic knowledge of grammar and a basic stock of foreign words, it is hardly worth getting acquainted with the language of fiction. You simply cannot isolate the necessary constructions and individual words from the heard speech and systematize them, not knowing by what rules all these elements interact with each other.

Start with structured study materials: classes with a teacher, textbooks, courses.

They methodically, step by step explain how the language works, and form an idea of ​​its features. Study several textbooks or courses, reinforce the rules and vocabulary learned with their help, and then continue to learn the most used and useful words. Memorize common idioms, phrasal verbs and other constructions separately.

Once you have the basic knowledge of the language, start learning it through TV shows and films.

2. Choose videos that interest you and match your current language proficiency

Approach the choice of series and films sequentially: start with works with a simple set of words and gradually increase the complexity. If you don’t grasp the meaning of most replicas, then this video is not for you yet. Look for something simpler, and then return to the complex. For starters, children's films and animation are well suited. When you feel like reviewing your favorite movie, do it in English. If you already know the plot, it will be much easier to perceive a foreign language version.

On the subject: 21 free resources for practicing English at any age

Also consider the pronunciation and cultural environment reflected in the film. If you focus on American English, see pictures from the USA, prefer British - choose something shot in England. When you feel confident in one of the language options, fill in the gaps in knowledge of the other.

Also, learn from the series and movies you really like. This approach will increase your motivation and involvement in the educational process and positively affect the results.

3. Use subtitles correctly

Start with double subtitles. If you are not in the know, then for one video you can synchronously output two text streams in different languages. So, choosing English and your native language, you can always compare the literary translation and the original text of the remarks when you do not understand the pronunciation of the actors or hear unfamiliar words.

To use double subtitles, find a suitable player. For instance, KMPlayerwhere this option is enabled in the settings. Just pre-load text files for both languages ​​in, or any other resource. Online services like They also show double subtitles and do not require downloading anything.

As you progress in learning a language, try more often to do only English subtitles.

Include translation in extreme cases when you cannot guess the meaning even in context. Only in this way, in isolation from the native language, you will be able to immerse yourself in English as much as possible.

Upon reaching a high level, turn off all subtitles. Contact them only when absolutely necessary. Such tactics will help improve listening comprehension.

On the subject: Turquoise, terracotta, coral: complex colors and shades in English

4. Do not be lazy to return and disassemble difficult moments

Rewind and re-watch scenes that you cannot understand the first time. Listen to speech to catch the subtleties of pronunciation. If this greatly spoils the viewing pleasure, record the time of the points that need attention and return to them after the video ends. Or use the video bookmark function for this. You can also slow down too fast speech by slightly adjusting the playback speed.

5. Record and regularly repeat new phrases and words.

Study unfamiliar words purposefully, and not just passively pass through a video with or without subtitles. Otherwise, the replenishment rate of the vocabulary will remain extremely low, even if you start watching the film daily. Write down new words and constructions heard in films, learn them and repeat regularly.

If you want to minimize breaks in writing words or reading subtitles while watching, learn unfamiliar vocabulary from a specific video in advance. You can quickly extract new words from subtitles using various services.

Miscellaneous Movies English Educational program Special Projects

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