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How to Learn English with Movies Using Movie Techniques

You want to learn English with movies, but you do not know how?  You do not know which movies will help, how to learn watching them, as you cannot understand a lot what is being said.  In this video lesson we will go through the benefits of learning English with movies, tips to help you learn English with movies and finally a small exercise you can complete at home to learn English with movies.

Why learn English with movies?

  1. You will learn real English used by English speakers. When you watch movies in English, you will notice that at times English speakers may pronounce words differently to that what you learned in the classroom, due to the use of connected speech.   At times, they may also use some grammatical structures that may seem incorrect, but that is often used by English speakers.  By watching movies you will become more familiar with the English language being used naturally, how English speakers express themselves, to enable you to better understand and learn in the long term.
  2. You learn English words in context, which will help you better remember them. Instead of memorizing words, which can be a tedious task, you will hear new vocabulary and words being used in context.
  3. You will hear how English speakers express themselves and use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar.  This is a great way for you to get more exposure to the English language, hearing new words and various grammatical structures being used naturally.  By consistently exposing yourself to the English language, by watching movies in English, your ability to better remember how to use this vocabulary and grammatical structures will improve in the long term.


4 Tips for Learning English with Movies

  1. Choose an interesting movie.  When choosing a movie to watch to learn English, it is important to watch a movie that you like and want to watch.  If you watch a movie purely for the purpose of learning English, it will not motivate you to watch the movie and drive you to really want to understand what is being said.  Choose a movie that you would watch in your native language, but watch it in English
  2. Don’t use a dictionary: focusing on asking yourself questions and learning in context. There is nothing worse than watching a movie and having to constantly use a dictionary to look up new words.  Instead of looking up the words in a dictionary, pause the movie when you hear a word you do not understand and ask yourself questions about the context the word was used in.  Was it used in a positive context or a negative context?  What happened in the scene before?  By asking yourself questions about that new word, you are training your brain to think in English and better process that new words.
  3. Repeat short phrases by shadowing: When you do hear and a new word or new phrase, repeat these phrases out loud by shadowing. Shadowing is when you listen to an English speaker speaking, and you repeat exactly what they say.  By shadowing these new phrases and expressions, your ability to pronounce these words and use them in the future when you have to speak in English will improve.
  4. Watch the movie without subtitles. 

Exercise to learn English with movies

Step 1: Watch 2-3 minutes of a scene without English subtitles.

Step 2:  Watch the same scene again with subtitles

Step 3: Watch the same scene again and pause after each sentence and shadow exactly what the actors are saying

Step 4: Watch the same scene again, but this time shadow at the same time as the speakers.

Step 5: Record your voice shadowing the actors, and compare your pronunciation and speaking skills to the actors


Want a Better Way to Learn English with Movies and Films?

I’ll admit it: while learning English can be fun, there are a few disadvantages too. Here’s a few problems you may run into when learning English through movies:

  • There are no subtitles. This is pretty rare nowadays. But if you watch a film without subtitles, it can be difficult to understand what’s going on.
  • You have to keep on pausing and playing to understand. It can take you many times to understand something said on screen, because sometimes, the film might be easy. But at other times, it might be hard to understand. (As an example, characters who play “professors” in films can be difficult to understand. They use some difficult words, which you may have never heard of before.)
  • You have to keep on checking up words. For every word you don’t know, you might want to look it up in the dictionary. While it’s a lot faster to check up words nowadays on our phones, it can be annoying to keep pausing and checking up words.
  • You can’t remember these words afterwards.  It can be difficult to keep track of what you’ve learned, because it takes time and effort to take notes, and we want to have an enjoyable experience in watching the movie, without having to be interrupted every minute to write down a word!
  • You don’t know if you remember these words after. After a week, or a month, or even three months, you might forget what you’ve learned! And because you didn’t jot down notes, you can’t really test yourself either.


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