5 tips to learn English through movies and TV shows

5 tips to learn English through movies and TV shows

I am a firm believer that movies and TV shows should be implemented in every language learning process.

It’s the best way to surround yourself with English language, listen to native speakers and learn from them.

If you don’t have the chance to travel abroad for more than 1 or 2 months, then this is your best chance to get to know a culture before you become fluent in their language.

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Here are 5 tips to learn English through movies and TV shows

Follow your interests

The best part about learning through movies and TV shows is that you get to do something you actually enjoy, so it is essential that you choose TV series and movies you actually like and want to watch.

This is an important segment with every learning process because people are different and so are their interests.

The quickest and most effective way to learn a language is through fun and creative methods.

This is why I think watching movies and TV should be a part of everyone’s language learning journey.

First reason is that you can hear how native speakers use their vocabulary in real life, sometimes impossible to find in grammar books.

Second reason is that like books, movies can teach you so much more about life.

So if you want to learn how English is being used in daily life, be sure to watch some films or shows. There is a big selection of movies you can go for, but always trust your gut and interests with this.

Only choose movies you are interested in and TV shows worth binge-watching.

The power of subtitles

If you live in a country that uses dubbed audios, definitely get rid of those and listen to native speakers communicate in English. This is where you will discover the power of learning languages with English subtitles.

Hollywood has brought us so many good movies, so use that opportunity to practice your listening comprehension.

Apart from American English, you can always go to a British TV production or movies in another language, which is becoming more and more popular.

You can work on improving your English by discovering the power of subtitles. English subtitles can be added to everything nowadays.

If you add them to an English speaking show, listen carefully to the speaker and pay attention to the subtitles.

You will improve your listening comprehension this way. You will also see how grammar rules are being used.

Most importantly, your ear will become more used to the way native speakers communicate which is essential in the language learning process.

Bonus tip: Check out Subtly, a great browser extension that helps you learn languages while watching your favorite Netflix shows. What I like about it is that it provides contextual translation, so you'll actually be able to learn from context which is what this method is all about. 

On repeat

I am sure you also have those days when you are not in the mood to watch something new, but rather some TV series you know can make your day. So you decide to re-watch a show you already know by heart.

Of course, I support this.

But why not do this with English subtitles now?

Unintentionally, I have learned a lot of real-life American English jokes, phrases, and words by watching the TV show Friends on repeat.

I recommend this show to everyone that wants to speak like a native.

But it doesn’t have to be this show for you. It can be a movie or some other TV series.

Be sure to turn on English subtitles and listen away to your favorite shows. When you watch it for the first time, you don’t have to be hard on yourself, just enjoy it.

Eventually, start setting short term goals for every time you re-watch it. It can be to learn 5 new words or 3 new expressions.

With every new episode, you are closer to improving your English.

Lose the subtitles

Watching movies and TV shows can help you improve even if you are already fluent.

Listening to native speakers can do no harm at all, it can only come in handy. If you don’t find any challenge in watching movies and TV shows with subtitles, try removing them.

This is the most effective way of improving your listening comprehension.

Pay attention to words they mumble, get your ear used to that. Native speakers can sometimes talk too fast, but if you practice enough, this will not be an issue for you.

Listening with no subtitles is a great exercise because in real life there are no subtitles. If you want to speak like a native, surround yourself with English language.

Movies and TV shows are one of the ways to do that.

Learn English through movies and TV shows, scene by scene

We are all different, so a method that potentially works for me will not work for you. This is why you should also try the following method if you want to learn English with movies.

Pick a short scene (up to 3 minutes) that will be your lesson for the day.

Watch and listen to it 4 times.

Pay attention to every detail.

Make a break and then watch it without subtitles 4 more times.

Now, watch the scene again, only this time pause after each sentence and try to repeat after them.

It might be good to record yourself and listen to the recording, as this is how you can correct your pronunciation too.


Learning languages can be a fun experience.

You just need to find the method that works for you. 

Movies and TV shows are one of the best ways to learn slang and idioms, that you can't find in books.

It's a way to practice your listening skills as well.

And if you find a learning buddy, you can also practice your conversational skills after each episode or movie.

Follow your gut and good luck!

You want more tips on how to learn English with movies?

Read more here: 5 Simple Tips To Learn English With Movies (+ 5 best comedies to get you started)

If you’re looking for other ways to improve your English, try these leading online learning platforms: Start with Babbel, where you can engage in user-friendly, enjoyable lessons that easily fit into your daily routine, designed to make learning English fun and effective. For a deeper understanding of the language, check out Courseras comprehensive English course that cover everything from beginner basics to advanced nuances. For tailored guidance, Preply offers personalized sessions with native English speakers, significantly enhancing your conversational skills. Benefit from a 50% discount on your first session at Preply with this link.


How to immerse into English?

Watch movies and TV shows.

Is watching movies in English effective?

You can hear how native speakers use their vocabulary in real life, that is sometimes impossible to find in grammar books.

How to improve listening skills in English by watching films?

To improve your listening skills in English you have to listen carefully to the speaker and pay attention to the subtitles.

What TV show is the best for learning English?

Friends is the best TV show with real life American English jokes, phrases and words.

What is an easy way to get to know English culture?

Travel the world and watch movies and TV shows in English.

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