We love encouraging our students to find alternative ways to bolster their English language skills outside the classroom. One way in which people like to learn foreign languages is by watching films in their chosen language. These resources are stimulating, motivating, flexible, fun, and effective. Furthermore, the visuality of film enabling learners to enjoy and understand more by interpreting the language in a full visual context. But how can you find great movies and TV to watch and how can you learn from them once you have?
Where to Find the Best Movies
The latest movies usually come out in the cinemas before they find their way to DVD or your TV screens, so this is a great place to start in your search for a great movie. If you want to see if there is a new movie to suit your tastes, check out this article from Wired.
If you’d rather watch at home either by yourself or with family or friends, you could always pick up a classic on DVD – there are hundreds of places online and in stores where you can do this. If you are staying in the UK, it may be better value for money to subscribe to a streaming service; a great place to start for movies would be Now TV.
Where to Watch the Best TV
Traditional TV has been phased out and replaced by Freeview and Freesat in the UK. This provides viewers with a much larger range of channels for free (once you’ve bought a TV box). If you are interested in soaps, sitcoms or the news, Freeview or Freesat is the best way to set up quick and easy access to these.
If you do go for an online streaming method, the two market leaders are Amazon Prime and Netflix, who are fighting for top position in the industry. They both host their own content but also buy the rights to a large library of favourites. The benefit of this is that you can pick these shows up on just about any device with an internet connection.
How to Learn from Them
For some students, using subtitles alongside spoken English will help to understand how the words you are used to reading are meant to sound. It can also help you to learn how to spell words that you are used to hearing but haven’t had a chance to see in writing. However, don’t worry if it is too confusing to do both to begin with, if this happens to you then just stick to listening to the spoken English.
A great way to learn from movies and television comes from speaking to friends, either in person or online, after watching them. By doing this, you’ll reinforce the words that you have learned and can discuss the plot of the programme to prolong the fun you’ve had.
A great bonus is if you take the chance to socialise and eat out with friends after a good movie, as this will provide multiple opportunities to practise everything you have been learning.
Film and television can be a great way to learn English, especially since you get the opportunity to learn words and phrases in context. This means you are a lot more likely to be able to use these words and phrases in your everyday life. Most students will see a greater increase in their ability to comprehend, speak and write in English as a result.
You can even improve your English writing through quick writing for short films, e.g. the Plot Generator (www.plot-generator.org.uk) is to inspire you to write your own stories, using common genres and themes. There are many sites for scripts f scenes as well, these can be used for acting workshops, great for pronunciation, innovations , etc.
Alternative Ideas: Websites for short films and lessons
If you would like some other ideas for how to improve your English from films and TVs, you could consider some of these:
Plenty of ready-made lessons based on short films on the site. You can even subscribe to Film English to receive notifications of new lesson plans.
A lot of lessons in this website focus on helping learners to improve their listening and speaking skills, and we hope, at the same time, that these resources are stimulating, fun, and effective.
Great short films, no lessons, but always up-to-date with latest shorts (professional quality)