Watching TV is a normal part of daily life for most people in the United States. If nothing else, families turn on the TV at night time before bed in search of some at-home entertainment. Students who are working to learn English can gain a lot more from watching TV, too. Watching a show calls on a number of different skills and can help you get more proficient in areas such as listening and comprehension.
When it comes to watching a television program, viewers often take a passive approach. They may not be fully listening, still thinking about the events of the day or planning what they need to accomplish the next day. If you are trying to learn English, you should take a more active approach to TV viewing. First, choose a show with lots of dialogue. If you’re more interested in learning either British or American English, it may make sense to find shows that feature that type of speech.
Beginners to intermediate-level speakers will benefit from watching shows with subtitles in their native language. This enables you to understand what’s happening while picking up key words, listening to pronunciation, and giving your brain valuable exposure to the language so that it can become more comfortable with it. As you progress in your language education, try switching the subtitles to English. This will give you the chance to listen and read the language simultaneously, again helping ensure you understand most of the dialogue and helping develop your reading and listening skills as well.
To further the benefits of watching TV, use it as a tool for your own pronunciation and speech. If you can pause a show, use that to your advantage. After each line of dialogue, pause the program and say that line yourself, out loud.
For language students, television is a powerful tool that can offer more than just entertainment. Try these helpful tips the next time you turn on the tube and you’ll find that it is a fun, at-home challenge that any student can do.
Thanks to FailedImitator for the photo of someone watching television.