Watching movies to help learn English is an exciting method for young and new learners. It’s not only fun, but it’s also beneficial to learning cultural references, since movies feature natural language and cultural cues that one can’t doesn’t often get from textbooks. Watching films is an excellent way to get comfortable with understanding a new language, and is something you can do without a practice partner.
When viewing movies in a second language, don’t forget to start slow. While the speed at which actors talk can be overwhelming, subtitles can offer a lot of support. Be sure to pause the movie if you don’t understand something, and feel free to use a pocket dictionary to look up any words you don’t understand. Finally, pay attention to how the actors pronounce the words to help sound more fluid. As you get more comfortable you can take more advanced steps like turning off subtitles. This helps you to pay attention to the actors’ vocabulary and sentence structure. The following five titles are great films to start off with as you begin using movies to learn English.
1. Cast Away
This classic film follows one main character to a desert island where he is stranded with only a volleyball. It has an easy plot to follow making it a great movie to start out with, as the dialogue is not spoken as quickly as other films.
2. Forrest Gump
This movie follows the life of a man as he moves through mid-1900s America. Featuring star Tom Hanks, this film will help teach US culture with references ranging from the 1940s to 1980s, and it also incorporates American history.
3. The Social Network
Go behind the scenes of Facebook’s creation with this award winning film. Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake this movie is a great resource to learn English slang terms and many US pop culture references.
4. Finding Nemo
This Pixar favorite is about a young fish who gets kidnapped from his family and is taken out of the ocean and into a fish tank. The story follows his father, and a friend named Dory, as they travel the ocean to find Nemo. Its sweet message and simple storyline make this film fun to watch and easy to follow.
5. Harry Potter
For more advanced learners, Harry Potter is the perfect saga to fall into. Composed of eight films, this sequence follows a young wizard as he comes of age in the magical school of Hogwarts. While this film is often talked about in many American pop culture discussions, it’s based in the United Kingdom and therefore uses a different accent and slang terms.
With these tips and titles, it’ll be easy to turn any movie night into an excellent opportunity to learn English!