Four simple ways to learn English with movies

The best way to learn any language is to immerse yourself into it as much as you can, so is it possible to learn English with movies?

People have told us before that films have helped them learn English but how can you do this? Here are four tips to help you learn English with movies.


1. Use subtitles for films in your language

If you are a complete beginner with English, start putting English subtitles on films that are in your own language. The English will be in the background and you will not always notice it, but this is an excellent first step.

This is not the fastest way to learn English, but you will be surprised by how much you pick up and remember just by becoming familiar with more English words.


2. Get rid of dubbed audio and embrace subtitles instead

A film originally recorded in English might have audio tracks for your language, particularly when it comes to animated movies. This is tempting to rely on, but switch it to English and put subtitles on instead!

This gets you used to listening to the English language more and you quickly get used to reading the subtitles too.

As an added bonus, the original audio is often a much higher quality than the dubbed version too.


3. Add English subtitles to English films too

Once you are used to watching English films with subtitles for your language, try switching these to English as well.

Putting English subtitles gives you a second chance to work out what characters are saying on screen. If you are reading the English and hearing the English at the same time as the film is showing you the context for what is being said, you are much more likely to understand and build up your language skills.

Also, you might not be understanding dialogue in a film because of the way the sound is mixed, or because of the way some actors talk as opposed to your English abilities, so this can be a great confidence booster and get you used to listening to different accents.


4. Pick the right film and re-watch it

Picking a film you know well can really help. Maybe you’re a Star Wars fan, or a Harry Potter buff, or fancy understanding Jack Sparrow a little more in Pirates of the Caribbean. Whatever works for you, building up your English is going to be easier with something you already know well.

Pick something you like and be prepared to watch it more than once. Try watching it three times – first with subtitles for your language, second with subtitles in English and third without subtitles at all.

You do not have to watch it three times back-to-back of course, but if you have the time, you might find that helps even more!


What about you? Have you already managed to learn English with movies? Let us know your favourites in the comments below!

Finally, if you're considering learning English abroad and are looking for inspiration for where to study, check out some of the Kaplan destinations that have been used as locations for famous movies.

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