What you watch as you learn English effects how you learn the language.

I get the question from many of the people I have tutored in English. What should they watch to make their English better? At first, I cannot think of just one thing that would do the trick. Like with life, variety is the spice of language learning.

I have known people who have never once set foot in the U.S. but who speak with such a refined sense that you could mistake them for Americans. They used to watch shows like Martin and Friends, absorbing not only culture but also vocabulary and pronunciation.


Going to the movies to learn English... or watching reruns of Friends.

One of the most recognizable shows of all time, Friends brought ‘American’ to a worldwide audience.

At the other end of the spectrum are people just learning the language, struggling with Hollywood’s complicated dialogue and plots. People at this end are especially interested in knowing what kinds of movies will help them improve their language skills.

My answer to my tutees usually depends on their personality. What you watch should entertain you. In some cases, I suggest reality TV. While the language on these shows is highly regional, there is much to learn from the conversational style. In other cases, I would advise the classics, for the rich dialogue (When Harry Met Sally), or dialogue-heavy sitcoms today (The Office).

Learn English at the movies with rich dialogue (like in When Harry Met Sally)

Movies rich in dialogue are great for learning English.

What you watch does not matter as much as how you watch it. Are you following along word-by-word or trying to get the general gist? Do laugh naturally at the jokes? Monitor yourself as you watch these shows. What you want to achieve is a balance between focus and relaxation, so that you enjoy watching. What you enjoy you will better remember.

Learn English watching cooking shows.

Even cooking shows can help you learn English (or even cooking classes).

For more learning tips like this one, be sure to visit our Language Learning Tips blog.

About the Author

Dagmawi is a man of many hats. He was written web content, as a journalist and creatively. An engineer by training, he also has experience with marketing and business development. But travel and writing are his two passions and he is always on the search for greater opportunities to express himself through the written word. Follow him on twitter https://twitter.com/dgyntiso.

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