You must be fed up and try to find another interesting learning method when you come to this blog. Believe it or not, you cannot memorize even a piece of knowledge if you don’t know how to apply it to your work or life. So now, let’s put your books and notes aside, open your laptop, and watch movies with me. What is more interesting than learning English with movies where you can learn both business knowledge and English at the same time?
Why learning English through movies?
✅ It’s entertaining
This is the first and foremost reason why we should learn English with movies. When it comes to specialized English like Business English, you would face much more challenges to pick it up rather than common English. To understand and memorize it, you have no other choice but to learn business with context, and the best way to do this is to learn with business movies.
✅ It provides authentic and varied English
By watching movies, you can learn the use of English in real-life situations, which is more practical and interesting as you can easily apply what you learn into your daily life.
✅ It naturally develops your English listening and speaking skills
It’s hard for us learners to understand what native English speakers say and talk like them. But don’t feel discouraged. Firstly, just relax and watch your favorite films, let your brain gradually get used to the way native speakers talk. You may not understand, you may not be able to talk like them, but you are getting familiar with them. This is kind of a passive way of learning.
A 4-step guide to learning English with movies
Step 1 Pick a suitable movie
This step sounds like a piece of cake. But you really need to put much consideration into it. Is the movie category of your favorite? Is it of your English level? I highly recommend you find movies and film on Netflix, as this is one of the leading movie streaming sites and more importantly, it’s more convenient for you to learn English. If you can’t find a movie, don’t worry, I have a list of 17 business movies and TV series below for you to choose from.
Step 2 Watch the movie with bilingual subtitles
At this step, you should watch the film with bilingual or English subtitles, rather than subtitles in your native language. The purpose is that you can easily spot new English words and look it up immediately. However, it’s not easy to do it “immediately” if you don’t have eJOY eXtension installed on your browser. This application helps you to look up new words with just a click and especially when you watch movies on Netflix, it performs additional functions like auto-pause, show subtitle after, pause on mouse hover, … If you want more details, read this blog about How to use eJOY eXtension on Netflix.
Step 3 Practice with games
After having watched the movie, you can practice the new words and phrases you have learned with games. You can choose a clip from the movie at eJOY Go (for PC users) or eJOY App (for mobile users) where you can find interesting games for you to practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. With eJOY Go, you can play Quiz Game, Writing, and Speaking Game. With eJOY App, you can have access to more kinds of games like Listening quiz, Shadowing, and especially, Roleplay.
Step 4 Revision
This is the last but not least step in learning anything. You can revise new English words and phrases with Game Center of eJOY eXtension (for PC users) or eJOY App (for mobile users). After having revised all the new vocabulary you saved, watch the movie again, once, twice, or even more. This is to check your learning progress. Let’s see if you can improve from watching the movie with bilingual subtitles to English subtitles and finally with no subtitles.
These are 4 basic steps for you to learn business English through movies effectively. Let’s pick a movie in the list below to start learning now!
- A step-by-step learning guide for Intermediate
- A step-by-step learning guide for beginners
- Learn English with Movies: A Complete Guide
18 Best Business Movies For You to Learn English
1 Shark Tank (2019)
“Shark Tank” is an American reality television program for aspiring entrepreneurs that need to raise capital from investors (shark). Each entrepreneur will pitch his or her business model to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their idea. As “Shark Tank” is a highly specialized program, you will learn a wide range of business English, as well as business knowledge, investment strategies, and essential business skills including persuasion, presentation, and negotiation skills.
2 The Founder (2016)
“The Founder” is about Ray Kroc, a 52-year-old salesman, with his ambition of getting rich, perseverance, and outstanding business skills, has transformed the business model of the McDonald brothers into a world-famous fast-food chain. Ray Kroc’s success story contributes to inspire business enthusiasts. It’s never too late to start and don’t be overwhelmed by failures.
“Why the world is full of educated fools. Persistence and determination alone are all-powerful.” – Ray Kroc
3 The Intern (2015)
“The Intern” is a comedy about Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower who doesn’t want to enjoy his retirement but choose to apply to be a senior intern at an online fashion site owned by the young, beautiful and stylish Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Contrary to everyone’s imagination, old man Ben is a very agile and dynamic trainee. Ben soon becomes likable with his younger co-workers, including his boss, Jules Ostin. Whittaker’s charm, wisdom, and sense of humor help him develop a special bond and close friendship with Jules.
“You should feel nothing but great about what you’ve done, and I’d hate to see you let anyone take that away from you.” – Ben said to Jules
4 Joy (2015)
“Joy” centered on the story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Going through hardships, facing betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence, and the scars of love, Joy grows stronger and stronger and becomes a true boss of the family and enterprise.
“We got here from hard work, patience, and humility. Don’t think the world owes you anything because the world owes you nothing.” – Joy
5 The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
“The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir, revolving around the journey to the peak of success of Jordan Belfort himself (starring Leonardo DiCaprio). Starting his career with an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm, Belfort soon found his own firm while still in his 20s. Belfort’s career made a hit after the Wall Street crash by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, while Belfort and his cronies partake in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs and thrills, the SEC and the FBI close in on his empire of excess.
“I want you to back yourself into a corner. Give yourself no choice but to succeed. Let the consequences of failure become so dire and so unthinkable that you’ll have no choice but to do whatever it takes to succeed.” – Jordan Belfort
6 Inside Job (2010)
“Inside Job” is a documentary about the global financial crisis that took place in 2008, causing millions of job and home losses and plunging the U.S. into a deep economic recession. The documentary provides a detailed examination of the elements leading to the collapse and identifies key financial and political players. As a typical feature of a documentary, the story is mostly narrated and there are a lot of interviews, which means that you can hear people speaking English slowly and clearly.
“The Social Network” is about the formation and development of the largest Social Networking Site (SNS) – facebook and the success story of its founder – Mark Zuckerberg. The movie is an example for the common saying “there is no bed of roses on the path to success”. Zuckerberg creates Facebook with the help of his friend, Eduardo Saverin. But Facebook which is created to connects people tears the friendship of its founder apart. Nevertheless, the movie is an inspiration for young startups, especially tech startups with profound business lessons.
“A guy who makes a nice chair doesn’t owe money to everyone who has ever built a chair.” – Mark Zuckerberg
8 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009)
The name of the movie says it all. “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” is all about sale. Don Ready is many things, but he is best-known as an extraordinary salesman. When a car dealership in Temecula teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, he and his ragtag team (Ving Rhames, James Brolin) dive in to save the day. Don and his team would sell 211 cars for the car dealership at any costs.
“Pain is weakness leaving the body.” – Don Ready
9 Enron The Smartest Guys In The Room (2005)
“Enron The Smartest Guys In The Room” is a documentary exploring the fall of the Enron Corporation. The company is linked with several illegal schemes, including instigating the California energy crisis as a way to drive up utility prices at the expense of the average American. In a hyper-competitive environment, Enron traders resort to all kinds of underhanded dealings in order to make money at any cost and keep their high-paying jobs. The documentary will offer you profound lessons on strategic business calculations and the superior visions of mindful business leaders.
“Never, ever do the easy wrong instead of the harder right.” – Bethany McLean
10 The Office (2005)
“The Office” is a mockumentary sitcom TV series focusing on the daily lives of office employees at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. If you are an office worker, you will probably see a part of your life in “The Office”. The film is a true and humorous depiction of office drama, including trash-talking, free-flowing gossip, popularity contests, exclusive cliques, etc.
“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” – Michael Scott
11 The Corporation (2004)
This documentary begins with an unusual detail that came from the 14th Amendment: Under constitutional law, corporations are seen as individuals. So, filmmaker Mark Achbar asks, what type of person would a corporation be? The evidence, according to such political activists as Noam Chomsky and filmmaker Michael Moore and company heads like carpet magnate Ray Anderson, points to a bad one, as the film aims to expose IBM’s Nazi ties and these large businesses’ exploitation of human rights.
12 Startup Com (2001)
“Startup Com” is a documentary about the dot-com startup govWorks.com. Starting from zero, the company has successfully raised $60 million from major investors in less than a year. However, successive challenges, fierce competition from competitors, and disagreements among founders eventually led govWorks.com to be acquired by a larger company. The case of govWorks.com is considered as a valuable business lesson, especially for tech startups.
13 Office Space (1999)
“Office Space” is an American comedy, which satirizes the typical working environment of software companies in the US from the middle to the late 90s, focusing on uninterested and unmotivated employees. The movie revolves around Peter Gibbons, a programmer at the technology company Initech. Being frustrated with the working environment, especially the tyrannical and exploiting boss, Peter Gibbons worked with two of his colleagues, Michael and Samir, to come up with a plan to retaliate and implant the virus into the company’s system, and all the troubles start from here. Despite being a funny movie, “Office Space” also gives us lessons on human resource (HR) management, how to manage employees, how to make your employees work effectively and feel attached to the job.
“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.” – Peter Gibbons
14 Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
“Glengarry Glen Ross” offers us a vivid image of a highly competitive working environment at the office. When an office full of New York City real estate salesmen is given the news that all but the top two will be fired at the end of the week, the atmosphere begins to heat up. Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), who has a sick daughter, does everything in his power to get better leads from his boss, John Williamson (Kevin Spacey), but to no avail. When his coworker Dave Moss (Ed Harris) comes up with a plan to steal the leads, things get complicated for the tough-talking salesmen.
“When you die, you’re gonna regret the things that you don’t do.” – Ricky Roma
15 Cadillac Man (1990)
Car dealer Joey O’Brien (Robin Williams) is spread as thin financially as he is in his love life. He’s dating more women than he can remember, and the local toughs he’s borrowed money from want it back. In a last-ditch effort to get out of debt, Joey struggles to sell a dozen cars in two days — a task that becomes difficult when the husband (Tim Robbins) of Joey’s secretary (Annabella Sciorra) barges into the dealership with a semi-automatic weapon and takes everyone hostage.
16 Seize the day (1986)
“Seize the day” is about Tommy Wilhelm (Robin Williams), a failed salesman who lost his job. His wife divorces him and his father despises him. Unyielding to his hardship, Tommy moved to New York with a strong desire to get rich, ready to roll out for all the jobs he found, even the most trivial work. This is the ideal movie to energize you to live and work whenever you are frustrated with failure.
17 Used Cars (1980)
The main character of “Used Cars”, Rudy Russo is a car salesman but always dreamed of becoming a politician. Rudy works for Luke Fuchs, a good broker but inefficient. When Luke died, Rudy took over Luke’s position, however, it was not easy when Roy L. Fuchs, Luke’s younger brother, also wanted to win his brother’s business for himself. Rudy and Roy had a fierce competition, to prove that they were worthy, both sides would sacrifice anything to draw customers to their side.
“Big Jim: I ain’t never sold no damn cars before.
Rudy: It’s easy Jim. All you have to do is get them in that car. Nothing sells a car better than a car itself.”
You have just read a step-by-step guide to learn English with movies effectively and effortlessly, and a list of 17 interesting Business movies to start learning with. Depending on your own interest, you can easily pick a suitable movie to learn. Don’t forget to download eJOY eXtension/ eJOY App to your computer/ smartphone so that you can practice English more easily and effectively.