This article will not just show you a list of good movies for learning English with movies. It’s better to start by answering some more important questions:
- Is this method suitable for you?
- Which skills will you improve by applying this method?
- How should you start?
Now, let’s get right into it!
Is this method suitable for you?
You’ll soon find out after answering 4 questions below.
1. Do you like watching movies?
To be successful in learning English with movies, you must love watching movies. Your interest in movies will encourage you to know more about the plot and to speak like your favourite characters. Finally, it is easier and more fun to learn English with your favourite movies.
2. Can you do more than just enjoy watching movies?
Some people just like watching movies, but not learning with movies. Are you the type of people who can continuously watch movies and find it hard to carefully re-watch? After watching a movie, again and again, you will get more familiar with new words or the way native speakers communicate. This is all about putting in more effort than you may need to just simply enjoying the movies.
3. Do you have enough time for movie learning?
If you’re too busy, this method is not for you. 1 hour is the normal length of a movie and it’ll be at least 20 minutes for an episode of a TV series. Sometimes, watching the whole movie or replaying a clip more than one time is really necessary.
4. Are you patient enough?
Mastering English is a matter of time. If your purpose is to communicate fluently by English after one month or to preparing for IELTS exam in a month, you’d better find another method.
Why should you learn English with movies
Learning English with movies has many advantages, but it can’t guarantee a perfect result of 4 basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Therefore, setting a realistic goal before doing anything will do a great favor. Let’s see what English skills can be developed with movies learning.
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1. Improve your communication skills
Learning English is with movies can help improve many of your English skills, especially your listening and speaking.
Your listening skills will show the best improvement using this method. The reason is simple enough. You get more chances to listen to English conversations. And most of them are practiced in real life, which means you can “access” to natural English.
For example, you may have already learned that they greet each other by saying:
- Good morning. How are you?
- I am fine. Thank you. And you?
In fact, native speakers sometimes find these sentences unnatural. They tend to say:
- Hi. How is it going?
- What’s up?
Chosen actors and actresses usually have proper pronunciation, which means you are practicing listening skills with one of the most understandable accents and clearest pronunciations sources.
As a result, you will not only get more familiar with British English and American English but also find it easier to understand other accents such as Latino English or Indian English.
If you can listen properly, you can speak properly. Your English communication skills will be gradually improved.
Have you ever found yourself repeat what the characters say, especially an impressive sentence? This is exactly what babies do from the first day of learning their mother tongue.
There are many actors and actresses who are insanely good at accent: Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Bennet – Pride and Prejudice 2005), Matthew Macfadyen (Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice 2005) and Lee Pace (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day 2008). They can be gold models for you to practice speaking English.
2. Widen your English vocabulary
English movies are a great source of vocabularies and idioms. You may need a total of 6000 – 7000 vocabularies to watch a normal movie. Isn’t it impressive?
Depending on what types of movies you choose to watch, the vocabularies can relate to daily activities or even more academic terms.
For example, movies with the theme about family and love like Friends (1994-2004), Modern Family (2009-present) are full of daily life vocabularies. While documentary films with more complicated topics like Planet Earth (2006) bring along vocabularies about nature and the environment. Political vocabularies can be found plenty in the TV series The Newsroom (2012-2014).
One of the most interesting things about learning English with movies is that new words always show up with their context. You know a word and you know exactly how to use it.
How to learn English with movies?
1. Most common mistakes when learning English with movies
As amazing as it sounds, learning English with movies is not too simple. Be careful, as you may make some of these mistakes:
- Watching a movie which is trendy or recommended by a friend without asking if this movie is suitable to learn English with.
- Having no set-up steps to learn and only focusing on enjoying movies.
- Not estimating the time needed to learn English with movies and eventually quitting.
To get the best benefits when learning English with movies, there are some things you have to know.
2. Right things to do when learning English with movies
Choose the right movie
Because your goal is learning English with movies, the movies to watch must be chosen to accomplish this “mission”. Below are some points you must check:
- Hobby: choose a movie that makes you interested
- Level: choose a movie that is suitable for your English level
- Time: choose a movie that is suitable for your time “budget”
- Subtitles: choose a movie that has English or both English and your language subtitles
Using eJOY eXtension is an effective and easy way to watch movies with English subtitles.
Split your movies
We all know that it’s harder to concentrate, watch and learn throughout the whole movie. Why not learn with shorter periods of separated scenes.
An ideal scene to learn with should not be longer than 5 minutes. Watch every 5-minute long scene until you get all the vocabularies and expression needed.
Here is the scene when Diana is trained to fight in Wonder Woman (2017)
Concentrate and be active
It’s easy to watch a movie, but is it easy to learn with a movie? The answer is NO.
You must learn to say NO to whatever may disturb you. Set up a schedule and strictly follow it. If you truly put your effort into learning, 20 minutes will just be more than enough.
To enjoy a movie, you need a comfortable sofa and a bag of popcorn. For learning English with a movie, you need to do more than just sitting there to watch till the end.
Always be active to do things below:
- Look up for new vocabularies to know more about their meaning, pronunciation
- Note down interesting words/ sentence patterns to review
- Repeat what the characters say
- Replay and carefully listen to the conversations
- Use subtitles wisely, but not all the time
Watch again and again
The more time you watch movies, the more improvement you get. You may find it even more magical when you finally remember exactly how the conversations go.
Don’t worry that this will be boring. Learning English with movies has the inspirations that will keep your mood up. Nevertheless, you can always decide when is the right time to move to another movie, right?
How to learn English with movies for specific goals
1. Practising Listening and Speaking skills
Step 1 Choosing a movie
You can choose a movie by considering these following points.
- Your interest in the movie: You are the one who knows exactly what type of movies you enjoy. Is it comedy, science fiction or romantic?
- Your English level: A movie with too many complicated vocabularies may not be a good choice
- Your time: Don’t waste your time with a movie which is too long, if you still have other things to do. Short film or TV series with episodes should be considered
- The availability of subtitles: A movie with bilingual subtitles would be the best
At the end of this article, you’ll a list of the trustable page to watch movies with subtitles.
Step 2 Watching the whole movie at once
This is quite a relaxing period. Watching the whole movie will give you the idea of how the story is told, and it’ll become easier to split it into separated scenes. Also, this is a great way to find out the connection between the characters’ sayings, expressions and translation.
Step 3 Learning with a separated scene
This is the most important step to actively learn English. You can start this step whenever you want after step 2, but remember to make sure that you still understand the movie plot. If you can manage to learn with every scene of the movie, that would be great. However, choose your most favorite scene to master is also a wise way to start.
There are a lot of movie scenes available on YouTube that you can consider (see a scene from Deadpool – 2016 here). eJOY Go also offers users many scenes to learn English at different levels. You can choose to learn with Movie Training option, which offers Best Movies Scenes and Movies Exercises.
How to practice Step 3:
Step 3.1 Watch the scene with English subtitles to know new vocabularies and sentence structures.
Your purpose is to understand the conversation within the language of English. You may need a dictionary, a notebook and a pen for new vocabularies and sentence structures.
eJOY eXtension is a handy tool if you’re watching movies on Netflix, iflix, YouTube. You can get the words’ definition, slang term with a single click. Next, choose ADD to save words/ structures to review after.
To look for a meaning of a phrase, press and hold Alt (Window) or Option (Mac) and click to the subtitles. If you’re using a smartphone to watch a movie on eJOY app, press and hold your finger to choose the phrase you need. Save this phrase for later review.
Step 3.2 Watch again to listen and repeat
In order to carefully listen and repeat, you can pause, loop or slow down. Look for new words pronunciation if you are not sure. Using eJOY eXtension to listen to how a new word is pronounced and see what it looks like in IPA phonetics.
Try to IMITATE the mouth position, accent, intonation and even facial expression of the characters. You can also record your own voice and compare the result with the original ones. Spend as much time as possible for this step until you can speak at the same speed as the characters.
Step 4 Mastering Listening and Speaking skills
You should want to understand what is going on in the movie without looking at the subtitles and repeat the characters’ saying without pausing the video
How to practice Step 4:
Just focus on one short scene at a time. It can take 5 minutes per day to practice a 5-minute long scene.
You are playing the character now as you already know the characters’ saying. Probably, the most important things to pay attention to is pronunciation and intonation. It would be much better if you can write down the whole conversation and compare it to the original one to check spelling, grammar.
If you’re watching movie on eJOY Go, you can easily practice this step with Speak & Write mode.
2. Learning vocabulary
Step 1 Choosing a movie
When learning English with movies, you can choose a movie by considering these following points.
- Your interest in the movie: You can consider choosing a movie with the topic in which you want to widen your vocabularies. Netflix offers you the function of looking for movies suitable for your keywords. Ratatouille (2007) or Julie & Julia (2009) is of the best movies to learn cuisine vocabularies.
- Your English level: Find a movie with vocabularies level that best fits yours.
- Your time: Don’t waste your time with a movie which is too long because you may get bored with too many new words.
- The availability of subtitles: A movie with bilingual subtitles would show you how the new words are spelled.
Step 2 Watching movies with subtitles
If you’re not confident with your English level, you can choose bilingual subtitles. And if your level is intermediate or advanced, try to watch with only English subtitles.
The purpose of this step is to understand the story that the movie tells. Therefore, you should only look up the meaning of keywords, but not all of the new vocabularies. Just enjoy the movie when practicing this step.
Step 3 Watching a separated scene, save new vocabularies and structures
Learning with context
It’s time to turn to your LEARN mode and shut down your ENJOY one. As you can see, this step benefits you as you can know more about the new words when they are in a real context.
The way native speakers use English is affected by culture and many things else, which means it’s hard to truly understand a word when it’s out of a context. And learning English with movies is the best solution here.
How to practice step 4
- Choose your favorite scene to practice
- Focus on how the characters use new words and look for their meaning if necessary.
- Using eJOY eXtension to search for new words meaning
- Press and hold Alt or Option to look for phrases’ meaning
- Press ADD to save the new vocabularies/ structure for review
- Don’t push yourself too hard and limit your time of learning.
- Learn 5-8 words or phrases per day.
Step 4 Review
There are more and more new vocabularies you’ll encounter and it’s gradually becoming overwhelming or even BORING! Moreover, you may not remember how to use those new words.
eJOY can get you over the boredom by giving you a list of vocabularies needed to review in the form of interactive games. eJOY can also remind you to review them every day.
Don’t just simply learn new words. Playing a vocabulary game that eJOY eXtension designs just for you, based on the videos you have watched.
Arranging words order
You will put the given words into the exact order you’ve listened to.
Filling in the blanks
Write down what you’ve listened to.
Write the exact words or phrases based on hints.
Choosing right answers
Click on the block or type the number of the block according to its order to answer.
When you finish playing games, based on your performance, eJOY will show you a report on how well you’ve learned new words.
Before finding any movie to practice, make sure you remember what you have learned the day before. This is a simple but most essential part.
Where can you start learning English with movies
Netflix is an American media-services. Its content focuses on movies and TV shows. Now, Netflix is available in many countries and offer users a great source of updated movies with subtitles. You can watch movies on Netflix and look for new words’ meaning using eJOY eXtension.
Although its source of movies is not as huge as Netflix, iflix is still a good choice for movie lovers because of its lower cost. Considered as “Netflix of developing countries”, iflix headquartered in Malaysia.
The world’s most popular source of video including movie scenes, of course. With a lot of videos with subtitles, YouTube is truly a wonderful site to learn English. eJOY is one of the first apps to help you looking for words’ meaning right from YouTube subtitles.
4. eJOY Go
A part of eJOY-English, eJOY Go can be accessed using the same account you have for eJOY.
One of many special benefits of eJOY app is that you can search for new words’ meaning just by a click right when watching without having to pause. You can also save the words you want for later review.
Option Movie Training offers many movies scene clips suitable for practicing Listening and Speaking skills, and there are a lot of exercises in Movie Exercises Option.
Thank you for reading this article till the end. Hope you will effectively learn English with movies!