Intermediate learners, have you ever felt tired and daunted on your way to mastering the English language? Rest assured, the feeling is mutual among all of us learners, regardless of the level. In such a tough time, don’t just give up and go to bed. Instead, let’s grab your laptop or smartphone and join eJOY’s English adventures through the world of movies! This article is going to show you 12 must-watch movies for Intermediate learners to find more fun in learning English. 


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“A To Z” Tips For Learning English with Movies


Learning English through movies – Reasons to choose

What is it with the hype of learning English through movies? Here is the answer: this method of learning is the full package! 

Expand vocabulary

In every movie, each line of dialogues is full of new words and useful expressions. In addition, vocabulary in movies is organized systematically in accordance with their topics. Therefore, many find it easier to memorize vocabulary when learning through movies. Moreover, acquiring new words in this way is proven to be more effective as we learn them in specific expressions and contexts.  

Enhance listening – speaking skills

Watching movies will help you practice listening to English at a standard speed equivalent to native people’s speed of speaking. At the same time, this method of studying allows you to approach different tones and accents of English such as American English, British English, Australian English, etc. By listening to and practicing the way movie characters combine their words, sentences, and body language, you can learn how to speak English more fluently and naturally.  

English learning apps for communication

Develop logical English thinking

Many of us learners usually develop a habit of thinking in our first language, then trying to translate that into English, which will make our ideas sound unnatural. So how to get rid of that? A method you should try is to familiarize yourself with the English way of thinking through the world of movies. When you dive into the flow of thoughts and conversations of movie characters, you will find yourself getting used to logical English thinking gradually and naturally. 

Revive interest in learning English 

It is best to learn new things with an open and passionate heart. Learning English through movies is very likely to spark more interest in you rather than traditional ways of learning. As you are immersed in the exciting world of movies, exploring new cultures and lifestyles, you will find English less intimidating and more endearing. Then learning English will simply be doing something you like. 

A step-by-step guide to learning English through movies effectively 

Below is a summary of the steps to learn English through movies effectively for Intermediate learners. To learn about details, please read our post – A step-by-step learning guide for Intermediate.

Step 1: Watch the whole movie in dual subtitles

For Intermediate learners, after choosing a suitable movie, you should first attempt to watch it with dual subtitles. This will make it easier for you to grasp the main contents of the movie as well as the meaning of new words. After watching and noting down new words, you can attempt to watch the movie again but this time with English subtitles to practice on your listening and speaking skills. 

Watch The Big Bang Theory with dual subtitles
Watch The Big Bang Theory with dual subtitles

Step 2: Extract a small part of the movie to focus on 

After watching the whole movie with the help of subtitles, you should choose a few particular scenes (under three minutes) of it to practice further. There are some exercises that you can use such as: 

  • Watch the scene with English subtitles over and over again
  • Look up and save new words and expressions to your notebook 
  • Practice listening using dictation exercises 
  • Practice speaking using the shadowing method
Look up new words using eJOY eXtension
Look up new words using eJOY eXtension

Step 3: Rewatch the movie and play games to revise vocabulary 

In this step, you should watch the whole movie with English subtitles one more time to check how many percents of new words you have memorized and how much of the movie you can understand. After that, don’t forget to play fun vocabulary games to brush up on the words you have learned from the movie with eJOY eXtension or eJOY app. 


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12 must-watch movies for Intermediate learners

Here is the list of the top 12 must-watch movies on various topics for Intermediate learners suggested by eJOY. These movies can all be found on Netflix. By downloading eJOY eXtension on Google Chrome, your learning experience on Netflix will be more pleasant as you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate easily, for example, repeat a line, access auto-pause feature, and more. You can find more details about how to use eJOY eXtension on Netflix here

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1 How I Met Your Mother (2005 – 2014)

How I Met Your Mother is a US TV show with 9 seasons and 208 episodes in total. The show is about the main character – Ted Mosby, who was telling his kids the story of how he met their mother. Everything started when Ted – a 27-year-old architect, wanted to find and marry ‘the one’ after seeing the happy engagement of his roommate – Marshall and his girlfriend – Lily. With the help of his ‘ladykiller’ friend – Barney, Ted started his journey to find his other half with a lot of ups and downs. The series is extremely funny and relatable, providing thought-provoking life-lessons on love, life, and friendships. 

2 The Big Bang Theory (2007 – 2019)

The series has a name relating to science but actually revolves around the life, friendship, and love of a group of four “nerds” with a passion for science – Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj. Throughout the series are funny moments arising from the troubles of these nerdy guys in daily life. The speed of the dialogues in the movie is quite fast, which is true to the daily conversation speed of the native people and the vocabulary is rich. Those are the reasons why The Big Bang Theory will be very suitable for practicing with the Intermediate level. 

3 The Boy In Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Based on the famous novel with the same name of Irish author John Boyne in 2008, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a subtle yet haunting movie depicting the crime of Nazism through the naive eye of a young boy. It seems to be a movie for kids but turns out to be much heavier in the way it makes audiences think about the nature of wars, people’s kindness, and friendship. 

 

4 The King’s Speech (2010)

The story is about King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II. George (‘Bertie’) did not think that he would ever succeed the throne until his brother Edward VIII decided to give up the throne to marry his desired woman. However, George’s speaking skills were so bad that he had to rely on a counselor with odd methods of training practice and improve. This strange situation results in a close friendship between the two. The movie uses a diverse vocabulary and idiom system, especially in the field of linguistics. Besides, the content of the movie also provides many tips to speak English fluently which will certainly be helpful for those in the Intermediate level looking to speak English more confidently.

5 Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)

The adventure in this unprecedented story of Oz takes place many years before The Wizard of Oz – the story once very familiar to fans of the magical world of witches. The protagonist Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is a circus magician who accidentally strays to Oz – the land of ultimate powers. There, he meets the sorceress sisters Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams) – who do not believe him to be a great magician. But fate has linked their lives together and pushed all 4 into the whirlwind of adventure across the magical land of Oz.

 

6 About Time (2013)

At the New Year’s Eve party, Tim’s father introduced to him the family’s hereditary ability: being able to travel through time. Surprised and amused, Tim decided to use this ability to change his life, making it better by looking for a girlfriend himself. As a result, he found his true love but would his ability help Tim to successfully win her heart? 

7 Orange Is The New Black (2013 – 2019)

Adapted from the memoir “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” by Piper Kerman, this series is about Piper Chapman, a woman who has everything: home, work, and a fiancé. Suddenly one day she had to go to jail for being involved in drug trafficking from 10 years ago with her former lesbian lover. What will Piper have to do to survive in prison, as well as keep her love? The series has a relatively fast speaking speed, using many common slang words in the everyday language of native speakers that will help you learn how to use English naturally and understand more about how to use it in real life.

8 The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

Adapted from the novel of the same name, The Fault In Our Stars talks about the love story of Hazel and Gus, two young people who are fighting cancer. With the theme of love in the illness, the film is loved by audiences throughout the world because of its lightness, humor, and humane optimistic message. Throughout the film, there are conversations between the main characters talking about their thoughts, moods, emotions as well as insightful philosophies about life. These conversations will help you strengthen your vocabulary, learn how to express your thoughts and feelings naturally and succinctly. 

9 The Theory Of Everything (2014)

This movie is about Stephen Hawking, the greatest physics scientist of the 21st century. The movie title is the name of a physical theory of cosmology, but the movie itself is actually classified in the genre of romantic biography. The story depicted is full of emotion and not difficult to understand at all. This is the story of a man who changed the world and the love that changed him. In addition to professional vocabulary, the film also provides a vocabulary system related to academic and research fields, especially suitable for students to apply in the description of their learning process. 

10 Inside Out (2015)

The movie tells the story of 5 emotions inside a little girl named Riley: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. With a bubbly yet profound story, the movie teaches each of us to understand and appreciate the emotions in us.

11 Bird Box (2018)

With the only way to survive is to cover their eyes and flee, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) must do everything to keep her children safe in the middle of the dark. Not only did she have to fight invisible monsters, but she also had to fight against herself to keep her determination when just one glance could cost her life.

12 Sex Education (2019)

Sex Education follows the story of the “virgin” male student Otis (Asa Butterfield) who holds a sex therapy session in his school, inspired by his mother’s work as a sex therapist. The series helps the audience to explore, understand, and empathize with the sexual problems of adolescence as well as troubles in love, friendship, at school, and at home.

So we have gone through a list of cool movies for Intermediate learners together. Forget Netflix and chill, let’s Netflix and learn English! No more hesitation, start learning English through these wonderful movies today! Remember to download eJOY eXtension to make your learning more effective and fun!

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