You are a beginner and still having difficulties in choosing a suitable learning method that is effective, inexpensive, and entertaining at the same time? Well, you are about to find that out. Learning English through movies – one of the most interesting learning methods that will make your learning process much more convenient and effective when you can enjoy your favorite movie and learn from it at the same time.
Reasons to learn English through movies
✅ It’s entertaining
This is the first and foremost reason why we should learn English through movies. The challenge of picking up a new language for beginners might make you want to give up. But wait, when learning English from the movies you like, you may feel eager to study.
✅ 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 beginners, and even for learners of higher levels, 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.
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A step-by-step guide to learning English through movies effectively
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 16 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 extension 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 your favorite scenes
Once you get the main idea of the movie, if you’re watching it on eJOY app, use the Cut A Clip feature to split the movie into smaller clips. When practicing your English with videos or movies, we always suggest working with a short video clip of no more than three minutes. Here are our recommended activities to do with each scene:
- Watch the scene with English subtitles over and over again
- Look up and save new words and expressions to your notebook
- Practice listening by doing dictation exercises
- Practice speaking using the shadowing method
Step 4 Revision
This is the last but not least step in learning anything. You can revise new English words and phrases at Game Center on eJOY eXtension (for PC users) or on 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 English through movies effectively. If you want to learn more about our complete guide, check out this blog A Step-by-step Guide to Learning English with movies for Beginner.
Now that you’ve known how to do it, let’s pick a movie in the list below to start learning!
16 interesting movies in English that are perfect for beginners
“Friends” is an American sitcom TV series, consisting of 10 seasons with 236 episodes. The series is commonly used by English teaching centers in the US to improve foreign students’ listening and speaking skills. Friends’ revolve around the daily life of a group of 6 reckless adults, including Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler, reflecting the reality of American society. With frequently used English vocabulary and daily-life dialogues, “Friends” is a really suitable movie for beginners not only to learn English but also to learn more about America’s society.
“How I met your mother?” is a comedy TV series comprising 9 parts with 208 episodes. The series is about Ted Mosby recounting to his children about the events that led him to meet their mother. It started when Ted, a twenty-seven-year-old guy, felt like he wanted to marry after seeing Marshall, his roommate, engaged with his best friends in university after 9 years of dating. Ted then committed himself to finding his life-long partner, with the help of Barney the serial womanizer. Like “Friends”, “How I met your mother” is an ideal series for you to learn English and to have more insight about the American culture.
Another comedy series for you to watch and learn English is “The Big Bang Theory”. The series revolves around the daily life of 4 science nerds who spend all of their time studying science and hence, they know nothing about socializing. The four’s strange and awkward social behaviors usually put them into hilarious situations. Watching the series “The Big Bang Theory”, you can not only learn the colloquial language but also advanced science vocabulary.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a classic film about Holly, a beautiful country girl who wishes to marry a rich husband to change her life. However, things changed when Holly met and fell in love with the poor young writer Paul Varjak, Holly’s conception of life and self-worth gradually changed. The film appealed to viewers by the unique personality of Holly the main character and especially by the wonderful acting of the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn’s image with the iconic black dress is originally from the movie. Audrey Hepburn’s beautiful voice and clear pronunciation are more than suitable for beginners to learn English.
Maybe I don’t have to introduce much about “Titanic” – the blockbuster movie that won 11 Oscar nominations. The movie is about the romantic yet tragic love story between Jack and Rose, two lovers from two different social classes, a penniless artist and a young lady from a noble family. Despite this fact, Jack and Rose shared the same soul and passionately fell in love with each other. But after all, they can never be together when the Titanic sank. The sad ending of the movie is considered to even “make men cry”. For those who have interests in love and romance, “Titanic” is, undoubtedly, a must-watch and must-learn.
“The Hangover” is a hilarious comedy movie about the funny adventure of 3 single men, Stu, Phil and Alan. They celebrate an unforgettable single party for their best friend Doug Billings before his marriage. The party is really “unforgettable”, but in a bad way. Waking up after the party, Stu finds that he lost a tooth. There’s a tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the wardrobe, and the three men lose contact with Doug. And the adventure to uncover all the mysteries of Stu, Phil and Alan begins. “The Hangover” will teach you a load of slangs and colloquial expressions that are commonly used by native speakers. However, the characters’ dialogues are quite fast, which you should consider before choosing it to watch and learn.
The movie is about the life of Forrest Gump, a decent man with an IQ of only 75. Despite growing up without a dad, constantly getting bullied by friends, Forrest stays nice, honest and keeps his heart open to everyone. This movie is perfect for beginners to learn English because of its slow speech (due to Forrest Gump’s mental problem) and simple vocabulary. Besides, you can also learn more about some major American historical events between the 1950s and 1980s as Forrest gets involved in them, including the Viet Nam war, the hippy movement, the Watergate scandal, etc.
“Home Alone” is the story about an 8-year-old boy named Kevin, who was accidentally left behind when his family rushed to the airport to take a flight to Paris on their Christmas holiday. While enjoying being home alone, Kevin was threatened by 2 intruders, Harry and Marv. However, instead of crying, Kevin played tricks on the thieves and a series of Kevin’s funny and brilliant traps occurred. With hilarious scenes, slow and clear speech (as Kevin the main character is still a kid), “Home Alone” is a good choice for you to learn English and also entertain yourself.
“10 things I hate about you” is about a high school love story between Kat, the class brain and the girl who never dates, and Patrick, the school outlaw. It starts when Bianca, Kat’s younger sister, is forbidden to date until Kat starts going out. Kat then hatches a plot to hire Patrick to take her sister to the prom. But then, Patrick actually falls in love with Kat. This teenage romantic comedy has anything you would expect of. Its funny, lively, and enjoyable, especially the dialogues are quite slow and clear.
10 Mean Girls
“Mean Girls” is a famous American teen comedy. The movie follows the story of Cady Heron, a high school junior who was home-schooled in Africa while her parents worked there. As having never been to school before, Cady experiences her new life at the high school with pure innocence and excitement. Things change when Cady joins “The Plastics”, a group of the three most popular girls in the junior class, and has a crush on Aaron, Regina’s ex. From an innocent newcomer, Cady becomes a “mean girl” with a plan to sabotage Regina’s life in order to separate her from Aaron. The movie is famous among teen audiences for dissecting the true American high school society. Lines of the movie characters are not too fast, not too slow, enough for you to follow.
“The Parent Trap” is a family comedy movie about the twins Annie and Hallie’s plan to reconcile their divorced parents. The twin sisters do not know about each other until they accidentally met at a summer camp. This is when they decided to cooperate with each other to set up a “trap” and get their mom and dad back together. The movie is full of jolly scenes and the characters’ lines are quite slow and clear, making “The Parent Trap” an interesting movie to watch and learn English.
12 Finding Nemo
“Finding Nemo” is about the journey of Marlin the clownfish to find his lost son Nemo across the huge ocean. Accompanying with him is Dory, a female fish that Marlin accidentally encounters on the way. The movie is an amazing and meaningful adventure that contains valuable messages about hope and determination. When challenges get in your way, don’t be discouraged, “just keep swimming” as Dory says. The English vocabulary of the film is quite simple and the characters’ lines are slow and clear, making the movie suitable for you to learn English.
13 Shrek 2
“Shrek 2” – a sequel that is considered to be much better than the original. After their honeymoon, Shrek and Fiona decided to return to the kingdom. Terrified by Fiona’s appearance, the king and the queen try to separate her from Shrek. Things get complicated when Prince Charming and a swashbuckling cat get in the way to sabotage Shrek and Fiona’s relationship. “Shrek 2” is said to be a perfect sequel as it successfully develops the message of the original: people (and ogres) can find true love with anyone, regardless of their look.
“Monsters, Inc.” is a popular animated film that is set in the fictional Monstropolis world, where the energy comes from the terrifying screams of children. Therefore, Monsters, Inc. is established with the mission of sending monsters to the door of children’s bedrooms to scare them. Sulley the monster is the most qualified employee at Monsters Inc., which means that he is the scariest to children. However, after accidentally leading a human girl to the monsters’ world, things change. His view of children and his work gradually changed. The film is not only funny, witty but also hidden behind many profound lessons, making it suitable for all audiences.
“Coraline” is an animated movie about a girl named Coraline. Moving to a new house, Coraline feels lonely and bored as she is neglected by her stressed-out parents who are too busy to listen to what she says. This is why Coraline recklessly enters the tunnel and finds another world that she has always dreamt of. In that world, she has her other mom and dad who always listen to her and care for her. But little does she know that danger is lurking. The dialogues in the movie are really slow and clear, however, if you are not a fan of horror movies, you should consider it before watching it.
“Frozen” is a global craze. The film revolves around Princess Elsa, who possesses magical power allowing her to create and control ice and snow. However, Elsa lives with the fear of her own power and keeps hiding it. After inadvertently letting the public know about her true power, Elsa ran far away and isolated herself. The story of Elsa’s fighting against her own fear, accepting her power as her strength, and solving her own problem without needing any help is really inspiring. With simple vocabulary, slow lines combined with many catchy songs like “Let it go”, “Do you want to build a snowman?”, “Frozen” is an animated movie not to be missed for you to learn English, especially if you a fan of Disney Princess.
You have just read a step-by-step guide for beginners to learn English through movies and films effectively and effortlessly and a list of 16 interesting movies to start learning with. All of the recommended movies are highly entertaining, have simple English vocabulary, and slow and clear English dialogues. Depending on your own interest, you can easily pick a suitable movie to start learning. Don’t forget to download eJOY eXtension/ eJOY App to your computer/ smartphone so that you can practice English more easily and effectively.