If you feel overwhelmed and exhausted from doing IELTS practice tests and reading pages of academic textbooks, then why don’t you try another method? Watching Netflix, maybe? Well, indeed practicing the IELTS test with movies is very effective if you know how to do it right. So here are the top 15 Netflix movies for IELTS takers and our ultimate guide to making the most out of them.
Why practice IELTS through movies?
Improve your general listening and speaking skills
Nothing is better than listening to real native English. By watching movies, you have the chance to listen to native English actors speaking the language in a natural way. Besides, hearing native speakers in movies will teach you how to pronounce English words properly.
Enlarge your IELTS vocabulary
In movies, words are used as part of a story which helps you to learn and remember them more effectively. Movies on Netflix are of various topics and categories such as education, politics, global issues,… The more you watch movies on Netflix, the more your vocabulary size will expand.
New ideas for IELTS Speaking and Writing
To be able to achieve high scores in both the speaking and writing test, you need to express your ideas and justify them in a coherent way. However, sometimes our mind just goes blank and we run out of good ideas. To avoid this circumstance, focus on your input.
Feed your mind with good ideas, information, content for your IELTS exam. Watching movies on a wide range of topics will surely help.
4 Tips to pass IELTS with movies
Listen to your inner voice
Choose to watch the movies you like first, the ones you can watch again and again without getting bored. We tend to give up easily when we’re forced to do something we don’t want. However, when we watch our favorite movies, we will surely learn lots of new words with ease. That will make us get hyped (!!!) and push us forward to tackle some difficult movies with which you hesitate to learn at the beginning of your learning journey.
Be focused and active
Pay great attention to the language used by the actors. It would be arduous if you have to stay focused for more than 90 minutes. We highly recommend you practice English with only one short part of the movie at a time. A movie clip of fewer than 3 minutes is highly recommended. And fortunately, you can curl up on the sofa, watch your favorite movies, and study English actively at the same time. All are made easy with eJOY apps. Check out our blog to learn English through Netflix movies in an active and effective way.
Do shadowing a lot
Children learn their native language structure and individual words through imitation. Whether you want to admit it or not, imitation works wonders for your English speaking acquisition. You can imitate the accent by simply repeating what the actors say or do (both language and gestures). Notice how they ask questions and express certain feelings. Pay attention to both pronunciation and intonation.
Use subtitles wisely
The first time you watch a movie, it’s advisable that you turn on the subtitles in your mother tongue to grasp the main points of the movie. Other times, you should watch it in English. eJOY’s powerful translation tool is here to help you whenever you need it. Just don’t forget to allow yourself some time to guess the meaning of new words before you look them up. If you encounter any interesting words or phrases, remember to save them for further practice.
Here is how to learn English with movies in an active way
Among a variety of movie streaming websites on the Internet, Netflix is my most favorite one due to its high-quality streaming service and huge collection of movies, documentaries, and TV shows. If you’re also a Netflix fan like me, then you might want to install eJOY eXtension to your Chrome. This amazing tool will allow you to look up new words and save them to practice later. In addition, having it installed, you will be able to access very useful functions such as looping, low speed so that you can learn English in a more convenient way. Most importantly, the tool is totally compatible with Netflix.
Below is our brief guide on how to actively learn English with movies
Step 1: Watch the desired movie with bilingual subtitles or the subtitle in your own language.
Step 2: Pick a favorite scene to practice (it should be shorter than 3 minutes)
Step 3: Study the movie scene actively:
- Watch it a few times with the English subtitle on.
- Look up and save new words or phrases
- Imitate the way the actors speak English
Step 4: Revise your vocabulary
- The Best Way to Learn English with TED Talks on eJOY App
- “A To Z” Tips For Learning English with Movies
Best Netflix movies for IELTS takers
Movies for general English skills
Friends is an American sitcom TV series that is widely used in English learning because of its simple language and hilarious content. The sitcom follows the personal and professional lives of 6 friends living in Manhattan.
How I Met Your Mother follows the main character, Ted Mosby, and his group of friends in Manhattan. Through a series of flashbacks, Ted tells his children about the journey he and his friends took leading up to him meeting their mother.
It’s about a group of nerdy friends who work together at the university carrying out different kinds of scientific research and experiments. The four young men are brilliant but socially awkward physicists. Their lives are turned upside down when they have a new neighbor. Practicing English with this series will not only help to increase your academic vocabulary but also to improve your English listening skills.
Movies for IELTS by topic
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
A plastic ocean begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean. This award-winning documentary will be a great source of IELTS vocabulary on different topics, for instance, Animals, Nature, Global Issues and Environment.
Science and Technology
Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook, The Social Network is a biographical drama film about the founders of the most popular social networking website, Facebook.
“Black Mirror” unveils how modern technologies can backfire and be used against their makers. All of the episodes are individual stories with no connection between them, so it’s perfect for those who don’t like to follow a long plot.
Silicon Valley is an American comedy television series following a group of young men who break into a Silicon Valley business and have to face the ramifications of their choices.
Crime, Laws, and Politics
Suits is an American legal drama television series, following the lives of Mike Ross, a brilliant college dropout and Harvey Specter, one of New York City’s best lawyers when they work together in different legal cases.
House of Cards is an American political thriller web television series about a ruthless congressman and his equally ambitious wife who navigate the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.
What the Health is a documentary film which critiques the health impact of meat and dairy products consumption, and questions the practices of the leading health and pharmaceutical organizations. Its primary purpose is to advocate for a plant-based diet.
Forks Over Knives is an American advocacy film and documentary that empowers people to live healthier lives by changing the way the world understands nutrition. There is a wide range of health and diet vocabulary that can be helpful for your IELTS writing and speaking tests.
Nature and Environment
Filmed over four years across 64 different countries, this epic documentary series is the definitive look at the diversity of our planet. You’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty of the Earth and numerous useful English vocabulary.
Our Planet is a groundbreaking documentary series created for Netflix in collaboration with WWF and Silverback Films. Its aim is to raise awareness of the world’s rarest wildlife and most precious habitats. The series is also an inspiration for people all around the world to make changes to protect the place that we call home. Follow this series and you’ll never be worried about lacking ideas on the Environment topic.
Life is a British nature documentary series created and produced by the BBC in association with The Open University. It tells a majestic and compelling story of survival and of the amazing behaviors animals and plants adapting to stay alive and pass their genes to a new generation.
So we’ve just put together a list of the best Netflix movies you might find helpful to prepare for your upcoming IELTS exam. Are there any films that we missed out on? Please leave us a comment below if you’d like to add any other interesting films to the list. Now let’s choose a favorite one and practice, shall we?