How to learn English via movies

How to use movies effectively to learn and improve your English.

Learning vs entertaining

Many conservative English teachers claim that learning a foreign language is a tough and serious process that requires all your attention and patience. From their perspective, students have to sacrifice everything they have, dedicate all their free time to that. However, their conception of the learning process is just partly true. Today, learning English becomes more variable, interesting, and non-standard. Modern students learn a foreign language by injecting it into daily life. Classes, essay writing, and home tasks do not limit it anymore. Thus, we do not have to choose between studying and entertaining. We can combine them; have a lot of fun and learning language simultaneously.

How watching movies in English affects language skills?

Nowadays, many people love to watch movies. It is an interesting entertainment that does not require your energy, skills, and efforts. Thanks to the variety of genres, we can choose whatever we want depending on our preferences, mood, and interests. Moreover, watching movies in English is not only an entertainment but also a great practice. When you watch films in English you wide your vocabulary, get used to the sounds, pronunciation, and intonation, learn the phrases and idioms. The best thing is that you learn how and where you can use that. Alike essay writing, it improves your fluency and builds your confidence.

pros and cons

The most common question the students wonder if it is better to watch movies with English subtitles or without them. Let us look at the subtitles more thoroughly.

On the one hand, subtitles can help you a lot. If you are learning English, most likely you cannot catch up all the words and phrases you hear in the movie. Sometimes it happens due to different pronunciation, sometimes it is just a new word for you. When you face such situation, to read subtitles are the best way to find out what that word was. You will develop your listening skills as well as your reading and spelling.  

On the opposite, the subtitles can be a big problem for your learning process. First, if they are incorrect, they will confuse you. You will learn the wrong words and spelling that is not so good for your English. Thus, watch movies with subtitles only if you are a hundred percent sure that they are correct. Watch a small episode very carefully to understand if the text is the same as the talk or the author of the subtitles needs some writing help. Another bad point about subtitles is that you can get used to them. Reading subtitles will give you more information than listening to the speech, so you will stop focusing on the talk and just start reading all the words. Consequently, the real conversations will become difficult for you, as there will be no subtitles.

How to watch movies properly?

If you want to get as much as possible from watching movies in English, you have to follow several rules. The very first one is – stay focused all the time. When you watch some interesting movie, you can stop focusing on the talk and understand the plot from the context. Do not do that, as you will not get all useful information that you could. Next point is – watch a movie with the pen and paper. Write down the new words and the interesting phrases you hear to make sure that you will learn them and use later in your speaking and paper writing like at Finally, put the movie on pause when you did not catch up something important. Rewind a little, and listen to it again. By doing so, you will improve your listening skills and prepare yourself for the real conversations.