Getting Better at English Through Watching Movies

Are you having trouble with your grammar and pronunciation? Or do you just want to improve the number of words in your word bank but have trouble keeping your attention on the dictionary? But what if we told you that you can learn to improve your usage of the English language while still having fun and entertaining yourself?

Let’s face the truth – English is a difficult subject to understand especially for non-native speakers. There are words that sound the same but have different definitions based on context. There are words that are pronounced differently when in past tense, and don’t even get us started on rhymes. And in this fast-paced environment we live in, we often have little time to study the ins and outs of the English language.

However, if you were to incorporate entertainment with learning, then the process of improving your English skills would take a lot less time than it normally would if you just red a dictionary from cover to cover. And if you haven’t already picked up on the title, watching movies is one of the ways you can improve your English skills, either verbally or in written form.

Perks of the English language

Hailed as the universal language, learning the English language can have a lot of perks and is worth every bit of effort you have put into honing your skills at the subject. A few of these perks would include:

Better communication

Becoming proficient in the English language allows you to become better at communication and allows you to express yourself and your thoughts better. You will have more words to choose from to make your sentences sound less repetitive, you will also make less grammatical errors when speaking or writing.

And as an added bonus, proficiency in the English language can enable you to communicate with individuals who do not speak your native tongue. This allows you to entertain and understand what these individuals are trying to imply as you both have a common language which you both understand.

Job interview weapon

Another perk of being proficient in the English language is that it can become a valuable asset when you are in an interview. Not only does it show that you have proficient knowledge in the language and is capable of articulating the words clearly, you can also express your thoughts better when answering the questions given by your interviewer. Given that the language you will use in an interview is English, of course.

Better grades at the subject

If an individual is good at the language, then that individual will have no trouble with the subject as well. Wouldn’t you want to get higher grades than your other classmates in the English subject? Proficiency in the English language can help give you the knowledge you need to ace every English exam in your way, provided that you have studied well enough of course.

Boost in confidence

Not only does proficiency in the English language lead to higher grades in the subject but it also gives you a huge boost in terms of confidence. This is due to the fact that you will no longer be weary and doubtful of the things you say as you now have a better understanding of the grammatical rules present in the English language and the other minor details that come along with it. The fear of making mistakes and failure almost disappears from your mind and is instead replaced by thoughts brimming with confidence.

Why you should study English while watching movies

After becoming aware of all the perks of becoming better at the English language you may have gained interest into getting better at it but is sceptical about it because of your tight schedule. But what if you could entertain yourself while still learning English at the same time? Just like hitting two birds with one stone.

Watching movies is a great way to help you relax from a long week of academics and it also serves as great entertainment. While watching the movie, you can then try to pay better attention to the dialogue of the characters and you will begin to learn a little more about the language than you would have f you never paid attention to the dialogue and just focused on the visuals.

How you can get better English by watching movies:

Like any other language, you cannot magically get better at English just by watching one movie. You still need to put up a good amount of effort into researching the definitions of new and unfamiliar words and how they are used. However, there are a few steps you can take to maximize your learning of the English language by watching movies.

1. Pick the right film to watch

The first thing you should do if you want to learn English by watching movies is to pick the right movie to watch. Try to pick ones that are regarded highly by intellectuals and have more dialogue. And if you are concerned about it: No, this does not make you a bandwagon; rather you are just trying to choose the best movie to learn English from.

Also try to choose movies that lean less into action scenes as it can be difficult to be engaged in those heart pounding scenes while still keeping up and paying attention to the dialogue. These movies also tend to have less dialogue as most of the emphasis of these movies is to portray emotions rather than words.

2. Always make sure the subtitles are on

The next thing you should do is to make sure the subtitles for the movie you chose is turned on. This can help you when taking down notes for difficult and unfamiliar words later on. Subtitles also allow you to read the dialogue rather than listen to it to help you understand the dialogue better.

3. Avoid dubbed movies as much as possible

Another thing you can do to make sure you can learn English by watching movies is to make sure that you watch English movies and not dubbed ones. Yes, you can still technically learn English just by reading the subtitles, but you will miss out on the stresses, pronunciation, and general context of the English language if you just watched dubbed movies.

It may be tempting to find comfort when you watch movies in your native language and just turn on English subtitles, but try to refrain from doing so. After all, why would you watch a movie that is in a different language when you want to learn English? It just defeats the whole purpose of this whole list.

4. Take note of how they use unfamiliar terms

After clearing up what you should watch and how you should watch and how you should watch it, it is now time to actually watch the movie. While watching the movie, try to write down unfamiliar terms, phrases, or idiomatic expressions you do not understand so that you can look up their definitions later on.

This is a simple tsk but is one that can greatly affect the success of your movie watching/English learning activity. You gain more words to add to your arsenal of words and you also become knowledgeable about the different ways to make your English sound well-trained.

5. Look up words you did not understand

After making a list of the words you find unfamiliar, the next logical step is to look up their definitions and how they are used. This will allow you to use those words yourself for future scenarios because you now know how to use them and when to use them.

What you research is not only limited to words but can also be phrases or idiomatic expressions as well. the English language has a lot of bizarre idiomatic expressions after all.

6. Re-watch the movie

Continuing on with our list, after you have successfully written down everything you do not understand in the movie’s dialogue and looked up what they mean and how they are used, it is time to give the movie a little re-watch to make sure that the words used are on par with the definitions you have researched.

Re-watching the movie you watch allows you to further grasp the message of their dialogues as you are no longer confused with what that one word in the sentence means.

7. Practice

All that’s left now is to practice the words or phrases you have recently discovered by watching a movie. It takes a little bit of effort to get those newly learned words fit your sentences naturally but it will pay off in the end as you now have more words in your arsenal.

Bonus tip

If you feel like the process listed above is too tedious and you want to get better at English by watching movies faster, try bringing a dictionary with you whenever you watch your chosen movie and look up the definition of unfamiliar words immediately after you have encountered them. This will essentially merge the 4th and 5th step in the process which can save you time. However, you lose the chance to record the words you find unfamiliar and have no written records to review later on.

When all else fails and you still have trouble getting better at English even after following the list above, why not consider hiring a tutor to supplement your strive to become better at English? And there is no better place to find a capable and skilled tutor than here at FamilyTutor. We are a home tuition in Singapore with thousands of home tutors. We offer courses in a variety of subjects such as Math, Sciences, and of course: English. All it takes in one click and you are set to learn from the best home tutors the industry has to offer.

Also, check out our English Tuition blog to find out more!



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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