English Listening Tip: Watch Movies and TV

I’m sure that if you study English, you want to improve your listening skills! There are a ton of ways to practice English listening, but one of the best ways is to watch English TV or movies. The reason it’s so good is because it’s fun. This means that you’re likely to keep doing it, especially if you get addicted to watching a favourite TV series.

Keep on reading for how to make the best use of your time when watching English TV or movies. Here are the English listening tips!

Watch Movies and TV to Improve your English Listening

You probably already watch English TV or movies, but with subtitles in your own language. This does not provide you with the maximum benefits. It’s better if you watch without subtitles. This is because your brain will be forced to work much harder.

Points to Consider when Choosing What to Watch

When choosing a TV show or film, there are several points to consider.

  1. Is it interesting to you? You can find lists of “Best Movies to Learn English” all over the internet, but if the films are in genres you don’t like, you are less likely to get much out of it.

  2. Is it something you could watch over and over? Unless your English is advanced, you will learn more each time you watch the same show. So, pick something you will enjoy re-watching as much as you enjoyed watching for the first time.

  3. Accents. Some accents are easier to understand than others. For example, Tom Hanks speaks slowly and clearly, but Sylvester Stallone sounds tired or a little drunk and is more difficult to understand.

  4. Genre. Action movies will be easier to understand, because you can use the visual cues (the action) help you understand. Dramas and romantic comedies will have more “sitting and talking” scenes and more difficult language.

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Take your English Listening to the Next Level 

You can take watching TV or movies to the next level by studying the transcripts. There is a large selection of movie scripts available to read online for free at IMSDB and TV scripts at Forever Dreaming. This is a fan-created site with a large collection of Friends scripts.

I think watching a series is better than a movie, and watching reality TV is the best. The reason for this is you can get used to the characters’ accents and speech, which makes comprehension easier. With reality TV, you can also hear how people really talk. A quick word of warning! Don’t start pulling people’s hair and throwing things when you are angry– not everything you see on reality TV is true!

YouTube with Subtitles On

If you watch episodes on YouTube, you can turn on the subtitles. Keep in mind that the subtitles aren’t always accurate. Challenge yourself to watch carefully and catch the mistakes. This will help you listen actively, even when there are no comprehension activities to complete.

Eventually, you want to turn off the subtitles, though. There are no subtitles in day to day life! But first, watch this episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. I saw several mistakes just in the first thirty seconds. How many can you find?

Need more English Listening Tips?

If you liked this English listening tip about watching TV and movies, then you’ll need to get this book: 71 Ways to Practice English Listening: Tips for ESL/EFL Learners. The tip you just read is from this book, and there are 70 more English listening tips just like it. You’ll be listening in English like a pro in no time, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced student. It really is possible to improve your English listening skills.

Check out the book on Amazon today:

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