Saturday, 17 October 2015

Language Learning Tips and Tricks: Tip 5

Choose some movies, TV series and comedy shows you would love to watch

If you want to understand what's being said in the language you are learning, just practise listening to it being spoken! As easy as that (not that I'm saying that it's easy ;) And movies and comedy shows are fun too!


Make sure the movies, TV series and comedy shows you choose have subtitles which can be switched off. Subtitles are useful if you discover you don't understand a damn thing. That was me discovering Scottish accent for the first time with 'Trainspotting' - 'So that's English? Seriously?' And that was before I learnt that the comedian guy Kevin Bridges speaking weird English is actually Scottish too! So, thank god for the subtitles!

Subtitles are also useful at the start of the movies or shows when you are still tuning your ear to the cast. Well, only at the very start if you are lucky! It took me a good couple of episodes to tune my ear to Lee Mack from the TV series 'Not Going Out'! But once I got there, boy, this guy is hilarious!

Also, subtitles are good for capturing words and phrases you don't know at the moment but would love to learn and use yourself. Just make sure you add them to your vocBlocks so you don't lose them and actually learn (and use!) them later.

Subtitles are better than no subtitles but don't let reading them turn into a habit - switch them off if you understand most of what's being said.

Also, at the beginning you might want to choose action movies where you will probably understand the plot without much language anyway or might not need to at all! 'Expendables' for example can be watched with no sound on and you will still get the most important bit - it's cool to be big and strong! Or did I miss some deep meaning there?

As you progress with your language skills you will gradually learn to decipher dialogues from psychological thrillers if you want to watch them and, unlike me, a wimp, have nerves of steel and sleep well at night after it. The toughest one I have managed to get over so far is 'The Devil's Advocate' with my favourite Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves. Though I still get flashbacks with Mary whimpering, 'Kevin, I'm not crazy!' Brrr, something a bit more cheerful for me please!

Don't miss the next tip in the upcoming post if you fancy adding some tunes to your language learning ;)

We want to hear about YOUR experience with watching movies, shows, etc.! Feel free to post your recommendations of what to watch in the comments too!

P.S. I am not the only one struggling with the Scottish accent. And here is proof:

You might also like other tips and tricks:

Tip 1. Choose a good and fun study book

Tip 2. Get a good self study grammar book

Tip 3. Get some fiction books you would love to read

Tip 4. Choose some non-fiction read including newspapers

Tip 6. Get some of your favourite songs with lyrics

Tip 7. Connect with someone who has good level of your target language, native speaker ideally

Pressed for time and cannot read it all? Check out our slides with these tips and tricks.

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