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One of the greatest and most convenient pleasures of life nowadays is to just watch Netflix. But did you realize that you can watch Netflix series to learn languages?
Netflix offers a broad array of TV series and movies of all different genres. If you like action or anime, sci-fi or telenovelas, horror or comedy, there will be something to suit your tastes.
Since Netflix also gathers their library of content from all over the globe, they offer you content in a variety of languages. If you want to learn say, Japanese, you can watch a few anime series in the original Japanese audio and see if you can follow along.
In this post, we’re going to talk about how you can use Netflix to learn a specific language – American English. Before we go on and list some of the best Netflix series to learn American English, let’s look at why you need to learn American English.
If you are going to be traveling or living in the United States, or just somewhere where the US has a lot of influence, the English you will be hearing will be American English.
While someone speaking another form of English can easily make themselves understood to American English speakers, other English speakers might have a more difficult time understanding an American English speaker.
There are two reasons why American English might confuse an English language learner, the accent and the vocabulary.
American English speakers will have a distinct accent that is different from that of other English language speakers. This comes up because of differences in pronunciation.
If you are used to hearing an English word pronounced a certain way, hearing it pronounced another way could throw you off.
American English also has its own distinctive vocabulary. While most common words of English are understandable to all English speakers, there are slang terms, expressions, and idioms that American English speakers will use every day that a British person will not.
In order to smoothly converse with American English speakers, you need to be familiar with both their particular accents and vocabulary. This will help save you from any awkward pauses where you have to “think” about whether you really heard them say what they said.
One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with American English is simply to watch American television. Watching American TV series isn’t just a great way to learn an American accent and American expressions – it’s also fun.
With the advent of streaming platforms such as Netflix, following American English TV shows is easier than ever. You no longer have to “wait” for an episode to come out on TV, you have whole seasons available for you to “binge” or watch and rewatch at your leisure.
Remember, watching Netflix series to learn American English should be fun! So, make sure to choose a show that sounds like will keep you interested. Don’t force yourself to watch a drama or crime procedural if what you want is a few laughs, for example.
To help you decide on what Netflix series you should be watching to learn American English, check out the following shows. We’ve included a description of the show as well, to help you pick which one is the right one for you.
Through most of its ten season run, this show was an American icon and a popular sitcom all over the globe. People from all over followed the misadventures of a group of friends living in Manhattan: Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey.
The friends and their actors and actresses grew into household names and have greatly influenced pop culture. With all the episodes currently available on Netflix, these “friends” will be a great help in introducing you to American Slang.
If you are a fan of animation and rather dark humor, check out this animated show from Netflix.
The main character might be a “talking horseman” but that doesn’t mean his problems aren’t relatable. After all, BoJack is just looking for love and happiness. Unfortunately, he’s got a lot of issues stemming from the fact that he’s a former movie star with a history of drug use and depression.
As you can tell, the show may be animated, but it’s not a kid’s show. It uses a lot of slang and colloquialisms that could make it difficult for beginner learners to follow along.
One of the first real big hits for Netflix, for five seasons, audiences watched high school chemistry teacher Walter White respond to a cancer diagnosis by making some questionable decisions.
While White’s initial decision to cook and sell meth to earn money to pay for his medical expenses starts out “simply”, he and those around him become more and more enmeshed in the drug trade leading to some shocking acts of violence.
You are going to learn a lot of both scientific and business talk by watching this show. Not to mention some criminal slang and a wh-ooo-o-l-e range of American swear words.
If you are an 80’s kid or someone who loves sci-fi dramas, you should definitely check out Stranger Things.
The story begins when a 10-year old boy disappears on his way home from a Dungeons & Dragons game. His friends decide they need to search for him and find a strange, nameless girl with mysterious powers instead. Soon their sleepy town is awash with shady government agents and deadly creatures from another dimension.
Follow along with the troubled but charismatic ad man Don Draper as he maneuvers and manipulates his way into becoming 1950’s New York’s greatest “Mad Man”.
There’s a lot of drama here, not just from Don, but the other ambitious ad men of varying degrees of creative talent who are around him. Not to mention “home drama” such as broken marriages troubled kids, extramarital affairs, multiple girlfriends, and even homophobia.
Another clever comedy told in the “mockumentary format.” Follow along with the employees of the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee.
Parks and Recreation feature an office full of quirky characters, some more devoted to their jobs than others, as they try and do their small part in improving their town.
This is a cop show, but it’s not your typical crime drama.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine features a precinct full of quirky and witty cops and detectives who are intent on keeping crime in their area down – but to do so by utilizing a slew of witty comments, sharp banter, and bad puns more than by drawing their firearms.
This show is sure to bring laughs and teach you some interesting slang, though some of the humor might be a bit hard to follow for beginner language learners.
Watching documentaries in American English is both educational and entertaining. Not only will you improve your English, but you will get a chance to learn new things as well.
Explained is a particularly good documentary series found on Netflix. It covers a lot of interesting topics that are relevant to modern American culture in a way that makes it easy to understand. It’s particularly good about explaining American current events and news.
Check it out to improve your American English and learn more about American society and culture.
If you enjoy legal dramas and want to learn some legal jargon, you should definitely watch a few episodes of suits.
Follow top New York attorney Harvey Specter and his protégé the “legal savant” Mike Ross as they defend their clients. As successful as the duo are, they are hiding a secret, Ross may be smarter than many an experienced lawyer – but he never finished law school.
If you enjoy learning about legal suits and watching men in smart suits debate, this is the series for you.
Watching TV series may seem like an unorthodox way to learn a language, but it’s actually pretty effective.
Teachers have known for a long time that keeping their lessons entertaining is important as it will capture their student’s attention and help them absorb information quicker. That’s why educational audiovisual materials exist.
In between your sessions with a native-speaking tutor, you can watch an episode or two of an American English TV show on Netflix. When you meet your tutor again, you can talk about the episode to practice your conversational skills. You can also ask them about anything you might have found “confusing” be it a new word, a joke, or an expression.
You should also ask your tutor what their favorite TV show is and if it’s available on Netflix. What we listed is only 9 of the best Netflix series to learn American English with, there are tons more out there!
Let us know your favorite American show in the comments below!
If you are going to be traveling or living in the United States, or just somewhere where the US has a lot of influence, the English you will be hearing will be American English. While someone speaking another form of English can easily make themselves understood to American English speakers, other English speakers might have a more difficult time understanding an American English speaker. There are two reasons why American English might confuse an English language learner, the accent and the vocabulary. American English speakers will have a distinct accent that is different from that of other English language speakers. This comes up because of differences in pronunciation.
One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with American English is simply to watch American television. Watching American TV series isn’t just a great way to learn an American accent and American expressions – it’s also fun. With the advent of streaming platforms such as Netflix, following American English TV shows is easier than ever. You no longer have to “wait” for an episode to come out on TV, you have whole seasons available for you to “binge” or watch and rewatch at your leisure.
Friends, BoJack Horseman, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Stranger Things, Parks and Recreation. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Explained, Suits.
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