Thinking in a Foreign Language: 7 Methods to Help You Train Your Brain
In learning a foreign language, there are four basic language skills- reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
It is a well-known fact that learning English with movies brings good results and a lot of pleasure.
Film addicts must be truly happy that their favorite films can help them to learn English.
However, this method of learning English seems simple only at first glance.
In this article you will learn a few techniques that will help you to develop your language skills and double your vocabulary.
And finally, we will recommend top five comedies in English that will add some amusement and laugh to your learning.
If you want to practice your speaking skills at the same time, you can hire one of our English native tutors. They can help you become fluent even faster.
Watching movies in English is far from being boring, unlike doing grammar exercises in your textbook, which is also essential, but less fun. If you really enjoy the movie, it won't be a problem to look up some words and phrases, or watch it one more time.
Understanding a foreign speech is one of the main aspects in learning English. What can be more useful and entertaining than watching people in an authentic language environment speaking real colloquial language? Moreover, you will get used to different accents.
You will come across a huge number of phrasal verbs, slang and cool phrases while watching films in English. Most of them can’t be found in your grammar books, but these are the words that are used by native speakers in ordinary life.
Watching foreign films in the original format provides insight into American and British customs and traditions. If you want to understand better who native speakers really are, then movies in English are for you.
It is not a secret that the movie translations aren’t always accurate, so the meaning of some English words can be lost. Some English phrases can’t be translated word by word, but they are worth knowing. In addition, watching movies in English, you hear the real voices of actors.
You don't have to look up every single word in the dictionary. It will be easier for you to guess the meaning of many words from the context or at least make sense of the particular scenes.
Dialogues in movies are perfect if you want to hear how sounds change naturally in connected speech. You hear the stresses and logical pauses that actors use and you start unconsciously copying the native speakers, adhering to their pace of speech and intonation.
You probably still have questions: What is the best movie in English to start watching?
What should I do with subtitles?
What is the most productive way of watching movies in English for learning a language?
Continue reading this article and we will answer these questions and help you get rid of all the doubts.
First of all, learning English with movies is not a struggle. Don’t make it so yourself. Always try to choose films according to your language skills. Remember that a nut shouldn’t be too hard to crack.
For beginners and the elementary level, it is better to choose cartoons than movies. Who doesn’t like Disney princesses, right?
Start learning English with Cinderella and Pocahontas, the well-known plots will encourage you. Moreover, you will turn into a child for a while.
English learners who have a pre-intermediate level may choose both films and cartoons. We’ll bet, you will enjoy some of these: Indecent Proposal, The Holiday, The Notebook, The Lion King, Frozen, Love Actually, Tangled.
Intermediate level English learners may try to watch their favorite films that they have already watched at least a few times, or they will certainly enjoy the following: Miracle on 34th Street, Harry Potter, Forrest Gump, Fight Club, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Terminal, Die Hard, Rocky.
For those learners, who have a better command of the language, like the upper-intermediate level, we recommend to watch the following movies in English: The Shawshank Redemption, The Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lord of the Rings, Interstellar, American History X, The Gone with the Wind, Requiem for a Dream, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Advanced level learners may watch any movie in English they like. Nowadays it is pretty easy to find something to your liking thanks to the Internet.
Remember, that unfamiliar words may occur anytime, but if they don’t prevent you from understanding the full picture, so put away your dictionary.
Try to understand the words from the context. Pause sometimes and think about what you have just heard and saw.
Turning on the subtitles while watching films in English is a great idea. Sometimes even familiar words sound a little bit strange and you can’t catch the meaning.
Use the subtitles wisely. Choose English subtitles, but not those of your native language. It will help you to concentrate more on the English language. Moreover, you can always see the spelling of the words you don’t know.
Don’t constantly read the subtitles to understand what is going on.
If it is too difficult for you, then first watch this film in your native language to know the plot, and only after that watch it in English.
If it doesn’t help, try to choose a simpler English movie. Sooner or later, you will be able to watch this difficult film.
The more films in English you watch, the better your English will be.
In a while, you will stop paying attention to subtitles and eventually you’ll turn them off.
Watching movies in English combines both entertaining and learning.
To make your English learning more effective, try to be attentive while watching a film.
If your ear catches some interesting phrase, write it down. You may use post-it notes or a special notebook where you’ll keep all the cool phrases.
You don’t always have to translate the phrase. Remember about the context?
If you know how and where to use the phrase, you don’t need a translation. That is also why we recommend you not to write down single words, as they may easily be forgotten.
Words live in phrases, situations and contexts.
The most important is not to forget to use these phrases in your everyday life.
Watching films in English doesn’t only expand your vocabulary but also improves your pronunciation.
We have a nice exercise to master your pronunciation with movies in English.
After you have watched the film, choose your favorite scene. It should be just 2-3 minutes long. Make sure that you understand what is going on and most of the words sound familiar.
Now you have to watch the scene 3 times.
First time watch the scene with English subtitles, for the second time watch it without the subtitles. For the third time you have to pause after each sentence.
When you hear the sentence, try to pronounce it exactly like the actors do. Imitate all the logical pauses, intonations and even the excretion of the face.
By copying the native speakers, you become more fluent.
You may record your voice and compare it with the voice of the actors.
It will help you to find your weak points of your pronunciation, or maybe find out about your hidden acting skills.
Don’t forget to have fun!
Invite friends or family members, buy a bucket of popcorn and enjoy the film in English.
You may have a discussion of the best scenes, actors and the impression of the film in English afterwards.
Speak English as much as you possibly can and use the phrases and cool words from the movies.
You may even encourage your friends to play-act some scene from the movie!
There are many benefits of learning English by watching films in the original, we hope you are convinced.
Learning English with comedies is even better.
English humor seems strange sometimes, but it happens because we have never given it a try.
A significant part of the jokes is based on puns, it is almost impossible to translate a wordplay adequately.
To get to know the humor of the British or Americans better, watch some good comedies that we’ll recommend to you and try to take the jokes. Trust us, they are hilarious.
You want more tips on how learn English with movies?
Read more here: 5 tips to learn English through movies and TV shows
‘Ocean’s 8’ (2018) is an adventurous action comedy. Debbie Ocean, the sister of legendary Danny Ocean, gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist of the annual Met Gala in New York City. Their goal is a necklace worth in excess of 150 million dollars. This is the movie where you can find dozens of useful phrases and expressions in English.
‘The Proposal’ (2009) is a romantic comedy about an assertive boss, who makes her young assistant marry her to keep her visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada. It is a perfect choice of the movie in English to watch with your beloved one. After watching it you will have a lot to discuss with your partner. Do it in English, please.
‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’ (1989) is a fascinating family comedy and science fiction film. The plot involves the story about a scientist, who invents an electromagnetic shrinking machine, which he accidently tests on his own children. Watch this comedy with your family members, as it offers a charming, high-spirited sense of adventure and abundance of useful English phrases.
‘We Are The Millers’ (2013) is a hilarious crime comedy about eternal family values that even a drug dealer has. The movie stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts and many others. A pot dealer convinces his neighbours to help him by pretending to be his family, in order to smuggle drugs from Mexico into the United States. Watch the movie in English to know the unpredictable end of the story and you will surely come across many fascinating phrases and learn how to express your feelings and emotions in English better.
‘Home Alone’ (1990) is a comedy that most people can watch endlessly. The story of a little eight-year-old boy, who defends his home from the burglars after his family mistakenly leaves him behind on the Christmas vacation, is famous worldwide. Each English learner should watch it at least once in the original. There are no high-sounding words, only useful vocabulary for everyday communication.
Listening is one of the most important aspects in learning English. You can develop listening skills only in a language environment.
Do you think it is impossible to do without leaving your house? Well, you can easily create a language environment thanks to films in English.
To make watching English-language films not only pleasant for you, but also a productive process, try to organize it correctly.
We hope that in this article you have found many useful tips on how to do it.
Turn watching movies in English into a habit and you will boost your language!
Practice with your English tutor and you will become fluent even faster.
Watching movies can help you improve your English vocabulary, listening skills, comprehension and one day, speaking skills. The biggest benefit of watching movies in English is that you get your ear used to the language. You can listen to native speakers and acquire new words that are actually used in real life. You might want to hire a tutor to help you with grammar, but other than that, movies are great for learning English.
Ocean’s 8, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, We are the Millers, Home Alone, The Proposal
Use English as much as possible, preferably everyday. Listen to podcasts in English, watch movies and TV Shows, read books and articles, talk to native speakers, talk to yourself in the mirror, read out loud to practice pronunciation, play games.
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