How films can help you learn a language

Films are a great medium to use when it comes to improving your language skills like vocabulary, pronunciation, learning informal phrases and even getting to know the cultural aspects of other languages. It should be stated that films alone will not automatically turn you into a native speaker, however it can be a great addition to your learning process, especially if you use it wisely. Here are some tips and methods how to incorporate movies into your learning routine:

Start with the movies you enjoy

Choose the film that you are interested in as this will keep you more motivated. Another great choice can be a movie you have already seen in your native language. This will help you to concentrate on the particular aspects of language instead of trying to follow the storyline.Think about the type of film you choose – many films these days are (unfortunately) quite formulaic. But the positive side of this is that you are probably already familiar with the typical story type  – particularly in the case of rom-coms, action or police films. The benefit of watching films like these is that you can focus more on the dialogue than the complicated plot, meaning you might be more likely to pick up on expressions and interesting vocabulary.

 Watch the movies with subtitles

One option is to start with the subtitles in your native language, but with the original English sound (address original sound according to the language you want to learn). This might seem ineffective, but actually this is a great way to begin to get an ‘ear’ for a language.  If you listen to a foreign language radio station, even if you don’t understand a single word, you can normally imitate the intonation and you quickly become familiar with the common words and sounds of that language. This is a great first step to improving many aspects of pronunciation. This is also a good way to start watching original version films when your English is at a more elementary level, as you will still be able to follow the film. Later, you can put the subtitles in English or another language you are learning.

Use it effectively

To make it more efficient, incorporate some exercises and take full advantage of this learning process. One of the exercises can be Write down what you hear. Try to focus on your listening skills and write down what you hear on a piece of paper. To make it easier, hit the pause button every time you need and listen a few times if needed. Afterwards compare your writing with the subtitles. Another great exercise is Repeat the words and phrases as you hear them. If you notice that a certain word or phrase keeps being repeated, you can always pause and practice it aloud. Try to mimic the correct pronunciation. You can always record it and then compare yourself with an original audio.