FIve Easy Tips to Learn English from TV Shows
One of the top questions I get asked as a teacher is, "How can I improve my English?" and one of my top answers is always TV!
TV is an endless playground of English opportunities. If you love British English then the land of TV has just what you need. If you're in love with that wonderful carefree American accent then we Americans have enough TV shows to fill your English learner needs. Whatever accent you're a fan of, there are hundreds of TV shows that you can watch, listen to and study from.
TV show are now becoming more and more accessibly (easy to find). With a quick Google search and the wonderful world of YouTube you can find thousands of TV shows.
So, how can you improve your English with TV shows? Will let's take a look at my five (5) tips that I learned from my most successful students over the years.
Number 1: Find Two Shows
You want to find two different tv shows that will do two different things for you.
Your EASY show - Find a TV show that you simply enjoy watching and that you can understand at least 90% of when you watch it the first time. If you can not understand about 90% of the show then it is too difficult. This show will help increase your pronunciation and listening skills. This is incredibly important. Our listening skills will help us in a conversation more than speaking, at times.
Your DIFFICULT show - Find a TV show that you enjoy but you only understand about 40% - 50% of the show. If you can understand more than 50% when you watch it then it's too easy. This show will help not only with your listening skills but also your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Not to mention your understanding of English colloquials and idioms (those funny expressions we say that don't always make sense i.e. It's raining cats and dogs.)
Number 2: No Subtitles
I know this may sound crazy but it's incredibly important. When we use subtitles (the words at the bottom of the screen) we're not helping our listening skills. We're helping our reading skills. If you want to improve your reading skills the best place for that is a book that has been edited correctly.
Subtitles are often written by fans or a computer program and are usually not edited so we can't be sure they are correct.
If you can remove or take away the subtitles from a show you're watching that is best but if not, simply cover them with a piece of paper or your hand if you're watching on your smartphone.
Number 3: Watch TV Everyday
We only need about twenty (20) or thirty (30) minutes a day to watch one of our TV Shows and improve our English ability. When you're eating breakfast, on the bus to work, or waiting in line take the time to watch one of your shows.
- Your Easy Show - Watch it every day if you can!
- Your Difficult Show - Watch it three (3) days a week!
Number 4: Watch them many times
This tip is for people with a little more free time! When you're watching your TV show make sure to go back and listening again to any parts you don't understand.
This is one of the beautiful things about TV shows. We can always go back and listen again. In a conversation, with real people, we can't. In this way, TV shows are an endless resource.
Number 5: Take Notes
When you're watching your favorite shows, always try and have a notepad near by. Write down anything you don't understand or any words your find interesting.
After the show go online and try and look up the meaning or during class maybe ask your teacher what it might mean.
I hope these tips helps on your English journey. If you would like some suggestions on which TV shows might be best to start off with, just message me. If you want to just chat about TV or movies just let me know! Thanks for reading!