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How To Use Movies To Learn A Language: 5 Great Tips!

May 6, 2022
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Are you fascinated about one or more languages but don't know how to start learning a language the right way? Some languages, especially the lesser-known ones, aren't usually taught in classroom settings or through popular language learning platforms like Rosetta Stone. That's why we're sharing five great tips on how to use movies to learn a language!

Learning a foreign language can be intimidating, especially if it's incredibly different from your native language. Oftentimes, language learners will resort to taking language classes or watching videos on YouTube. But, have you ever considered learning a new language by watching movies?

In fact, if you're familiar with KPOP, RM, a member of the famous worldwide group BTS, has been very vocal about how he learned English simply by watching the show Friends!

See what we mean? Watching foreign-language movies is a great way to build your language skills. If you enjoy watching movies instead of sitting through rigid language lessons, then this is the perfect alternative for you! The best part is that there are movies available in nearly any language, so you should be able to learn the language or multiple languages you truly want!

So, let's get started! The sooner we go over five great tips on how to use movies to learn a language, the sooner you can start movie watching!

Can You Really Learn A Language By Watching Movies?

How To Use Movies To Learn A Language

Some people might be skeptical about whether you can learn a language by watching movies. Well, we're here to tell you that you can watch movies!

If this wasn't the case, why else would ESL learners be encouraged to use subtitles to improve their English skills? By watching movies, videos, or tv in a foreign language, your brain is allowed to learn differently. It has even been proven that subtitles can help students learn a language faster. Several different studies have been done on the effectiveness of learning a language by watching movies. So, if you're in doubt, take a look yourself!

In the meantime, we want to share the top 3 benefits of learning a language by watching movies!

Benefit #1: Increases Phonetic Understanding

Of course, if you're using movies to learn a new language, you need to have the subtitles turned on!

Listening to the language and dialogue while reading the subtitles is a great way to connect the way the words sound and how they are written and read.

Benefit #2: Improves Word Recognition

Watching a movie or tv series to learn a new language is a great way to build your vocabulary.

Since you're not in a classroom, you can always hit the pause button and write down what has been said. At the end of the movie, you might find that you have a whole page of new words and phrases that you've learned! That way, you can either look it up or practice later on!

Benefit #3: Improves Accent And Speaking Patterns

Oftentimes, learning a language in a more formal setting, such as a classroom, means that we will learn a very formal language. This is the opposite case for movies. Movies can teach us authentic, everyday speech patterns and expose us to a more natural way of speaking.

If you keep watching movies to learn a language, your accent should improve because you'll constantly be hearing how native speakers are pronouncing the words!

How To Use Movies To Learn A Language

How To Use Movies To Learn A Language

Now that you've learned a few of the benefits of using movies to learn a language, it's time that we go over our five tips for how to use movies to learn a language!

Tip #1: Use Subtitles

When watching foreign movies to learn a language, subtitles are your best friend!

If you are a beginner or intermediate language learner, you can turn on the subtitles in your native language. If you are a more advanced language learner, you can use subtitles in your target language!

By the end, you can try watching without any subtitles at all!

Tip #2: Write Down What You Hear

When you're watching foreign films, you can use your listening skills to write down everything you hear on a piece of paper.

To make this easier, you can hit pause every 30 seconds to a minute, depending on your preference, and take time to write down everything you understood. You can do this either in your native language or, even better, in the target language! By breaking the media up into smaller chunks, you will increase your level of understanding.

Tip #3: Repeat The Words And Phrases As You Hear Them

When you're watching, focus on what's going on. If you notice that a certain word or phrase keeps being repeated, you can always pause and practice it aloud. Make sure to pay particular attention to the accent to start speaking correctly!

Repeating words and phrases out loud is another excellent way to memorize vocabulary.

Tip #4: Watch With A Friend

This all depends on your personal preference, but you might find it helpful to have a friend to watch foreign films with. Ideally, this would be someone trying to learn the same language as you. By having a friend nearby, you can ask questions and learn from each other.

You can also watch the movie with a native speaker of that language. That way, you can ask them any questions and practice your accent.

Tip #5: Try Your Best To Follow Along

All you need for this tip is you and your laptop or tv, and there's no need to use any extra materials. All you have to do is pay attention and try to catch up as much as you can.

Once you've reached the end, you can watch it again immediately or the next day. To confirm if you understood everything correctly, you can search the movie or episode online to determine whether you were right about what was happening!

Don't worry if you didn't quite catch everything. This tip is about trying your best and putting all your previous knowledge to the test!

Need A Break From Watching Movies? Try The Ling App!

How To Use Movies To Learn A Language

If you're in-between movies, you can try the Ling App!

The Ling App is a language learning app that makes learning foreign languages easy and fun! When you're using the app, you'll forget you're even learning. The lessons teach real-life vocabulary and phrases and have short quizzes to help you review what you've learned. But that's not all!

To make it easier, we've listed some of the key highlights and features of the app below!

  • Lessons in 60+ languages
  • Voice recordings from native speakers
  • Relevant lessons and vocabulary for daily life
  • Mini-games and activities to test your knowledge in new ways
  • Useful grammar tips
  • Interactive chatbot
  • Ability to practice writing correctly
  • For beginners and advanced learners
  • Available in free and premium versions
  • Available on both the App Store and Google Play
  • Available in a desktop version

To see these features for yourself and discover new ones, you can easily download the app no matter your phone type.

If you're an avid language learner looking for another way to build your language skills, try the Ling App today!

Say goodbye to school books

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Practice hundreds of dialogues on the go. Talk to our chatbot about daily life topics.
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Nana Rosson

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