Exploring English Through Film: English Phrases From Movies & How They Help You Learn

learn english with movies

Dive into the vibrant world of English through the captivating lens of films/movies and improve your language skills one scene at a time!

Why learn English with movies?

Learning language through films can help you to:

  • Improve your listening skills
  • Learn in an interesting, enjoyable way
  • Find out more about British culture, humour, and norms

Movies are a fun and exciting way to learn English. When you watch films, especially British films, you can hear how English is spoken in real life. You get to listen to popular movie phrases and see how characters express different emotions and ideas.

What can you learn from watching movies?

Idioms and expressions

When you watch movies, you will hear idioms and expressions that people use in everyday conversations. For example, you might hear a character say, “Break a leg,” which is an idiomatic way to wish someone good luck.

To learn more about idioms, read these related blog articles:

Cultural references

Movies often include cultural references that help you understand the traditions and humour of a place. By watching Sherlock Holmes films, for example, you can learn about British detective stories and the iconic character’s impact on British culture.

Advanced vocabulary

Movies can introduce you to advanced vocabulary that you might not find in everyday conversation. Films like Lord of the Rings offer a variety of complex words and phrases, improving your understanding and use of the language.

How can you learn through watching movies?

Try these helpful tools to help you learn English through movies:

Pause and predict

Stop the film at key moments and guess what might happen next in English. This encourages critical thinking and helps you learn new words for describing stories.

Dialogue shadowing

Replay short scenes and repeat what the characters are saying, this will help you with pronunciation and speaking smoothly.

Discuss with a friend

Watch a film with a friend. Every 15 minutes, stop the film and explain the events you’ve just watched in English, taking turns. It’s a wonderful way to practise conversational skills.

Identify cultural references

Look out for cultural references, idiomatic expressions, or slang used in the film. Research their meanings and discuss them to learn more about culture.

Create a 20-Word Vocabulary List

Choose 20 words to learn from the film. Do this by stopping the film, looking up the meanings, writing them down, and using them in sentences or discussions about the movie.

Recommended movies and what you can learn from them

Discover how popular movie phrases and English expressions from iconic British films can enhance your language skills.

Sherlock Holmes films

Learn common English expressions and deductive reasoning language with phrases like “Elementary, my dear Watson,” – which means finding simple answers to difficult problems. This phrase is now used in everyday English. You can use it when you’ve figured out an easy solution to a problem after finding helpful clues.

James Bond films

These films are great for picking up day-to-day British language and understanding cultural references that show the charm and wit of British English. Classic phrases like “shaken, not stirred,” show James Bond’s special way of ordering his martini. People now use this phrase to describe how they like things done in their own way. You can use it to talk about your preferences or how you like things prepared.

The King’s Speech

This movie provides insights into historical British figures and the importance of overcoming personal challenges, all wrapped in an interesting story. Phrases like “I have a voice!” show how he found confidence and courage. You can use this phrase when you’re asserting yourself or speaking up about something important.

Challenges and solutions when learning English with movies

Understanding accents and dialects

British films feature a variety of accents which can be challenging. Watching movies with subtitles and listening to different British accents in podcasts can help you become more familiar with different dialects.

Keeping up with fast speech

Movies often have characters who speak very quickly, making it hard to catch every word. Slowing down the playback speed and watching scenes multiple times can help you keep up and gradually improve your listening skills.

Learning idioms and phrases

Idioms and cultural phrases used in movies might be confusing at first. Keeping a notebook where you write down new idioms and their meanings, and then looking them up or asking others about them can be a great way to learn and remember these expressions.

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