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How to understand English: watching the right movie!


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How to understand English: watching the right movie!


Listening to someone else's speech (listening) is one of the biggest difficulties in learning a foreign language. It is necessary for communication, travel, and various exams in a foreign language assess this ability on a separate scale. And this is understandable: it is not so important to ask the question correctly, how to understand the answer to it.

The study of a foreign language, including English, begins with memorization and cramming, there is no getting away from this. But when the basic words and simple grammar are mastered, you can connect other ways of mastering the language, and very effective ones. It's great if there is an opportunity to communicate with a native speaker. One of the heroes of Max Fry's books claims that the best way to learn a foreign language is to fall in love with the native speaker. And those who are not lucky with this can listen to conversations about love, showdowns with friends and parents in the movies.

Use of video material for language learning

Foreign language textbooks are often a source of jokes for native speakers. Compilers of textbooks often offer to memorize grammatically correct, artificially composed phrases that no one utters in life. It is best to learn to understand the language where it is spoken! And if this is not possible, video materials will help to master spoken language:

  • Movies
  • Cartoons
  • TV shows, shows
  • news
  • Performances by artists
  • Videos from social networks.

Learning English from movies and TV shows has serious advantages:

  • Emotionality
  • A source of lively speech, turns, humor
  • Acquaintance with the customs of another country
  • The ability to use subtitles
  • The opportunity to watch the film first in translation
  • Using slow motion functions.

Everyone loves songs and movies, so you need to find in English what you like most. It is even better to watch your favorite films in the original that are well known in translation. By the way, there will be many surprises, starting with the names, which sometimes sound unrecognizable in the original. Watching the original version of the film will allow you to hear the voice and intonation of your favorite actors, not the dubbing masters.

Cinema, and especially TV series, often recreate everyday features typical for the country in which they were filmed. By repeating phrases and witty answers after the characters, one can learn to navigate the situation, react to events. Interjections, slang, even swear words are the stages of mastering colloquial speech.

Native speakers speak too quickly and often indistinctly: this is felt by all foreigners in the language environment. Movies and TV shows are the same, but the subtitle prompt will work here, as well as the ability to scroll through the episode in slow motion.

English subtitles are needed, no options: Russians are only distracting and confusing. There are services to help you learn English by watching movies with subtitles: Ororo.tv, "Vimbox Subtitles". Such services allow you to view the translation of an unfamiliar word while watching.

Video library for training: only serials are better than cartoons

On the websites of online foreign language schools, you can take tests to determine the level of language proficiency. It is generally useful to know your level in order to move on. In addition, films for viewing must be selected according to their level, otherwise time will be wasted. Those who start learning English from scratch should first study, and better with a teacher.

There are several levels of English proficiency:

  1. Elementary (elementary level, beginners)
  2. Pre-Intermediate (basic intermediate level)
  3. Intermediate (basic intermediate level)
  4. Upper-Intermediate (advanced intermediate)
  5. Advanced (professional level, fluency).

For the Elementary level, first of all, special educational videos are suitable, in which characters with good diction participate. But there is nothing better than cartoons with short dialogues that will help you forget about the educational process:

  • Peppa pig
  • Muzzy in Gondoland
  • WALL-E
  • Casper the friendly ghost
  • Aladdin
  • The Man Called Flintstone
  • Pocahontas .

For beginners, the Extr @ series has been shot with funny stories and very intelligible conversations. Watching full-length films is more difficult: if you have a low level of language proficiency, it is worth breaking the film into parts. However, the most daring and diligent can download the original "The Jungle Book" or "Forrest Gump".

  • Groundhog day
  • The lake house
  • Finding Nemo (m / f, cartoon)
  • The social network
  • Tangled (m / f, cartoon)
  • Indecent Proposal
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  • Toy Story (m / f, cartoon).

Series (series) for Pre-Intermediate will add slang to active vocabulary:

  • Alf
  • Misfits
  • Glee.

Those at the Intermediate level can enjoy watching the cult TV series Friends and Lost - the latter even contains different accents of the English language.

Films for Intermediate:

  • Matrix
  • A Most Violent Year
  • The terminal
  • Harry potter and the sorcerer's stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Shrek (m / f, cartoon)
  • The Lion King (m / f, cartoon).

For those who have the Upper-Intermediate level, it is better not to watch English-language films in translation, but to constantly pump their level by watching films in the original.

Films and series for Upper-Intermediate:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (m / f, cartoon)
  • Sherlock (series)
  • Pirates of the caribbean
  • House, MD (series)
  • One flew over the cuckoo's nest
  • The king's speech
  • Girls (series)
  • Sex And The City (series).

And there is also the cult film Pulp Fiction, the phrases in which are difficult to understand not only for connoisseurs with the Advanced level , but also for native speakers. But worth a try!

Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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