After all, watching movies is supposed to be fun, right? So, how can you learn while having so much fun with the film? And more importantly, why should you learn English with movies instead of with textbooks?
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Here are three reasons I believe it works, and why I recommend learning the language this way.
In contrast, the English spoken in movies is very natural. It’s also very close to what you’ll hear if you speak with native English speakers too. This will help improve your spoken English.
Usually, when we learn words traditionally (e.g. in school), we study things like vocabulary lists. The problem with learning new words with vocabulary lists is that you can learn what words mean, but not where and how they are used.
For example, let’s say you learn the new word “detective.” From the dictionary, you’ll know what that it means “a person who investigates crimes”. But unless you use it, it can be easy to forget. It also doesn’t give you an idea where the word is used most frequently, and how it is used.
On the other hand, if you learn the word “detective” through watching crime films, you’ll know “detective” can mean many things. For example, it can be a title in front of a person (e.g. “Detective Beckett”). Or maybe it’s the noun referring to the job (e.g. he’s a detective). And maybe you’ll even hear things that will let you form opinions about the word (e.g. “you lousy detectives”).
This way, you won’t only learn what each word means, you will also know how it’s used.
Well, it’s all about how you say it. You know, things like your body language, your expressions (like a smile, a frown) and your tone of voice (like when you sound angry, or when you sound sad). As you can guess, the how is often more important than the what to English people.
Let me give you an example.
I’m sure that one of the first phrases you wanted to learn in English was “I love you.” But did you imagine that depending how you say it out loud, it can be very different?
“I love you” — You might hear this after two people (especially lovers) fight! One person may be trying to say to the other person “I really love you… why don’t you believe me!?”
“I love you” — A person might really want to say “I love you (and not anyone else…don’t worry!)”
“I… LOVE… YOU” — This might be a person saying “I love you” in a very loud voice… while trying to really confess their love!
“I LOVE YOU!!” — The person might be saying “I love you”… while they’re really angry!
If you hear these phrases out loud, they will make perfect sense to you!
Through observing actors in films, not only will you be able to learn new words, you will be able to understand how they are said. The characters might be sad, happy, surprised or angry. And you’ll understand this immediately.