7 Tips to Learn English Watching TV Series

7 Tips To Learn English Watching TV Series

Do you love watching TV series and learning English at the same time? Awesome… but has your English really improved? Follow our tips for better results!

Watching series is one of the most pleasurable ways to learn English. A 40-minute series episode is quick, entertaining and easy to follow. However, most people watch series as a guilty pleasure, and tend not to focus so much on learning English. Let’s take a look at the following tips to help you make the most of this non-traditional — but really cool — English learning method.

1. Choose appropriate topics

If you really want to learn day-to-day English by watching TV series, choosing appropriate series would be better than just watching the most  popular ones. Basic and intermediate level learners should watch series with a lot of conversations and everyday scenarios, like sitcoms. Watching these series can help you learn things that are not included in textbooks or expressions that are frequently used by native speakers. Some suggested sitcoms:

  1. Friends
  2. How I Met Your Mother
  3. The Big Bang Theory

Check out the video below:

On the other hand, some series — such as Sherlock, CSI, House of Cards, and The Walking Dead — are definitely not for basic and intermediate level English learners. After all, what do you expect to learn from the zombies in The Walking Dead? They can’t even speak English! But seriously, the highly scientific vocabulary in shows like CSI or the heavy political jargon in House of Cards should be enough to make any beginner give up and switch on the subtitles in their native language.

2. Don’t fool yourself! Don’t watch series with subtitles

It’s no use watching English series with the subtitles in your mother tongue. The main reason is if you watch TV series with subtitles, you can’t really focus on the content of the series. But don’t panic! Let’s take a look at several tips to improve your skills..

3. Basic level learners: subtitles in your mother tongue → English subtitles → no subtitles

If you are a basic level learner, you can first watch an episode with subtitles in your mother tongue to briefly understand what’s going on in the story. After that, you can watch this episode with English subtitles and try to get used to the characters’ speaking pace. In addition, you can write down the words that you don’t know or some good sentences that you want to memorize. After a couple of days, you can watch that episode again, but this time without the subtitles. You can even predict what the characters would say and say the words aloud with the characters.

4. Intermediate level learners:  no subtitles → English subtitles → no subtitles

If it’s possible, you can force yourself to start by watching series without the help of subtitles. By doing that, your listening ability will improve. Then, you can turn on English subtitles to check the new vocabulary. Eventually, you can go back once again to the subtitles to see if you fully understand the content.

You can use a sheet of paper to cover subtitles while you’re watching series. Or, just watch videos on VoiceTube, we provide the function to turn off subtitles. Isn’t it convenient?

5. Stop looking up words in the dictionary

You must have been told not to continuously look up words in the dictionary when you first read an English novel because that would interrupt your reading; it’s the same with watching TV series. After all, when you’re talking to English native speakers, you can’t just interrupt them to ask for some time to look up words in the dictionary, right? Therefore, we suggest that you  check the dictionary after you watch the video.

(VoiceTube provides a function to highlight words, check out their meaning and save them!)

6. Shadowing

The idea behind shadowing is simple! You listen to some English sentences and repeat at the same time, which would train your ears to listen carefully. In addition, shadowing will also get your mouth muscles moving in the correct way and improve your pronunciation and accent. Check out this short video to learn more about shadowing:

7. Watch the TV series you like again and again!

If you really want to learn something, reviewing is a step that you have to take! Don’t feel frustrated. You will see your improvement day after day. The more time you spend, the more improvement you will see. Just pick a series you like. Be patient! Be confident! Fight!

Want to watch more videos to learn English?

You will find a lot of funny videos on VoiceTube. It won’t cost you a cent to register as a VoiceTube member! So what are you waiting for? Just press play and learn!

Author: Leah Han
Translation: Kiara Tsai