How To Learn A Language By Watching Movies

Learning a foreign language by watching movies can be a great way to get ahead in a second language and in some cases can be better than “traditional” language learning methods like classes and grammar books! Let’s go over why…

Why Watching Movies?

Watching foreign movies immerses you in real, fluid language. This exposes you to the way that the language is really spoken. It’s not slowed down for learners and it’s not made clearer for foreigners. For this reason, you can begin to adjust right away to the actual language as it is spoken today. This is an important skill since you will be using the language at a fast rate as the movie exposes to you, not the slowed down rate that teachers and audio programs use.

Motivation. Probably most important about watching foreign movies is the fact that it is an enjoyable activity. For this reason, you are not as likely to tire of it as you are to tire of doing grammar exercises or reading dry language textbooks. With movies, you can keep watching and therefore spend more time in the foreign language than you would have if you had just been reading grammar books. More time in the language means more exposure and more learning.

Arnold in Predator

Even Ahhnold can help, but make sure you don’t end up speaking like him!

With movies, you also get the added benefit of a visual reference. The visual images will help you understand what is being said so that you can understand better. Additionally, watching a story unfold will also help you begin to understand various vocabulary. Words are often likely to be repeated throughout the movie allowing you to pick them up.

For these reasons, watching movies can be a great way to increase your language knowledge and get more exposure in. If nothing else, you should watch a movie or two just for fun because it’s a fun thing to do. You should never force yourself to do only boring things in the foreign language you are trying to learn. With movies, you get to do something fun and learn at the same time which is the best combination for language learning. In this way, you will find that you pick up new words, sentence structure and more through your watching.

So How do I Actually Learn the Language by Watching a Movie?

I’ll throw you a bone and give you one of my best tips; you should have some way of keeping track of the words you come across. Have a laptop handy and be prepared to hit pause a lot as you write down key words or phrases. This way, you can review them later and not forget them. I highly recommend find a movie with subtitles in that language so you can easily read and hear the language being used. Otherwise when you go to write down the vocab or look it up later you will struggle just to spell it right! There are various methods for speedy vocabulary learning once you’ve got a nice list from one of your favorite movies, if you’d like check out my article on Efficient Vocabulary Learning to read about them.

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  1. This is great! I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish!

  2. Dear Robbie,

    I’m a college student from Taiwan.(Asia)
    Recently, our profesor asked us to find some information about the conection between “Pop cultrue and language learning”. Therefore, I found your website. I admire your work very much. I’m wondering that if it is possible you can let me know more imformation about author’s name, published year (or finished year) and if you have already publish a book, I need the book’s name . If you can help me, I’ll appreciate you very much! Thank you!

  3. ciao a tutti dall’italia

  4. Very good article. Thanks for sharing

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