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Can you learn English by watching TV?

5 years ago
Many of my students have often asked me about the best ways for them to study outside of the classroom. When I reply with "watch TV," they usually laugh! But the truth is, learning a language requires a well-rounded approach; this means utilizing one-on-one classroom instruction, classwork, homework, genuine practice, and yes, watching TV!

Learning English by only completing one of these tasks is not effective. It takes a combination of all of these aspects of language learning to be successful! The reason watching TV is especially effective for language learning is that it will allow you to learn a language just as a child learns a language- by watching and listening! Not only that, but it will allow students to observe a variety of accents, a variety of situations, and a variety of vocabulary choices. A particularly appealing genre to watch if you're interesting in language learning is.... Romance! Why? Because romance movies/shows are not content specific. They discuss a wide variety of topics and use casual English.

Using these TV shows and movies to learn a language is a great addition to a language-learning curriculum. They should be used to supplement, not replace your lessons- but they are definitely a benefit.

A well-rounded English curriculum should include a bit of all of these learning strategies and may look something like this:

Monday: 1-on-1 lesson with a teacher / Self-studies
Tuesday: Vocabulary Building / 1-hr of TV!
Wednesday: 1-on-1 lesson with a teacher / Self-studies
Thursday: Lesson Review / Vocabulary Building / 1-hr of TV!
Friday: 1-on-1 lesson with a teacher / Self-studies
Saturday: Fun Learning! Ex. See an English movie, go to an English restaurant, chat with an English-speaking friend
Sunday: Casual Review

Remember, everything you do for the purposes of learning a language should be engaging and most importantly, FUN. If you can find a topic you are interested in, the language you are learning will be learned much faster.

Send me a message with any questions or for TV recommendations!

Keep going, you're getting better every day!
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New Teacher
United States
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