Watching T.V. and movies to improve your English (or any other language)

This was a recent post of mine on one of the LingQ forums:

I personally take great pleasure in watching movies and television series to aid my language learning and to keep myself interested when I don’t feel like reading or just listening to audio.

It’s also a nice way to really see how people talk and react in quasi real life situations, and especially to associate the meaning of what you hear with what you see, which is the most natural way the brain learns language.

However, as much as I like movies, I recommend using T.V. series more than anything because the episodes are relatively short and you can repeat them. I will usually watch each episode twice, once with subtitles and then once without.

It’s also the method that gets you the most bang for your buck, as you can get roughly 18 hours of content for about 30 bucks if you buy the DVDs.

It’s not important to understand everything you hear – as long as you understand at least 60% of what you’re hearing, your brain is learning.

I personally never use the dictionary except on LingQ when I’m reading, and that’s only very quickly just so I can understand the new words in context and then listen lots of times. If a text contains too many unknown words, it becomes boring to look them all up and I’ll just read it to get out of it what I can.

I’m a highly motivated and very lazy language learner.

If you do look any words up, in your reading or when watching movies, make sure to save them on LingQ so that there’s a certain amount of ‘accountability’ for the learning you’ve been doing, and so you can see those words in new contexts on LingQ.

Check out this article from Street-Smart Language Learning™: http://www.streetsmartlanguagelearning.com/2010/05/use-music-tv-movies-radio-and-internet.html

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