Category Archives: LISTENING SKILLS

LEARN ENGLISH THROUGH MOVIES AND TV SHOWS

 

Are you tired of studying books?

 

Are you bored of the regular English classes?

 

Would you like to learn English in an easy and fun way?

 

Hey, guys, today I’m going to talk about how you can use TV Shows and movies to learn English. I’d like to thank to a good friend of mine from Switzerland who suggested me to write about this topic.

 

Let’s start!

 

Why you should use movie and TV shows to learn English

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The English that people use in the movies or TV is real English, they use trendy phrases and up-to-date slang. If you learn new words and phrases you’ll learn how to use them in their context too.

 

When you are learning English as a second language, you tend to speak in the same way that you speak in your native language, when you learn through movies and TV shows you learn about the way how you should speak and use your body language; as you know in every culture people use a different kind of body language.  To learn a language is not only about pronouncing words correctly, it’s about learning about culture and people.

 

Tips for learning English through movies and TV shows.

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  • I suggest that you choose a movie or TV show, according to your English level.

 

–       Kids programs and animated movies: if you just started to learn English, these programs will help you to have a strong foundation because the English they use is really simple and easy to grasp.

 

–       TV Shows about stupid humor like “Friends”, why do we call it stupid humor?

Because if someone makes a stupid mistake, they laugh and explain it to the audience, this kind of TV shows usually last like 20 minutes.

 

–       Action movies are very useful because they explain any hard word. For example, if a catastrophe is going to happen, they explain every detail about it.

 

–       Drama movies and TV shows use big words, because people are intellectual and smart. They won’t explain anything to you because they are sophisticated and if you like this kind of movies you should understand, this is high English.

 

 

–       Dark comedies are good because they play with the language. They use sophisticated English as well.

 

  • When you watch movies and TV shows you are focused on improving your listening skills, so first, I recommend that you watch them without subtitles, because when you use subtitles you are working on your reading skills.

 

  • After you watched it without subtitles, turn on the subtitles and write down the phrases and words that you are going to use in a real conversation and try to imitate the way the actors speak.

 

  • If you don’t understand 100% the subtitles write down what you don’t understand and use a dictionary.

 

  • Do you think that is hard work to be reading subtitles and writing down everything at the same time?

Well, I got another suggestion, you can download the subtitles and study them separate, take your time studying them. After you understand 100% try to watch the movie again.

 

  • There is another technique, you pick up a scene you like and study it, try to write down what they are talking about, later turn on the subtitles to see if you got it right, if you do this you’ll be improving your listening skills. Then, focus on the way they speak and try to imitate them, once you’ve mastered one scene; pick up another one and so on.

 

If you do this regularly, your English will improve a lot.

Well, guys, that was all for today, hope it helps you and if you like this article, please share it and subscribe.

LEARNING ENGLISH THROUGH MUSIC

I always say to my ESL students that we need to enjoy the learning process, and learning through music is a great option.

 

Why to use music to learn English

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Trendy music has up-to date phrases and slang, the target are native speakers, so any expression you learn is usable if you pick up some good stuff, even though if you are busy  you can listen to some music and train your listening skills.

 

Pick up the right kind of music

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I recommend that you choose music that is mainstream, because if you usually speak with native speakers, you’ll have a common ground to talk about. Old music, on the other hand, could be useful; however, it could content some slang that is not useful anymore.

Fast-pace songs could be hard to understand, that’s why it is better to pick up songs that you’ll be able to understand and tell a story.

 

Tips for learning through music

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–          Pick up music you love, what kind of English are you interested to learn? American music has a lot of genres. For example: Hip-hop is not Standard American English, but if you are into the Afro-American culture that’s a good option. FYI pop music is mainstream and you  have available an array of cool songs, but at the end, it’s all up to you, just choose something you enjoy listening to.

 

–          Once you get your songs, download the lyrics and look up the words and phrases that you don’t understand.

 

–          After you studied the vocabulary, listen to the songs and pay attention to the pronunciation.

 

–          When you are familiar with the song, try to learn some verses and the chorus by heart, and use your new vocabulary in a daily conversation.

If you get bored, try to learn another song. The key is never stopping of learning with the music you love.

 

–          After a while, you’ll learn a lot of words and phrases, from time to time make a playlist and play the songs to refresh your memory and remember what you’ve learned.

 

 

Well, guys, that’s all that I wanted to share with  you, my dear readers and if you liked this article please share it and subscribe.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING ENGLISH SKILLS

Many friends of mine can read English, but they are not able to understand when they listen   to some speakers talking. I think one of the main reasons why this happens is that we learn the wrong way in the classroom, why do I say that? Well, because we learn to pronounce words in a very formal way which is the opposite of how native speakers talk.

Perhaps you have learned in the classroom this phrase: What do you want to do?, but when you listen to a native speaker it sounds like this: whattayawannado? Or wachuwannado?

Do you see the difference? That’s the reason why we need to train our listening skills and forget about the formal way, because nobody speaks like that, maybe just people who are learning English.

Allow me to provide you with some very helpful tips that work and I’ve been practicing for a long time.

The melody

Every language has its own melody, for example: Mandarin Chinese and Spanish sound pretty different, so you have to learn how to modulate your voice. The more you pay attention to the melody the more you improve your listening skills.

Focus less on the vowels and consonants and focus more on the notes or the way that people speak.

It’s very helpful to record yourself on your Smartphone, computer or other device in order to see how good are your speaking skills and what you need to change when you compare yourself to a native speaker.

When you are learning English at school, they teach you if it is a question you’re supposed to raise the tone of your voice at the end, but one of the tricky things is that today, there is a kind of worldwide trend, people raise the tone of the voice at the end, even if it is a statement and it could be kind of confusing for some beginners because it sounds like a question, that’s why it’s very important to listen carefully. You need to pick up resources for the accent that you would like to cultivate.

Resources

When you live in an English speaking country is easier to find someone to practice with, what about people who live in a country where they don’t speak this language? Well, we are living in a time that you don’t have to travel to practice your skills, we have the internet.

I’m always downloading podcasts and watching YouTube videos or streaming TV shows and movies, I usually do it on a daily basis, because I need to create a bubble where I listen to English a lot.

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Movies and TV Shows Collage

I remember that when I started to teach myself, I watched movies over and over until I learn them by heart, first I watched them without subtitles and later with subtitles.

So, please watch TV shows or movies without subtitles, if you still don’t understand, then you are allowed to watch them with English subtitles.

When my English was very poor, I used to download podcasts with its scripts, first I looked for every word that I didn’t understand and once I understood what the podcast was talking  about, I listened to it over and over until it was very clear to me.

If you have a Smartphone you can look for some very useful apps to listen to podcasts.

To listen to music is very convenient, pick up some songs that are slow and clear, and you can learn new words in an easy and fun way, look for the lyrics to understand them.

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There is another good tool that I’d like to mention: Skype. There are some websites where you can find people for doing a language exchange.

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www.language-exchanges.org

www.italki.com

Do you like to listen to the radio? Then, download some apps to listen some radio stations.

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OK guys, these were just some tips that I wanted to share with you, remember to practice every day and you’ll see how your listening skills improve.

If you have any question, please feel free contact me.