Netflix has always been cursed to be one of the prime reasons for wasting time, especially for the young generation. And why not? Its collection of movies and TV series can lure anyone to binge-watch them.
However, there is at least one way you can use it more productively – by learning English by watching Netflix. Of course, you won’t turn into an English wizard such as Benedict Cumberbatch. But you will definitely move the needle.
So, let’s start by understanding the areas of English communication in which Netflix can help you.
5 Ways Netflix Can Help You Improve Your English
- Listening skills – That’s obvious. Listening to the dialogue of a movie or TV series is how you will learn English by watching Netflix. So, the better you listen, the more you will understand what the characters are trying to say.
- Vocabulary – More words in your arsenal means easier expression of what you are trying to say. Inevitably, you will come across many words enjoying Netflix that you can add to your vocabulary.
- Pronunciation and accent – Knowing words is one thing and how to pronounce them is another. And trust us, incorrect pronunciation of words can really dent your impression as an English speaker.
Thankfully, you will learn how to utter words correctly and in different accents.
- Idiomatic expressions – These are words or phrases commonly spoken in a region. So, if you are living in the USA, watching American shows will add phrases to your vocabulary that will help you easily make a place among the native speakers.
- Informal communication – Since everyone in a movie is talking conversationally, your informal communication skills will surely take a boost listening to them.
And that’s more important than the formal one because it is more relatable to your daily life. For example, talking with spouse, friends, family, neighbors, etc.
Here is How You Can Learn English Watching Netflix
Step 1: Get a Netflix subscription
Download the Netflix app or open the website and buy its subscription. It’s affordable – ad-supported plan: $7, basic plan: $12, and premium plan: $23 (all monthly). Netflix offers no free content.
Step 2: Pick suitable content for yourself
Choose the right content for yourself. It’s better to watch your regional shows than the foreign ones because, as a beginner, you are better off speaking English well natively.
Once you have conquered that, you can go advanced to learn different accents and slang by watching, let’s say, British shows.
You will also need to take care of the level of English used in the content. For example, watching a TV show like Sherlock Holmes (starring Benedict Cumberbatch) early in your journey can easily overwhelm you with English you may not ever use in your life.
Here are 10 show recommendations to learn English watching Netflix: F.R.I.E.N.D.S., The Office, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, The West Wing, The Witcher, Black Mirror, Narcos, Dexter, and Mindhunter.
Step 3: Learn English
Pro tip: As you watch any content, remember that your primary goal here is not to suck the entertainment out of it. It is to get better at English. So try watching movies/TV shows you have already enjoyed once. This way you don’t mix up entertainment with learning.
Here are tips to learn English with Netflix:
- Keep a notebook with you and note down the phrases and words you would like to understand better and use in your daily conversations. This is how you improve your vocabulary.
- Read subtitles as you watch for better comprehension of what the characters are trying to say. If it helps, you can slow down the playback speed to listen better.
- Repeat the dialogues with the accent while watching (not afterward) to improve your delivery.
Step 4: Learn English beyond Netflix
Your progress in learning English is null if you don’t use it in your everyday life because soon you may forget it. So, as you converse with your friends and family, use words and phrases that you have learned.
You can also complement your learning by using dedicated language learning apps such as Duolingo. This makes your progress faster and covers the areas of learning where Netflix fails.
Limitations of Learning English Watching Netflix
You can definitely improve your English by watching movies with Netflix, but only to an extent as there are limitations to it.
First of all, Netflix is an entertainment platform and not for language learning. So, you won’t be getting the dedicated guidance and feedback you would have from an app like Duolingo and FluentU.
On top of that, watching Netflix improves more your comprehension of the language than your ability to speak it. Thus, it is more like a passive way to learn English than an active one.
Other Ways to Learn English
- Use tongue-twisters – Practicing English tongue-twisters is a great way to improve your speech, pronunciation, and delivery. So speak them repeatedly and loudly. One such is “How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?”
- Chat using WhatsApp – By default, you will have to chat in English using WhatsApp. Thus, you will have to think and write in English to the person in front. You can also use him to be your English-learning partner to get feedback and learn together.
- Read books – Learning English from the wizards of English – What can be better than this? So, pick up that novel from your nearest bookstore and immerse yourself into a story while getting better at English.
How to Learn English by Watching Netflix – Conclusion
English is easily the easiest language to learn. And it gets much easier when you can do it by watching Netflix. So, get that subscription and start learning.