4 tips for learning language through film and TV

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Learning a language this way, however, is easier said than done. I’m sure many of us have made it to the end of a gripping Scandi noir without actually learning much. So here are four tips to help you make the most of language learning through TV and film.

1. Audible sighs and body language

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of using film and TV to learn another language is that learners are provided with a visual context,  which supports your learning by providing a visual framework the language can cling to.

body language and paralinguistic respiration (gasps, moans, sighs ufabet).

Four tips for learning language through film and TV

2. Inferring from sound

Film and TV are more than “visual” mediums, however. Sound is quite an important component for mood and narrative progression. Changes in music, background sound or use of effects allow learners to make predictions about the development of the plot and the language being used.

3. Accurate pronunciation

In conventional language learning coursebooks and texts, the conversation can seem somewhat contrived. “How are you?” says Paulo to Juan, who responds “I am good, thank you.” In real life, people don’t tend to speak in such simple or straightforward ways.

4. Using language like a native

Through exposure to dialogue, you are also introduce to real-life conversation and everyday-language and vocabulary. So film and TV are authentic sources of varied language, providing learners with samples of language in context – the things people really say outside of the classroom.

While learning the grammar and vocabulary of another language is incredibly important. For instance, watch the French comedy Dix pour cent (which means 10% but is known to English audiences as Call My Agent) and you’ll learn that there are many meanings for the term “n’importe quoi”.