How to Use Movies and TV Shows for Language Learning



Learning a new language can benefit a student in many ways. For starters, it helps with great job opportunities both locally and abroad. Learning a new language also can expose you to foreign cultures early on, making you more tolerant and accepting of the world around you. At the same time, many travel enthusiasts learn foreign languages in order to have an easier and more fun time travelling. Whatever your need may be, learning a language in the day and age of the internet is very easy. Especially during a time when a lot of content is made available to foreign audiences, for example, K-Dramas. So, how does one use movies and TV shows for language learning? Keep reading to find out.

Learn the basics first

Even though you may want to jump to advanced elements of language learning, they may not be easy to grasp in the beginning, so you must learn to start with the basics. Watch a Spanish telenovela or an Italian drama and notice which words are being repeated the most. Then, compare them to the subtitles available and try to find out which word means what in your local language.

Look for the most popular languages

It is easier to learn a language which is present in much of mainstream television and film. In the United States, French, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, and Hindi cinema are really popular. If you are too busy to watch movies because of academic stress, you can always reach out to essay writing services and ask them, “can you help with my essay?”. For an American who wants to learn a new language, picking movies or television shows in these common languages might be easier than learning a more obscure, non-mainstream language.

Use subtitles, do not dub foreign content

Make it a priority to watch at least one foreign film a week with subtitles. Do not dub foreign media, but instead, add subtitles in your local language and try to observe the dialect, tone, slang, and other intricacies of the language as you go. Note down any new words you are introduced to and learn them later.

Make friends with native speakers

Whether you’re using a language-learning app or learning from an actual teacher, if using traditional methods isn’t for you, learning by observing others communicate is the best way to grasp an unknown language quickly. Along with streaming the most popular TV shows in foreign languages, it is always good to befriend native speakers of that language and communicate with them frequently in the dialect you want to learn.

Start listening to foreign music and podcasts

Apart from carefully paying attention to the audio track of the film or television show you are watching, it can help to start listening to music and podcasts in the foreign language you are trying to learn. Watch the best movies for students and listen to the most iconic tunes for maximum learning. Look up the most popular musicians who sing in the language you want to learn and add their hit tracks to your playlist.


A great way to find out how much progress you’ve been making is to speak or read out something in the language you’re learning and record it. Playing this audio to yourself can help you understand if your language skills are improving. Besides vocabulary, pronunciation, accent, and slang are important parts of learning a new language that can gauge your skills. If your language skills are lacking, but you need to perform a translation, have no fear. There are many good online services that can help you. Get the best legal translation service online from experts, and don’t be limited by our own language skills.


In order to truly master a foreign language, watching globally-renowned TV and movies is not enough on its own. However, such activities can greatly benefit the learner in a way that’s fun and enjoyable. Make a watch list of all the movies and television series you can find in the foreign language of your choice and get to streaming!

Author’s Bio – Jodi Williams

Jodi Williams is a Professor of Linguistics and Media Education with a background in teaching high school students. During her career, Jodi has helped many students learn foreign languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French. In her free time, Jodi enjoys baking and reading thriller novels. 

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