How to use DVDs to improve your English

by / Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Most people watch English-speaking films or programmes so how can you use these to improve your English?

Step 1 – Watch a short section (10 – 15 seconds) with no sound and no subtitles. Try to predict what they are talking about. Remember that over 50% of communication comes from body language so watch their faces, emotions and gestures. Comedy programmes like Friends, are great for this.

Step 2 – Watch again with sound but no subtitles. Were you correct? You’ll be surprised at how much you managed to pick up. It takes practice but remember that you use body language signals when speaking your own language. Most people forget this when speaking a foreign language. This is a great way to make sure that you are listening with your ears and your eyes.

Step 3 – Watch again with sound and subtitles. Did they use any language that was new to you? For example, if they were greeting each other, they may have said ‘How you doing?’ rather than ‘How are you?’ This is a great way to pick up natural language and idioms.

Step 4 – Continue to watch for specific vocabulary. Note down any new words or focus on a specific set of vocabulary such as phrasal verbs. You’ll be able to learn new lexis in context while doing something you enjoy.
Listening and repeating dialogue is another way to improve your speaking and pronunciation too.