Watching movies is a great way for you to improve your English, especially your listening and speaking skills. Films are not usually created for English language learners – they are made for native English speakers. Therefore, the language is exactly how you hear it in real life – it is spoken quickly, with native accents and pronunciation and using many idioms and colloquial expressions.
It is not a good idea to use this as your only method of learning English; it is much more advisable to study at an English school. However, I would definitely recommend all English language students to watch films in English in their spare time for additional practice that you might not get in a classroom.
Which film should I watch?
Choosing a film to watch that is suitable for your level of English can be difficult. If your level of English is quite low, choose a movie that you have already seen or a movie made for children which uses simpler language (for example, Pixar films). However, if you have a higher level of English, you can try to challenge yourself and watch films with more advanced language.
Whatever your level of English is, you might be tempted to switch on subtitles. If so, I would recommend using English subtitles so you can read along while you are listening. Of course, if watching a film in English and reading English subtitles is too difficult, you should start by watching films with subtitles in your language (this is meant to be a fun way to learn English after all!).
Don’t be afraid to replay parts of the film that you don’t understand, or turn subtitles on just for one important scene. If you have time you can even watch the film (or part of the film) first with no subtitles, then with English subtitles and if you still don’t understand fully, you can watch it a final time with subtitles in your language. This will really help you practise your English listening skills!
This website is a very good alternative to subtitles: www.eslnotes.com. It has guides to many popular movies, including plot summaries and a list of words and phrases you might not know from the film. If you read this first and then watch the film, you are more likely to understand it! If you are studying in an English school at the moment, they might have a selection of DVDs for you to borrow. Speak to your English teacher for recommendations of good films to watch for your level of English.