1. Choose an interesting movie.This probably sounds obvious, but if you choose a boring movie, you’ll be bored. And if you’re bored, it will be difficult to pay attention…for more than one and a half hours!
I remember when I was a child, I had to watch hours and hours of really old movies like “Singing in the Rain”, “Mary Poppins” to learn English. If you don’t know these films – you’re welcome to check them up – they’re really old! I didn’t exactly hate them, but I didn’t feel excited at all when watching these films.
And because of that, I highly recommend you choose movies you like. To do this, you can go to a website called Rotten Tomatoes, which is a website with many great critics and reviews on many tens of thousands of movies.
2. Select a movie that matches your current English level. For example, for beginners in English, I usually recommend you learn English through animations. The main reason is because the English is usually very friendly, nice and easy to understand.
On the other hand, if you try to watch something like “Romeo and Juliet”, you will be very confused. Shakespearian English (which is English used many centuries ago) is very difficult to understand on screen, even for advanced English learners.
3. Bring your dictionary. Maybe I’ll add point 3.5 too – choose a film with subtitles! So when you hear a word you’re interested in, check it up! Because you went through the trouble to understand it…you’ll be able to remember that word for a long time too!
4. Repeat short phrases! Some times, you might hear something cool in the movie. For example, some short phrases, or slang like, “hell yeah!”, or “sure thing”, or “you betcha!” that are commonly used in English. If you like how it sounds, it really helps to repeat it! After saying it out loud a while, you will be able to remember it for a longer time! It’s a great and enjoyable exercise – one of my personal favourites.
重复短语。有时，你或许会在电影里听到一些很酷的表达。例如，有些短语或俚语，比如“Hell yeah！”或者“sure thing”，或者“you betcha！”（都表示“当然，没错”）在英语中很常用。如果你喜欢它的读音，多重复会很有帮助。大声朗读一会，你能记住更长的时间！这是个很棒又让人愉悦的联系——我自己的最爱之一。
5. Without subtitles. I know it can be really challenging to watch a film in a foreign language without subtitles. So here’s my recommendation. When you watch a film the first time, just turn on subtitles. But if you get the chance to watch it a second time, try turning off subtitles.
This way, you already know the story from the first time you watched it. And this time, you can try listening to some individual words that you might have checked up last time. Or you might try to see how much you can understand the film without subtitles.
6. VLC player. This is actually a video player I recommend for watching films on your computer. This is one of my favourite tools. Most people use it just to watch movies, but I use it a little differently.
Here’s what I do – if you download a movie online, and you play it, you know how you don’t understand English sometimes? VLC Player allows you to play back movies at half speed or quarter speed. So if there are parts you don’t understand, you can play these back at a slower speed and try again! It’s very helpful to practice your listening.
7. It’s okay to miss words…just let it go.Last of all, remember what we said in the start? Watching movies should be fun…so if you miss a word, a phrase, or even many sentences, that’s okay! Just follow along the subtitles and learn that way. Don’t make yourself feel bad…watching films is supposed to be fun!