Watching films and series is not only enjoyable, it’s a great way to improve your language skills. If you still have DVDs at home, here are some ideas of how you can use them to improve your English.

1. Choose the right English

Choose the kind of English you want to hear. Maybe New York street slang or Shakespearian English won’t be so useful in your business meetings!

2. Choose something you know and love

If you’re watching for the second (or third or fourth) time, you’ll already know the story and can concentrate fully on the language.

3. English audio, English subtitles

Turn on the English subtitles and you’ll be able to read what you hear. This will help you connect pronunciation and spelling. Don’t watch with subtitles in your own language – you’ll stop listening to the English and only read.

4. Close your eyes

People say that being blind makes your other senses stronger. Close your eyes while the film is on, and you’ll be forced to listen harder to understand what’s happening.

5. Read before you watch

You can usually find a plot summary on a website like Wikipedia. Reading this before might spoil the ending, but at least you’ll understand what’s happening as you’re watching, allowing you to focus on what you hear.

6. Read after you’ve watched

Read the plot summary (see above) afterwards to check what you understood and what you missed.

7. Select a scene

Watch short clips. Choose a five or ten-minute scene, watch it first with English sound and English subtitles, then again – this time without subtitles. Each time you watch it, you’ll understand more.

8. Find a buddy

Watch with a friend who also understands English, then talk about it together afterwards. It’s much more fun if you share the experience!

What are some of your favourite English-language films and series?