Toy Story
'Toy Story' is a great film to start learning the basic English language (image via The Independent)
Screens x
Toy Story
'Toy Story' is a great film to start learning the basic English language (image via The Independent)

Movies can provide non-native speakers an easy and entertaining way to learn English.

The English language has had a considerable impact on our political arena. It should come as no surprise that the idea to learn English as a second language is no longer a suggestion but a requirement for foreign students wanting to be a part of the political regime or status quo.

The processes of learning a second language can be a tiring and gruesome due to constant grammar quizzes, teacher lectures and heavy ESL textbooks. However, with English becoming more prevalent around the world, many individuals are finding ways to counteract this heavy load with fun alternatives to learning the language.

Watching movies has become a fun and interactive way to learn English and a widely used tool that aids in shaping the way non-English speakers interact with those around them. Non-English speakers can learn the “natural way” of speaking English by the dozens of popular movies released each year.

With subtitles readily available on almost all movies released in the United States, foreign students can access a free, fun and engaging program of movie watching to learn what is considered the hardest language to conquer.

Below is a list of the best movies to watch to learn English and why.

1. “Toy Story” (1995)

“Toy Story” is beloved classic close to the heart of many young adults who grew up in the early ’90s. Both its Walt Disney association and young target audience make this a perfect movie for any individual seeking to learn English in one of the most practical ways.

toy story 10th anniversary
The first movie in the “Toy Story” trilogy. (image via Paul’s Movie Blog)

The child-like atmosphere and sense of humor constantly showcased throughout the movie can help anyone understand the quality of American friendship, culture and inside jokes portrayed with easy to understand vocabulary

2. “Forrest Gump” (1994)

Anyone who has watched this American classic cannot deny the heartfelt language spoken throughout the film.

Forest Gump, who is considered mentally disabled or disadvantaged, speaks slowly with easy to understand language, short words and phrases that help the learning individual pronounce the same words. Gump may be considered a slow-witted person, but his heart and mind are full of thought-provoking wisdom that any watcher will admire.

3. “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

This classic comedy is sure to help any watcher understand the cultural aspects of young American language.

“10 Things I Hate About You” offers a funny, teen-targeted perspective with easy to understand language that is typically used in everyday life. The American accents and characters offer a wide variety of vocabulary and slang for your English learning endeavors.

4. “Jurassic Park” (1993)

“Jurassic Park” is great for anyone trying to learn a professional, dynamic and more complex vocabulary. The presence of scientists, historians and archeologists produce a solid experience for the advanced English learner.

jurassic park
This massive blockbuster was directed by critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg (image via Pinterest)

The language is only a side-note to the amazing visual effects and equally awesome soundtrack that is played throughout the movie. Any English learner will want to add this film to their collection of movies they watch repeatedly.

5. “The Office” (2005-2013)

This last suggestion may not be considered a movie, but the learning abilities that can be gained from it are equal to those that come from watching movies. The TV show “The Office” is an excellent alternative for language learners who may grow tired from watching two hours of video.

Television shows are great for individuals with limited time. They can help an English learner better engage and interact with the language through character development over time and random plots presented in each episode. “The Office” offers a fun and humorous environment that helps foreign language speakers discover new ways to interact with others in multiple settings both professionally and casually.

The English language comes with its obstacles but can be an exciting experience when an individual can learn from an array of popular sitcoms or cinema masterpieces. Whether they are just starting out on the journey of learning English or just wanting a break from the stressful quizzing environment, movie watching is the best downtime for the non-English speaker.

Writer Profile

Briana Perez

University of Texas at San Antonio
English/Professional Writing

Leave a Reply