A2 Basic UK 421 Folder Collection
After playing the video, you can click or select the word to look it up in the dictionary.
Report Subtitle Errors
- Is watching films a good way
to improve your English speaking?
(upbeat music)
Yo, yo, yo, I'm Julian
Northbrook from doingenglish.com

here to help you the intermediate
to advanced English learner
master the English language
with less stress, less hassle and fewer
of those God damn headaches.
So, good question.
Can watching films and I guess TV as well
be a good way to improve
your English speaking?

Now, I've got a short answer to this
and a slightly longer answer.
The short answer is really honestly,
just sitting back and
passively watching the telly,

whether it be films or TV
or indeed really any kind

of passive exposure to English
as an intermediate to
advanced English learner

isn't gonna be particularly helpful
for your productive English skills,
that is your speaking.
Now, you might improve your
comprehension a little bit

although the higher your level already is,
the less of that you'll do as well
simply because when you
reach the intermediate stage

and the advanced stage,
you already know a lot of English,
you understand enough English
that you can watch and understand.
I mean, you're watching
a video in English now

and I assume understanding.
Well, there are gonna be things
in the language
that you're being exposed to
that you don't know
but your brain does a pretty damn good job
of just filling in the gaps
with extra information.
It sees my facial expressions,
my wild, over-the-top gestures
and it fills in the gaps,
so even if you don't
know half of the English

that I'm using,
well, it doesn't really matter
because your brain fills it all in
and again, you might know all the words
that you need as well,
you just don't really know
how to combine those words yourself.
Well, you are unlikely to
simply just notice all of that

through passive listening.
Simply put, what you did as a beginner,
when you're a beginner,
everything was totally new,
so you notice a lot more
in the language stream coming at you
out of the film, out of
the TV, whatever it is

and you're more likely
to just pick stuff up

but what you did as a beginner
and what you need to do as an intermediate
to advanced English learner,
completely different.

This of course is not to say
that films and TV can't
be a good source of input,

a good source of language
to study actively,

that is a good material to use.
On the contrary, films
can be a great material

to use and to study to learn the language
that you need, put it in your head
so you can then practise it
and automate that.
Is it the most effective kind of material
that you can find?
Are films and TV as effective
as materials designed for the intermediate
to advanced English learner?
No, definitely not.
And check this video for
a detailed discussion

on that where I compare
real, authentic materials

i.e. films and TV
with materials that have been designed
and optimised for people just like you,
the language learner.
Certainly in terms of
time and effectiveness,

materials designed for
people just like you

as long as they're designed well
are gonna be much, much better
than films or TV which
are not optimised at all

and are really designed for consumption
by well, native speakers.
Again, watch this video for a
detailed discussion on that.

Now, for the slightly longer answer.
And without wishing to sound
like I'm completely
contradicting myself here,

watching films and TV
can be an excellent way

to improve your English speaking.
Yes, yes, yes, I know,
it sounds like I just told you
two completely different opposite things.
But what we are talking about here
is not the language or the learning
or the input of the language
that you need.
No, we're talking about something else
that you need for your English speaking.
The K of what I call the LKC triangle.
This idea that you need three things
to speak English really, really well.
You need the language, of course,
if you don't have the
phrases and the expressions,

the chunks of language that you need
to express the things that
you want to communicate,

you're not gonna get very far
but that in and of itself is not enough.
You also need the K of the LKC triangle
and this is really what
we're gonna be talking about

in this video.
Knowledge, background knowledge
of the things you want to talk about.
Content, interesting stuff to talk about.
If you've got nothing to say,
well, having the words and expressions
that you need aren't gonna help you
because you've still got
nothing interesting to say.

Many people are concerned
because they sound boring

when they speak English
and yes, the language part

is an important part of that,
there are interesting ways to construct
the sentences and the
phrases and the expressions

that you're using,
that is important,
but it's not gonna save you
if you are boring, if you've
got nothing to talk about.

You also need one more thing,
the C of the LKC triangle.
That is, culture.
And that is a topic for another day
but films and TV can
be an excellent source

of interesting conversation topics
and yes, I know this might sound obvious
but bear with me
'cause we're gonna go a
little deeper into this.

Let me use my business,
Doing English as an example here.
Several years ago when I first decided
to quit my job and make Doing
English my full-time job

and become a freelancer,
that was several years ago now,
Doing English or rather
I should say my company,

Northbrook Limited is
now a full-blown company,

a corporation with employees,
staff, a production team
and things are a little bit different now
but several years ago
it was just me.
Completely by myself
sitting here while in this same
little home office working away
at my computer.
Years and years and years
of corporate conditioning,

working for other people,
working for bosses who frankly,
didn't have a clue what they were doing
in various places, you know
what it's like being employed

in a company
had conditioned me to believe
that I had to be super
productive all the time

and productivity meant work,
work, work, work, work, work,

so I'd always be there at my computer
typing away, doing this,
doing that and generally making
myself quite, quite tired.

What I never did though
because I believed this

was not something that should be a part
of the productive working day
was to just sit down and watch TV.
Watch films.
I mean, that's something that you do
in your leisure time, right?
Wrong, you see, I now know
that watching films is actually one
of the most productive
things that I can do

on the job.
My most productive time
in the office working is
actually not spent writing

or filming videos
or planning the EES
lessons or whatever it is

that I'm doing that is
more traditional work

but is actually spent sitting
on my sofa which you can't see
'cause it's below the camera
watching a film.
I make a habit of watching
at least three films a week.

At one time, I made a
habit of watching a film

every single day.
When I can do that, I still like to do it
but recently, I've gotta be honest,
despite it being my most productive thing
that I can do and I've had
to prioritise other things

like my research
and running kids back and
forth to basketball practise

and all that stuff in the evenings.
You know what it's like.
Business, work, parents,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Now, the point is and the
reason I'm telling you this

and the reason that watching
films is so productive

for me is because I am in the business
of teaching content essentially.
Whether it's one of these YouTube videos,
one of my daily emails,
one of the Extraordinary
English Speakers' lessons,

one of my books, one of the other courses
that I make, Two Steps
Speaking, for example,

I am in the business of taking
the core, key concepts
that you need to learn and understand
and delivering that to you
in a way that is interesting
because let's face it,
we learn better when we are interested,
when we're enjoying something,
when we're entertained,
when we're having fun

but also, easy and concise to understand
and what is one of the
best ways to explain

and deliver difficult abstract concepts?
And let's face it,
a lot of the things that I teach
are quite difficult, abstract concepts.
Well, story is one of
the best ways to do that.

Interesting stories,
anecdotes, metaphors, examples.

Take this month's issue of
the EES Gazette, for example.

I don't have one here to show you
'cause it's at the printers
and it hasn't come yet

but it's all about mindset,
the importance of mindset
and of losing a lot of the mental baggage
that we all get stuck with.
We pick up all this crap
and we dump it in our brains
and it holds us back.
Negative thoughts, opinions,
attitudes, false beliefs.
Well, at some point we've gotta throw
all of that away
and in this month's
issue of the EES Gazette

I go through that process
but it's emotionally very, very difficult
and it's quite abstract
and it's quite hard stuff.
So, what did I do?
I took a scene from the film, The Martian,
brilliant film by the way,
and used that as a metaphor
to explain the whole thing.

Result, we've got this very difficult,
emotionally hard,
abstract concept explained

in a very concrete,
very easy-to-understand

and entertaining way.
In my book, Master English Fast,
I use a scene from the film
Captain America, Civil War

to explain how to learn
and improve your grammar

as an intermediate to
advanced English learner.

In one of my Kindle books,
Fearless Fluency, I use a scene
from Nancy Meyers' film, The Intern
to explain the concept
of inner confidence,

something that is again,
quite abstract and can
be quite uncomfortable.

Well, by taking this scene from this film
and using that as an example
and as a metaphor,
it's very easy to explain exactly
what inner confidence is
and what it means to you
as an English learner.

I've used the film The Karate Kid
as a metaphor for learning English
and written an entire
email series about it.

I've written daily emails about scenes
from Lost in Translation,
Sliding Doors, Jurassic World,
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
The list is endless
but the point is a big, huge part
of what we do with language
is the communication of content,
interesting concepts, ideas, stories,
and just learning the language,
just the words and the
phrases and the expressions,

although they are essential and yes,
the way that we speak has a big impact
on how interesting we are,
again, if we are boring
and we've got nothing to talk about,
no content in our heads,
well, it doesn't really matter
how good the language
skills that we've got are,

we're still fucking boring.
And honestly, having
interesting stuff to talk about

is half the battle
which is why my long answer
to the question how
useful is watching films

for improving your English speaking,
my answer is very, very, very useful,
just not necessarily in the way
that you thought.
In terms of actually learning
the phrases and expressions of English,
yes, films can make for good materials
but no, they're really not
the most effective materials

that you can get for improving
your English speaking.

People like me who design materials
for intermediate to
advanced English learners

can produce something much, much better
and much more effective for you.
Check out my Extraordinary
English Speakers programme

if you are interested in that.
A link in the description
or head over to

But in terms of having
interesting content in your head,

stuff to talk about,
films, TV as well,
well, books, fiction,
really any kind of story

absolutely amazing.
Get into the habit of watching more films.
Of course, do it in English,
there's no reason not to.
Yeah, you might pick up a few little bits
and pieces, it might help you to improve
your listening comprehension a little bit.
Personally, I would recommend
against only doing that.

You need to supplement those films
and things with some actual
proper language learning

and intensive practise
if you really wanna get good
at actually speaking productively
but in terms of getting
that interesting content

into your head, brilliant.
Watch more films.
Whoa, that turned into a bit
of a long rant, didn't it?

But it's important stuff.
If you wanna speak English
really, really well,

remember, you need these three things.
The language, knowledge and culture.
We'll talk more about the
culture bit another time

and well, we'll talk
about all these things

a bit more another time.
Leave a comment.
What's your favourite film?
What film would you
recommend that I watch?

What film would you recommend
that other people watch and why?
What is interesting about it?
I'm looking forward to
seeing your responses.

If you need a way
to improve your language skills,
learn the English that you
need, stick it in your head

and then practise it and get
really, really good at it,

I recommend you check out
my Extraordinary English
Speakers programme.

A link in the description
or head over to

This is me, Julian Northbrook,
signing off once again.
Leave a comment telling us
about your whatever film
it is that you recommend.

If you're new to this channel, subscribe,
give this video a thumbs up
if you like it.
If you hated it, fuck
knows why you watched

all the way to the end
but hey, give it a thumbs down anyway
and I'll see you, my friend,
same time, same place tomorrow
in another daily video
from me Julian Northbrook.

Just before I go,
if you enjoyed this video
and found it useful,

you're definitely wanna check out his one
where I talk about real,
authentic learning materials

versus materials designed
for English learners

and also this video
where I talk about a little experiment
that I did last year
where I watched a Japanese
film every single day

and the result that that had
on my Japanese speaking ability.
    You must  Log in  to get the function.
Tip: Click on the article or the word in the subtitle to get translation quickly!


Is watching films useful to improve English speaking?

421 Folder Collection
洪子雯 published on May 2, 2019
More Recommended Videos
  1. 1. Search word

    Select word on the caption to look it up in the dictionary!

  2. 2. Repeat single sentence

    Repeat the same sentence to enhance listening ability

  3. 3. Shortcut


  4. 4. Close caption

    Close the English caption

  5. 5. Embed

    Embed the video to your blog

  6. 6. Unfold

    Hide right panel

  1. Listening Quiz

    Listening Quiz!

  1. Click to open your notebook

  1. UrbanDictionary 俚語字典整合查詢。一般字典查詢不到你滿意的解譯,不妨使用「俚語字典」,或許會讓你有滿意的答案喔