If a thing is small, this does not mean that it is useless. Vice versa!
Take buttons, for example.
Some historians believe that Napoleon lost the war with Russia precisely because of them.
When the harsh Russian winter overtook the Napoleonic army, the tin buttons on the uniform began to crack and fall apart in the soldiers – tin cannot withstand low temperatures. The soldiers could not button themselves properly and froze; as a result, only 10 thousand people out of half a million returned to France alive.
Another small but very useful thing is short films.
Having all the virtues of feature films, they do not take much time to watch and often contain very life-like dialogues that are easy to understand and remember.
All these qualities make short films an ideal tool for learning English.
How short films help you learn conversational English
You might have a question: why learn spoken English from short films that are shot for an English-speaking audience, and not for study?
The language of such films is indeed more difficult to understand than educational videos, which are made especially for foreigners. However, they also have their own benefits.
You will get used to the natural sounding of English. Videos that are filmed for educational purposes tend to speak very slowly. But in short films everything is like in life, and native speakers speak at a normal speed. The sooner you become accustomed to the natural rhythm of English speech, the easier it will be for you to carry out normal “live” dialogues.
Short films are easy to remember. The plot, circumstances, heroes – all this helps to assimilate the content of the dialogues, including new vocabulary. In a short film, everything is concentrated, each dialogue solves a specific problem, which helps to better “feel” and understand it.
In short films, there are many interrelated dialogues. Characters often interact with each other in different circumstances and discuss a variety of topics. The viewer can see how the same person is talking in different situations with different people.
Since shorts rarely last more than 15 minutes, all dialogues are short and succinct. It is convenient to listen to them over and over again in order to better master the English speech patterns.
Fluent is the best place to watch short films. There is a dime a dozen short films on the internet, and Fluent selects the very best films and turns them into personalized English lessons. In addition to the tapes included in our roundup, Fluent contains many other mini-films. Here you will also find other language material to study: advertisements, trailers, interviews and much more.
The films that we talk about below are very different, as are the types of dialogue they sound. Some films have an age limit, so read the description carefully before watching them. So, let’s begin!
2 fun short films for learning spoken English
Welcome To My Life
beginner and intermediate
Monsters are usually thought of as sinister monsters that do not resemble humans at all. They have no place in our world, but in this short cartoon everything is a little different.
The cartoon tells the story of Douglas, a teenage monster who studies in an ordinary human school. He acts like a typical American teenager: he plays football, and he even has a rapper name, “T-kasha”. Douglas’s parents are also monsters, they love and care for him, and at school they sometimes tease him because he is not like the others.
This short film is an easy and quick way to learn a lot of school-related vocabulary.
The voice acting in the cartoon is very natural, like in documentary films. You will gain a realistic understanding of what everyday conversations and interviews with ordinary people sound like in American English.
The Fancy Gentleman
beginner and intermediate
The word “classy” can be used to describe a person who behaves in a stylish and sophisticated manner. You can also say about such a character “refined” and “respectable”; he or she is a person from high society.
In America, this is how wealthy Europeans, especially the French and British, with their accent, manners and haute couture outfits, were often imagined and imagined. In this cartoon, stereotypes about refined aristocrats are played up by the famous cartoon characters – Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
In the cartoon, Standard American English is clearly considered the complete opposite of aristocracy. Mickey Mouse, after learning graceful manners, begins to dress and behave in a completely different way, and even speaks with a French accent! And he clearly expects to be entitled to servants and gourmet food after becoming a gentleman. This cartoon clearly demonstrates that the accent and manner of speech often indicate belonging to a particular social class.