The best TV shows for learning English: a large selection

Dedicated to all those who want not only to spend time watching foreign novelties and favorite classics, but also spend it with the benefit of the mind and tighten their language.

In this article, we will talk about why you need to learn English from TV shows and which TV series in English to watch for a beginner, and which one – for a person with a confident knowledge of the language. We will also share the secrets of how to learn English from TV shows quickly and efficiently.

Why learn English from TV shows?

Watching videos, films and other materials in the original language is as beneficial as standard forms of education, and the pleasure is twice as much.

If your level of proficiency is from elementary and above, then do not waste a minute and discover the fascinating world of TV series in English as soon as possible.

Learning a foreign language from TV shows is useful for several reasons:

It’s exciting
You learn and play at the same time. This does not mean that you can learn English perfectly well only from TV shows: you should not forget about classical lessons and repetition of grammar either. But with the help of TV shows and films, you can distract yourself and, moreover, watch all the new items without waiting for their translation or adaptation.

Increases vocabulary
Colloquial phrases and expressions are especially well remembered. If you watch the latest news, you will definitely be aware of new slang words and abbreviations.

Improves listening comprehension
In TV shows in English, we hear live speech from native speakers as it is in real life. But there is one caveat: before choosing a TV show to study, decide which English you need or preferable: American or British. In some cases, the difference between pronunciation is significant, and different variations can only confuse you.

Correct pronunciation is formed
Movies and TV shows, like communicating with native speakers, teach us how to pronounce words and phrases correctly, adopt intonations and imitate accents. Hint: to practice correct pronunciation – repeat after the characters on the screen.

Understanding another culture and humor
Anyone who is interested in “how are they doing there?” Watching TV shows will not only help to learn the language, but will also introduce you to the traditions and way of life of the countries where English is spoken. Heard of British humor? TV series and films in the original provide an opportunity not only to get to know a foreign culture better, but also to finally learn to understand the intricacies of humor of both British and Americans.

With or without subtitles?

Do not be afraid that when you watch the series, you will not understand any words or expressions. That’s what subtitles are for. The three most common options are:

Russian subtitles only
English subtitles only
English and Russian subtitles
Which one to choose when viewing is up to you. Most online players offer both dual subtitles and separate ones. Usually, for learning a language, people choose subtitles both in Russian and in English, so that they can not only perceive speech by ear, but also see how words are spelled and how a particular phrase is translated into Russian.

Serials with only Russian subtitles are preferred by those who want to watch the new episode without waiting for the Russian translation and are not very interested in a detailed analysis of the new vocabulary.

If you choose to watch the series only with English subtitles, then you probably already know the language quite well and has a rich vocabulary, and you may only need subtitles to understand the quick speech of the characters, see how certain words are spelled or correctly translate a phrase yourself …

Learning English from subtitled TV shows is recommended for both beginners and everyone else. It is important to choose the right TV show for your language level and approach the process correctly.

How to learn English from TV shows?

To learn a language from video materials effectively, it is important not just to watch everything, but to follow a few simple rules. Here’s how to quickly and easily learn English by watching TV shows in the evenings:

Choose the right TV show
It sounds simple, but this is a very important point. As we mentioned earlier, decide which type of English you need: British or American. It is important to adequately assess your knowledge in order to choose a series of a suitable level of difficulty.

Good TV shows for learning English for beginners are simple cartoons and sitcoms. For example, “Living English” or “Winnie the Pooh” are suitable for the Elementary level, and “Modern Family”, “Millville”, “Adventure Time” and others for Pre-Intermediate.

If your knowledge is already at the Intermediate level and above, then we recommend paying attention to such series as “Friends”, “The Walking Dead”, “The Simpsons”, “Doctor Who” and others, which we will describe in more detail in the selection.

Focus on your interests
It is unlikely that you will be interested in watching the series “The Walking Dead”, if you are, in principle, not a fan of this genre, just as “Sex and the City” is not suitable for everyone. But cult sitcoms like Friends will appeal to many.

So that learning English from TV shows does not turn into torment, it is important to choose a TV show not only by the level of the language, but also by your interests.

Turn on subtitles
For beginners, we recommend watching TV shows in English with double subtitles. Duplicating text in Russian and English will help you not only fully understand what is happening on the screen, but also remember words and expressions visually. At first, it may be difficult for you to have time to read both English and Russian text, and even keep track of the picture. But over time, you will learn to highlight the main points for yourself.

Later, you can revisit the same series with only one of the types of subtitles, or even without them at all, in order to practice listening comprehension and focus on other moments of the series: the intonation of the characters, pronunciation or parsing of incomprehensible words.

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