Updated: Jun 4
Watching movies in our target language is a great way to practice our listening and reading comprehension, as well as experiencing a little culture. Here are 5 ways to boost your learning while watching a movie!
1. Take breaks when you need them
Depending on where you are in your language learning journey, sitting through an entire film can be a feat. You're working extra hard to understand the speakers, follow the subtitles and follow the story. This can be tiring- and that's okay! If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or your mind wandering, pause the film and go back to it when you're refreshed. Even if you only watch ten minutes at a time, you're still learning and working toward your goal.
2. Don't get overwhelmed
Especially when coming from a classroom environment with our learning, it can be overwhelming to go into a film with native speakers talking at full speed. Don't get discouraged! To do this, it's important we enter into a film with the right expectations. Do not expect to understand every word or know what's going on every given moment. When you start watching movies, you should expect to only understand some words and phrases, and that is great! As you continue to watch content in your target language, you will start to understand more and more. Just be patient, and allow your ears and brain the time they need to take in the wonderful langauge you're learning.
3. Watch with the original subtitles
I would recommend this tip to intermediate and advanced learners (B1-C1) to amplify your learning. When you listen and read in the original subtitles, you are strengthening your listening and reading skills in that language as you follow along. This also allows you to pause the film so you can take notes, and have exact spelling to quickly search for words and phrases in a dictionary, as needed.
4. Take notes
Keep a notebook of words and phrases that you hear most often, you need more practice with or interest you the most in a film. Take this a step further and create flashcards or a Quizlet set to further practice these.
5. Enjoy it
Sit back, relax and enjoy the show! Language learning should be fun, so don't stress if you need to take breaks or don't understand everything. Watching a movie in your target language should be a way for you to keep your learning interesting, fun, entertaining and stress-free.
As long as you're doing your best and having fun, watching a movie can be a great way to get the exposure we need to a language and culture. It's your journey, so make sure you're doing it your way with content that is meaningful to you!
PS- Want to advance your German? Book a free consult for German language coaching & lessons with me today!
About the Author
Noelle is an experienced German teacher and coach. After having lived and worked in Germany in 2014, she returned to the US and earned a Second Bachelor of Arts degree in German, from an AATG German Center of Excellence. Currently, she is pursuing her Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation Studies and learning Spanish, French and Russian in her free time. When she is not teaching or traveling, you can find her exploring Texas or spending time with her partner and their two cats.