Learn English with Movies

Learning a language is much easier when you’re enjoying yourself – and what better way to pass the time than watching movies (with a tub of popcorn in hand, of course)!  To help you out, here’s a movie to help you learn English.

The King’s Speech (2010)

Quite conveniently, this film focuses on England’s King George, who had to overcome a speech impediment to deliver a speech to the British people – so it’s not only entertaining but there’s actually a whole pronunciation lesson in there too. Win!

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Discourse Markers as Responses

As we listen to someone speaking, we usually show our response to what we hear either by gesture (head nod) or by a short response (Mm, yeah, really, that’s a shame). This shows that we are listening to and interested in what is being said. We call these short responses ‘response tokens’.

Common response tokens include:

absolutely

fine

okay

wow

(all) right

good

quite (more formal)

yeah

certainly

great

really

yes

definitely

I see

sure

exactly

no

wonderful

that’s great/interesting/amazing/awful, etc.

We use response tokens for a number of functions:

To show interest and to show that we want the speaker to continue

A:

So he opened the door.

B:

Yeah.

A:

And he went in very quietly without waking her.

B:

Right.

A:

He opened her bag and…

To show surprise

A:

We’ve decided to go to Africa for a month next year.

B:

Oh really!

To show sympathy

A:

He can’t play soccer for at least six months. He’s broken his leg.

B:

That’s terrible.

Learning English with Movies

Want to know the history behind the invention of Facebook? This story tells the story of the young Mark Zuckerberg, a geeky Harvard student, who wants to revolutionize the way we communicate with other people. The story shows how Zuckerberg accidentally finds fame and becomes a multi-millionaire – but there is a price.

Many of his old friends and people he’s connected with over the years want him to fail. Mark Zuckerberg shows us he’s got everything in terms of material things but very little in terms of friends. Mark Zuckerberg finds himself in court a number of times and the movie questions whether it was really Mark Zuckerberg or not who first created the world’s largest social network, Facebook.

Why it’s a great movie for learning English: This is an award winning movie written by Aaron Sorkin. He’s famous for his natural dialogue and funny lines, which makes this movie really enjoyable to watch and of course it’s easy to follow too. Also, almost everyone understands and knows Facebook and you will automatically be able to relate to the movie and not to mention, you’ll also be able to pick up a lot of great English vocabulary related to computers, technology and social networks.

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Idioms in Movies: Slap on the Wrist

“Slap on the wrist” is a mild punishment.

Example: The judge gave her a slap on the wrist by sentencing her to a few hours of community service.

Text in the clip from “Dexter: Do the Wrong Thing”:
– So what happened?
– Nothing. Guy gets a slap on the wrist. But, a couple of weeks later, he drops dead. Rat poisoning. Sound like a coincidence to you?
– Wow, I don’t know.
– Three makes a pattern. Maybe they all got in her way.