Yes I know television often gets a bad name in terms of being educational, but in fact it is one of the best ways to help your English if you are strict about watching English based programs.
As you know children often come home from school and the first thing they do is switch on the television. However if this is in English and they are a foreign language speaker, this can be the best thing they can do, even if it is an old favorite like ‘The Simpsons’.
The same applies to adults, but you can be a bit stricter with yourself and decide to watch programs of your own interest e.g. History Channel or National Geographic Channel.
Television helps you to:
- Revise and expand your grammar.Learning through television, whatever you watch, can expand the grammarbecause you are hearing the language in use, freely and uninterrupted.
- Play with words. English taught in schools can be very rigid and sometimes the words are straight out of the book and may sound funny to your ears. For example, Americans have a tendency to cut short their sentences and they also love to use abbreviations and make it sound like they are real words. These can be confusing to a learner and sometimes the confusion can lead them to say the wrong things at the wrong time. So television gives students a chance to see the language in use and understand that not everything in English is spoken ‘perfectly’.
- Understand slang. Also there are some words that are not found in the English dictionary that the learners use, slang words are fairly common and these can be heard used in their proper context on television – this includes movies, talk shows, etc.
- Get in tune with different accents. The learner can also get used to different accents, as if they vary the programs they watch, they will find that American-English is slightly different to English-English. For one thing the accents are worlds apart, the terms used are not the same and the play of words is different.
- Feel the rhythm of English in action. Watching your favorite English or American program can also get you to feel the sound and rhythm of English. This is particularly true if you are watching a drama or comedy in English.
- Hear the correct pronunciation. Learning through television though is very good for pronunciation because the learner can actually hear the words spoken as they should be, as long as they know that they are watching American as opposed to British or vice versa.
- Learning English Through Watching Television
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- Top Tip for Learning English-Turn on your TV