English Listening – Improve your listening by watching TV
How can I improve my English listening?
English Listening - Improve your listening by watching TV!
by Éadaoin Curtin
English teacher in Everest
Listening and understanding is often very difficult for language learners. Maybe your listening in the classroom is fine but having conversations and watching tv can be more difficult.
The easiest way to improve your listening outside the classroom is by ... watching TV!
BUT it’s very important that you watch series which are interesting to you, you shouldn’t feel like you are studying.
Try watching a TV show you’ve never seen before. Watch it in English with the subtitles (in English!) for 3 or 4 episodes, then try to watch without the subtitles. You could watch one episode with subtitles, then one without subtitles. The episode you watch without subtitles will be more difficult, so you can try taking breaks every 15 or 20 minutes.
Websites to help you improve your English listening
Ororo - www.ororo.tv - €5 per month, €12 for 3 months.
Movies and tv series
You can watch with English subtitles, you can slow the speed of the show and you can watch in dual subtitles (Spanish, Italian, Portugese, French, Polish, German, Russian)
A lot of great new and old TV shows and films.
Grey’s Anatomy - medical drama
The Night Manager - spy thriller
How to Get Away with Murder
Futurama - Animated comedy set in the future
Lie to Me - detective drama
The Gilmore Girls - drama
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - comedy
The IT Crowd
Netflix - www.netflix.com - €8 - €12 per month, the first month is free.
Movies, documentaries and tv series.
You can watch with and without subtitles, usually only English.
Recommended shows on Netlfix
Fringe - Sci-fi / drama
Marco Polo - history - the main actor is Italian.
Sherlock - detective
House of Cards - American political drama
Breaking Bad - a chemistry teacher becomes a drug dealer
Scrubs - medical comedy
Vikings - a good mix of accents
Wilfred - better with subtitles
How to Get Away with Murder - about student lawyers in America
The Vampire Diaries - Two brothers who are vampires
Sense8 - An international cast so lots of great accents, about people with a supernatural connection.
Sons of Anarchy - American motorbike gang
The Wire - diffcult, better with subtitles.
Narcos - about Pablo Escobar - 50% in Spanish so no need for subtitles!
Dr House - medical drama
The Killing - detective drama
The Newsroom - about journalists
Channel 4 On Demand - www.channel4.com - Free
Channel 4 is a popular British TV channel which makes great documentaries and series, and a lot of reality TV shows. They show them on TV but you can also watch them here ‘on demand’.
You can find older series in the Boxsets section, www.channel4.com/programmes/boxsets.
Accents - English, Irish, some American.
Recommended shows on Channel 4:
Black Mirror - about how technology is affecting our lives.
The IT Crowd - two computer nerds in a big corporate company.
Mis-Fits - teenagers with super powers.
Skins - teenagers lives, dark and dramatic.
Fr. Ted - an Irish comedy about 3 priests
Catastrophe - An Irish woman and an American man have a baby by accident.