watching films as a way to learn English vocabulary

Treebeard   Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:15 pm GMT
Many people consider wathing films in English as a good way to broaden vocabulary. My personal opinion is quite different - i think, that there is no time to concentrate on vocabulary when watching film. We can have fun and pleasure OR focus on learning new words and phrases. This is what I think. How about you ??
Boy   Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:02 pm GMT
As a learner, I have watched like 70 American movies so far. Trust me. You can't have an educated vocabulary after watching those movies though you can learn all cursing and swearing words which is no good if you want to speak standard English. In my opinion, they are only good for having fun and be accustomed to American speakers in general. You had better read newspapers like Newyork times for improving your vocabulary. Reading and looking up words in the process will also help you to get enough input in order to comprehend movies and dramas.

If you really want to improve your vocabulary then watch comedy serials like seinfield and friends with subtitles. You can note down any new words that you encounter while you're reading the subtitles on your TV screen. I just couldn't believe my ears that how esay I could understand American speakers with subtitles on. I felt like I was watching a serial in my own native language. I had a blast. Nowadays I'm watching seinfield serials with subtitles and jotting down so many new vocabulary words that I have not known before.

For example, cantaloupe, leering, spatula, on the lease, masseuse, blather, mane, emcee, lockjaw, humped, croissant, minimalist, decaf, ex-cons, tassel, badger...etc
Treebeard   Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:26 pm GMT
Good remark. I've watched several films in English (I started to take English learning seriously about 2 years ago), and only LoTR and Monty Python's films gave me chance to learn new words (LoTR mainly because I've watched it many times). That's true, that most films can teach us swear words - not a typical vocabulary.
Mitch   Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:35 pm GMT

I asked the question on your other thread, but in case you didn't see it: Did watching the film more than once help you learn? On the second or third viewing, did you actually stop the film to look up words or try to work out some point of grammar? I've never done that for foreign language films I've watched, but it seems worthwhile if you have the time and energy.
Brennus   Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:01 pm GMT

I think that film has some value in learning a foreign language but radio might be better. I had some German neighbors from West Berlin a few years back who said they learned English in the years following World War II largely by listening to American radio broadcasts .
Mxsmanic   Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:40 am GMT
Films (particularly DVDs) are excellent for getting used to spoken English, but they don't improve vocabulary that much. Ordinary everyday English tends to use the same words over and over, so you'd have to watch quite a few films in order to gain significant vocabulary.

Reading increases vocabulary much more quickly, as it tends to use more words, sooner, than speech. It also relieves you of the need to struggle to understand what you hear, which can distract from the goal of building vocabulary.
Anthony   Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:08 am GMT
Films should be for fun viewing and listening, books for broadening vocabulary.
Emili   Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:53 am GMT
I lern english for two yers and I think this is dificult language.I can't it good but I work very hard.I think Films are good to lern this language. I polish and I know what I say !
Guest   Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:02 am GMT
"I polish and I know what I say !"

Let me guess: I'm Polish and I know what I'm talking about !
Guest   Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:19 pm GMT
>>Reading increases vocabulary much more quickly, as it tends to use more words, sooner, than speech. It also relieves you of the need to struggle to understand what you hear, which can distract from the goal of building vocabulary.<<

Yes! That's the secret!
Treebeard   Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:54 pm GMT
Ok, I agree with you, that films aren't good sources of new vocabulary (please take a look at first post in this topic). I have never tried to look up words in dictionary while watching film. I meant (when writing about LoTR and MP) that there were some words, which I remembered and meaning of which I checked after watching the film, that's all. So we all ave really the same point of view! (BTW: This isn't good for the discussion, because we have now nothing to walk about:-))
Another Guest   Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:59 pm GMT
You think >>there is no time to concentrate on vocabulary when watching film.<< I agree with you on this point.
nguyen duc kha   Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:46 am GMT
I like watching film but it is very diffcult for me to hear any thing in it. Could you share with me your experiences to help me improve my listening English?
Treebeard   Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:08 pm GMT
1. Watch films with english subtitles - this could help you if you didn't hear something.
2. If it is possible, watch films on computer. You can stop the movie any time you want, repeat scene which you didn't hear properly or even look up in internet meaning of words you don't know.

This is what I can advice you.
nguyenduckha   Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:26 am GMT
thank you for your advice! I will take it.I want to ask you more thing ,too.I pronoune English very badly.I have studied in the language university for two months but I feel very difficult to pronoune.My tounge is unflexible.I have tried to practise but it is'nt effective.Sometimes,I feel very disappointed in myseft .please,give me an advice!