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English From Television Shows

April 13th, 2010

There are many ways for intermediate and advanced learners of the English language to better improve their conversational speaking skills. Learning many spoken languages the way they are often taught in formal schools today is not necessarily going to guarantee language skills necessary in an actual situation with a native speaker. There are certain cultures where English is taught as part of a normal school curriculum, but the students are taught mainly grammar and other mechanical English concepts. Many people believe that spoken language is best learned in the way that children learn to speak a language normally. This is generally in an immersive and natural situation where there is no other language available to speak. Let’s look at some of the ways a student of the English language can improve their natural conversational English ability.

One of the best ways is something that many people will likely be happy to hear. It involves watching television shows in English. Some people suggest that it is even better if there are no subtitles. This makes a student rely more on memory and listening to the English language instead of reading a more familiar language. There are many visual hints speakers of English may give each other in an English conversation. These hints and the general situation of a television show can be enough to help an intermediate or advanced student understand what is actually being said. Even beginning students can often get the general idea of what is being talked about and also the general mood of a conversation. Common phrases of characters in a fictional show can often be understood by observing the responses of other characters being spoken to.

One of the most popular television shows that people use to study conversational English is known as “Friends.” The show has been popular for many years in America and also in some other areas of the world. The concept of watching “Friends” for learning conversational English may be a surprise to some native English speakers, but there are many reasons it can be helpful for English language students. One of the best aspects of learning English from watching such a show is that it features a range of characters, both male and female. The characters in the show “Friends” reside in New York and encounter a wide array of situations. There is also plenty of modern, everyday dialogue in the show to help English learners improve their natural conversational English skills.

This is just one of many television shows that English students may choose to watch so that they can improve their English. There are many other possibilities. The main thing is finding a show that a student likes. Also make sure it is the kind of modern English a student will likely encounter in an English speaking area of the world.

One consideration to be aware of is that certain characters in some shows may have a certain phrase specific to that character or a kind of regional accent. It is likely best to study primarily the kind of English that most of the characters in a show speak, rather than focusing on just one of the characters.