Friday, May 26, 2017

Benefits of Watching TV Shows and Movies in Improving Your English Vocabulary

If you have enrolled in a TOEFL review center in Cebu, you probably have noticed how good the natives are in speaking English. Have you ever wondered why?

According to the report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippines is home to approximately 200 thousand foreign citizens. Majority of this population came from the U.S. Furthermore, nearly 35% of foreign visitors go to Cebu, making it the second most populated province in the country.

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Given the number of tourists who visit Cebu, speaking English becomes their second language. According to some Cebuanos, they often speak in English, especially when talking to people from other provinces because they do not have a complete command of Tagalog. However, not all Cebuanos are good in speaking English. They are just able to practice it more when engaging in a clear conversation with other people.

Now, there is no need to envy your classmate in a TOEFL review center in Cebu because you can also develop your English-speaking skills by watching TV shows and movies. This way, you will be more confident in conversing in English during your coaching sessions.

How does watching English TV shows and movies affect your social interaction?

One secret that your instructor in a review center for TOEFL probably did not tell you is watching English-speaking shows can help widen your vocabulary. Doing so can actually be used to start small talks, thus advancing your social interaction with other people. For instance, people love talking about movies that they have just seen. Others post their reactions on social media or share their thoughts with friends. Through this, they meet other people who share common interests.

Watching TV shows and movies enhances social interaction by improving the quality of communication (e.g., equip people with topics to talk about, boost the confidence of having a wide vocabulary).

What are the benefits of watching English shows and movies?

•    Learning English becomes more fun and enjoyable – Watching shows relieves you from the stress that you most likely experience in a classroom setting. You can watch shows anytime without thinking about writing reaction papers afterward. As such, it motivates you to examine carefully the story and the language. Movies with subtitles help enhance reading and listening skills. They can also help assess your comprehension of the story. For example, do not turn on the subtitles when watching a movie for the first time. Take note of confusing words that you encountered. Then watch the movie again with subtitles. Compare your notes if you got the words correctly.

•    Being familiar with words and correct pronunciation – Exposure to English shows and movies provides better examples of how words are used and pronounced. Movie scenes also let you examine how unfamiliar words are used in constructing sentences. You can also look up these words in the dictionary for more information.

•    Using English in real-life situations – Classroom discussions give examples that are too rigid, too academic. They are often formal, and they observe strict grammar rules. They are different from movies and TV series, as these do not observe grammar rules. Moreover, these shows and films give you a hint of how words are used in real-life situations, such as when answering questions and communicating with other people.

•    Becoming familiar with slang – Of course, acing the TOEFL exam marks the beginning of your journey. Once you study in the university, you should be able to communicate with other students as well. (This is one of the ways to help you survive life in the university.) This includes becoming familiar with common slangs. After all, you will not converse with them the same way as in the classroom. That would be monotonous, don’t you think? Very formal and uninviting.

•    Getting a glimpse of their culture – Studying in English-speaking countries also require knowing their culture. You will be staying in a foreign country for a long time, so it is best to be accustomed to their culture. Watching movies, especially those that showcase life in the regions, offer a glimpse of another country's culture and practices.

Becoming a good English speaker does not necessarily mean taking classes nor coming from a particular country. There are many ways to improve your English vocabulary. You just have to be resourceful in finding ways to enhance it.

Though watching English TV shows and movies help enhance your vocabulary, note that the best way is to practice and engage in actual conversations with other people. Research suggests that conversations have significant effects on people’s language skills. That is why instructors in a review center for TOEFL encourage students to participate in practical tests and feedback sessions to improve their language skills, especially speaking.

  •  "5 Things Cebuanos Do Best." Megaworld. Accessed January 18, 2017.
  • "Foreign citizens in the country reaches nearly 200 thousand." Philippine Statistics Authority. Accessed January 18, 2017.
  • "Cebu: The Second Most Populated Province in the Philippines." Philippine Statistics Authority. Accessed January 18, 2017.
  • "About Cebu." Cebu Provincial Government. Accessed January 18, 2017.
  • Donaghy, Kieran. "How can film help you teach or learn English?" British Council. Accessed January 19, 2017.
  • "6 Reasons Why Watching Television Can Improve your English." Aiyshah's English Page. June 06, 2014. Accessed January 18, 2017.
  • Rumana. "Advantages and Disadvantages of Watching Television." ReelRundown. October 05, 2016. Accessed January 18, 2017.
  • Dewar, Gwen. "The effects of television on language skills." Parenting Science.. Accessed January 19, 2017.


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