How should the extensive content be?

When it comes to choosing what to pick (tv shows ), i can’t decide … i don’t how the content should be . Should it be something enjoyable or something with common words and phrases ?

For extensive reading books/articles, the rule is to go for 98% known words, that is, only 1 in every 25 words on average you don’t know. That’s ideal to both reinforce vocabulary and learn new words, because you can guess from context, so say the Second Language Acquisition researchers. You can reduce it down to 95% (1 in every 20 words on average you don’t know) with probably slightly less efficiency or if you already know the content (such as re-reading Harry Potter). When extensive reading, the further you reduce the known words down, the less efficient it will be, because you can’t guess words from context.

With TV series and movies, you can go lower than 95%, as you have the visual aid. It would be show-dependent, because, say, a political drama would be harder than a kids’ animation, just because there are less visual cues. Also, TV shows are easier than movies, because you get lots of repetition and the story is easier to follow, simply because the story is longer.

In the end, just try it out to see what works. Start with a TV show you’ve previously watched and you like, and see how that goes. Alternatively, look up the plot of the TV series before watching it. You’ll probably enjoy a show with 80%+ comprehension (1 unknown word every 5 words) more, as you’ll understand more what’s going on, but you could experiment with lower known words, if you really want. Just remember the lower the comprehension level, the less you benefit from it, because you can’t easily guess words from context.

Really, extensive reading, listening, and/or watching doesn’t really work great as a beginner, because you just don’t have the required vocabulary to be able to guess the unknown words from context, but from an intermediate level and above, you can reap the benefits.

Alternatively, consider using something like Language Reactor or @roosterburton’s add-ons, so you can get dual subtitles and click on words to get pop-up definitions, then you can study these videos more semi-intensively.


Judging by your language profile and profile pic, I assume you are learning Korean? I suggest you learn things that interest you. For me, that was news, fanfiction, movies, cartoons, and novels. For you, it may be different. I will say there is no reason to stress over what is most effective. In fact, LingQ especially requires you to stop thinking about optimization and productivity. The sole thing that matters is that you are understanding more of what you read more of the time. Or hear, if you use LingQ for audio. I don’t, really.

Mandatory disclaimer: I am ranked 17 on the Russian all-time leaderboard. I have over 110k registered word forms on LingQ.