Movies with subtitles

I have one question about english learning, I have big problems with listening skills and I want improve that… So I get great idea, how I can achieve it , I decided watch english movies with english subtitles, how you think about that? :slight_smile:

The one drawback is that the subtitles often miss out a lot of the spoken text. But it may help you to start hearing things better, especially if you can rewind the scenes you are watching/listening to. Have fun with it!

I think this is a good idea.

My wife ( korean ) Her english is REALLY REALLY REALLY good. The only problem she has is her listening. She learned english the korean way, LOTS and LOTS of memorization and then alot of speaking. Although this method worked for her somehow , it didnt work for a millions of other koreans trying to learn english =p. ANYWAYS about her listening she watches TV , movies everything with subtitles and heavily relies on them. Its become a VERY VERY VERY bad habit for her. So when she tries to speak to people she gets really really intimidated and stressed trying to understand everythign 100% . When that happens her comprehension becomes really low. She needs to stop relying on subtitles and just relax when listening. But I agree , subtitles are good JUST dont heavily rely on them because in the real world people dont have subtitles when they talk to you =p.

i think the english in movies is really difficult. if u’re abegginer u should see the movies for children. they 're simpler. Hope that they will improve your english.

I agree that you have to break the subtitle habit at some point, but there are a lot of benefits to them as well. Trying to read the subtitles will probably increase your reading speed, for example. A good idea is to watch each movie twice, once with subtitles and once without.

Increase reading speed? I’m baffled. How slowly do people here read? I (and everybody else I know) read subtitles in a split-second.

Reading while listening to the audio (be it an audiobook or video with subtitles) is a pretty standard way to increase reading speed. Most people read quite a bit more slowly in a foreign language, particularly when they are at a beginner or intermediate, and even more so when a different alphabet or set of characters is being used. It has not been my experience that I read foreign language subtitles in a split second.

The problem is that I can not enjoy actors’ or actress’ plays if I concentrate on reading subtitles…

Yes, I have the same problem. I’m watching 北の国から with Japanese subtitles, but I’m finding them kind of distracting. I would normally watch the series twice, but it’s just too long!

"Increase reading speed? I’m baffled. How slowly do people here read? I (and everybody else I know) read subtitles in a split-second. "

Well, If its a language in an alphabet you dont know really well… You’re going to be EXTREMELY slow and in most cases probably cant finish reading the subtitles before they disapear. =p. Obviously if its a language your good at or your native language you can read it in a split second. If its anything but that I suspect most people struggle and read slow…

In my case with korean subtitles, I can read them at a decent speed but sometimes they show up too quickly for me to read everything. I did notice increase reading speed after a whille but its not only because of reading alot of subtitles its because of practicing reading in general…


In Sweden, most younger people and many older ones are passably good at English because their English language movies and TV are subtitled, not dubbed

Btw, keroro, do I recognize your avatar from eslcafe?

The question was about watching movies with the the sub-titles in the same language. I think this can be a useful thing to do until one gets tired of doing it.

Personally I am not a big fan of movies for language learning. To me they are a reward, a form of entertainment. I prefer listening and reading. But to each his own, and people should try different things, I think.

Yes, but I thought we were talking were talking about watching foreign movies with the foreign subtitles to help you understand the movie. Maybe there was some confusion.

I’m not a huge fan of watching movies either, but I really like learning from television dramas. Movies are too short and they tend to presume too much background knowledge on the part of the viewer. Watching a television series gives you time to get to know the characters and understand the situation.

I was talking about the possible reason for Jeff’s (mis)statement, which I agree could not apply to learners watching movies with foreign subtitles.

Sorry for the thread hijack


I do read ( rarely) / have an account on Korean ESLCAFE But I don’t use an Avatar Nor is my nickname Keroro . You have a link to the person you’re refering too? I’m curious =p. How about yourself? You go by Bortrun on Eslcafe? OR some other name ? that name a secret? =p. I cant really relate to the whole ESL teacher thing as I’m no english teacher ( I’m not interested in teaching esl and I actually wouldnt be able to do it legally anyways PLUS english isnt my mother tongue =p) Only thing i can relate to is that some of them married korean girls Soo they have some info that i needed =p.

As for movies with subtitles. Its definitely not my main way for studying. But i do watch ALOT and Its quite helpful to practice random listening during the day or have it playing in the background. I just put the subtitles ( the foreign language I’m studying) To make sure I heard properly. Its useful!

Ah, my mistake! I thought you we’re talking about about watching movies with subtitles in a language you know (native or not), and that that activity would increase reading speed.

This being said, I’ve been watching “Dr House” in German, with German subtitles. I’ve read the line long before the actor has finished the sentence.

Now, I find reading and listening at the same time a very useful practice (even if the audio, no matter how natural, usually are painstakingly slow). The only major drawback is that the lack of content. A two-hour movie probably doesn’t have as much audio as a 60 minutes worth of podcasts (maybe even 30 minutes).

i use listening skills without thinking about grammar and now i feel i’m improving my English. i think the listening is the key to speak English good


I don’t post on the korean borad (as I live in japan and have nothing to say there) but i occasionally check it. I asked some questions there many years ago (before I moved to Asia) but I don’t remember what my name was. I haven’t posted on the regular eslcafe in a long time too.

I’m not really a forum person, but I’m always thinking about where I’ll live next, so I sometimes pop into forums for different places. So I don’t have a link for the person I’m confusing you with - it may just be my imagination too.