Learning to master the English language is certainly achievable, but boring classes filled with dry grammar rules and dull excerpts from old novels simply do not spark the joy of learning.
What you need are dynamic movies that simultaneously educate and entertain! Here are 9 movies that will help improve your conversational skills in English.
#1. The King’s Speech (2010)
Do you stammer when facing a strange word you’ve never seen or heard before? You’re in good company then as King George VI in The King’s Speech stutters too.
This British historical drama starring Colin Firth as the royal who stammers is a great movie for those eager to improve their English as you will learn how to enunciate letters and pronounce words correctly together with the King. Such a fancy English class, no?
#2. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
If you struggle to spell correctly and often mess up the right order of letters, you’re not alone.
However, a viewing of the inspirational American drama film Akeelah and the Bee about an 11-year-old girl who signs up for a National Spelling Bee — and wins — will make you sit up straight with newfound determination to spell ‘xanthosis’ correctly. After this movie, you too will be able to confidently spell ‘pulchritude’ flawlessly.
#3. The Sound of Music (1965)
‘Doe, a deer, a female deer; Ray, a drop of golden sun.’
We could continue singing the whole tune and bringing it back to Do (oh-oh-oh), but we’re here to tell you why this enduring American musical is a great tool to increase your level of spoken English.
From Julie Andrews’s perfectly clear enunciation to Christopher Plummer’s charismatic delivery of the film’s quotable lines, The Sound of Music makes it easy to pick up everyday speech. And of course, the catchy soundtrack is bound to be music to your ears.
#4. My Fair Lady (1964)
Here’s another movie where you’ll feel like you’re learning to speak English along with the protagonist. Flower seller Eliza Doolittle is taken under the wing of arrogant phonetics professor Henry Higgins as he bets he’ll be able to turn the poor Cockney girl into an elegant Edwardian London lady.
After singing along to the film’s famous musical numbers such as ‘The Rain in Spain‘ and ‘Just You Wait‘, you’ll find yourself having lots of fun speaking in a posh upper-class English accent.
#5. Toy Story (1995)
Raise your hand if you reminisced fondly about your beloved childhood toys after watching this hilarious and heartwarming 1995 Pixar movie. Besides tugging at your heartstrings and making you roar with laughter to infinity and beyond, Toy Story also benefits your command of the English language!
Here’s how — Woody’s lines are easily understandable thanks to Tom Hanks’s distinctive clear voice. Paired with Buzz Lightyear’s voice actor Tim Allen, the duo comes to life, conversing in witty dialogue.
#6. Dead Poets Society (1989)
For a taste of the many forms of the written word, immerse yourself in the world of poetry in Dead Poets Society. This 1989 movie tells the tale of an English teacher who sparks joy in his students through poetry. Aiming to make their lives extraordinary, they live their life through the Latin expression carpe diem — seize the day.
As professor John Keating (played by Robin Williams) said, “Avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose.” Who knew watching a movie could greatly improve your vocabulary?
#7. Forrest Gump (1994)
This saccharine sweet comedy-drama film displays Tom Hanks’s prowess as a character actor portraying Forrest Gump, a slow but kind-hearted man who wins hearts and unknowingly influences the world around him.
The story starts with Forrest Gump as a child, struggling with leg braces and bullying before encountering an unpleasant situation that results in him finding out that he’s a speedy runner! From then on, life surprises him with blossoming romance, the Vietnam War and the unexpected death of a loved one. Forrest’s slow, clear and uncomplicated speech makes it easy to follow the movie’s plot and increases your understanding of the English language.
#8. Jurassic World (2015)
For a rollicking sci-fi adventure involving dinosaurs in the 21st century, Jurassic World is the one to watch. The fourth instalment of the Jurassic Park film series is set 22 years after the events of the first entry, but the stakes are higher now as a fearsome genetically-engineered dinosaur escapes and wreaks murderous havoc.
Hollywood stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard speak in everyday language used in daily situations, which makes it easy to follow the movie. Some scientific jargon is thrown into the mix, resulting in an interesting selection of new words to learn and include in your vocabulary.
#9. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking!”
“By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.”
Short, snappy lines like these make The Devil Wears Prada an extremely fun watch — and a good movie to learn how to be witty.
The 2006 comedy-drama film about the high fashion world sees college graduate Andy Sachs — who is used to the low-key life — change drastically as she quickly adapts to the glitz and glam of the fashion industry. However, she’s forced to make a decision that will set her life in stone, and she has to choose between living her initial dream of journalism or the attractive world of fashion.
As you can see, learning English doesn’t have to be like watching paint dry. The key is to make learning enjoyable. So, have fun watching these movies while improving your English!