How to Use Netflix to Learn English!

BridgeEnglish teacher Colleen Luckett is going to share three tips on how students can utilize technology they already have access to in order to supplement their English classes. In this first post in the series, Colleen gives students ideas on how they can use Netflix to learn English, and continue practicing English outside of the classroom.


When learning a language, the saying “use it or lose it” could not be truer. You’re getting a solid English language education here at Bridge, but if you go home and don’t use the English you learn in class, it will take longer for you to become fluent. So, here is the first tip in a series about how you can supplement your classes using technology: Use Netflix to improve your English!

Lights! Camera! Action!

Many of our students tell us the best way they learn English outside class is to watch American movies. Not only will you pick up many new words – and lots of slang! – but it’s great to hear actors’ various accents.

How to Use Netflix to Learn English still offers a free one-month trial, so sign up, grab some popcorn, and start watching! First, watch the whole movie with your language’s subtitles on (the words on the screen, telling you what the actors are saying), so you know what the movie is about. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a scene you really like to focus on. Don’t use your own language’s subtitles from now on!
  2. Play the scene and just listen. Write down all the English words you can hear. Spelling doesn’t matter so much here. Just write down what you hear.
  3. Play the scene again, but this time watch it with no subtitles on. Write down more words you hear.
  4. Play the scene again, and this time watch the scene with English subtitles on. Did you see some new, interesting words you want to learn? Write them down, and then look them up after you finish the scene. Also, you can check the spelling of the words you wrote down.
  5. Play the scene again, and listen for how these new words fit into the scene. Watch the other actors in the scene and their reactions to these words. This is a great way to pick up context and nuance.

After you go through these steps, you can then try speaking the new words and matching the pronunciation to the actor. Keep in mind that accents vary across the U.S., so if the movie is set in New York, you’ll sound very different from a Coloradan! You can always bring new words you learned to your Bridge teachers and ask them to pronounce them, too.

Continue Learning English after the Movie Ends 

The more varied approach you take for learning English, the better it will be for your experience here in the U.S. Go to your classes, do your homework, join fun events, and talk to local people. And stay tuned for the next post in this series with more ways to use technology to learn English.

Do you have some favorite movies to watch to learn English? Please tell us in the comments! And if you want to keep improving your English, click here to learn some Denver, Colorado slang!

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