Fast English: Learn with TV and Reading

too busyWe’re all busy right? It’s hard to find time to do the important things, like improving our English, if they aren’t urgent.

But you do have time to improve your English, every single day. It only takes about 15 minutes, and over time your English will DRASTICALLY improve. Plus, it’s easy to make it into a lifelong habit.

There are many ways to do this, like listening to podcasts, radio, or music when you’re in transit, or on your smartphone, and online.

I’m going to tell you about some of the most fun ways to improve your English daily, doing things that you probably enjoy doing anyway: reading and watching television.

I bet you already do these things in your free time. But if you can make a habit of doing them in English, your skills in the language will greatly and swiftly improve. An added bonus is that you’ll be learning about American, British, or Australian culture, too.

And remember, it’s not important that you understand everything. You’ll still get the big ideas, and you’ll be learning.

So let’s delve a little deeper into this subject and look at some strategies for improving our English with TV series and reading.

Are you ready to revolutionize your English?

Watch Television: 20+ minutes

I bet when you get home from work or school, you enjoy watching TV. And I’d also expect that a lot of the television shows that you watch are American or British. So why not take advantage and watch them in English?

It may seem like more work, but once you get into the habit of watching a TV show in English, you’ll become addicted to it, and it will simply become part of your daily routine.

All of the best English learners that I know watch television in English. It’s one of the easiest and most fun ways to improve your English.

watching tv englishWatching TV is a great way to learn expressions and slang, as well as about the culture. So, if you can’t travel, it’s the next best thing!

Plus, many TV shows are only 20-minutes long. You can take advantage of your convenient moments and watch a show in English while you are eating your dinner in the evening or your breakfast in the morning. It’s not necessary to set extra time aside.

If you’re a beginner or intermediate English speaker, I recommend you start by watching a show in English with subtitles in your native tongue, so that you first understand the context. Then watch the same episode again in English without subtitles or with English subtitles and just try to understand the best you can. It’s ok if you don’t understand everything. Little by little it will get easier.

Another idea is to download the transcript, which is available for almost any popular English series with a simple Google search. Before watching, simply print it out and look up any new vocabulary and expressions. If possible, ask you English speaking friends or teachers the definition of any difficult slang or expressions. Or try finding a relevant forum.

Learn English with the Popular TV Show Friends

The important thing is to challenge yourself. If you want to learn quickly, the best way to do that is by doing something that seems a little above your level, like watching a TV show without subtitles and only understanding 60 percent.

Remember: you are learning, and it’s ok to not understand everything! Little by little over time your comprehension will increase until you understand natives completely! And imagine, you’ll even find yourself laughing at the jokes!

If you have a better level of English, start watching a TV show with English subtitles and then start to challenge yourself by removing the subtitles. You’ll be surprised by how much you understand. And as you make it a habit, you’ll find that you naturally learn new expressions, slang, and grammar through the context.

I recommend shows like How I Met Your Mother, Friends, and Big Bang Theory because they a funny, easy to understand, and you get attached to the characters—so you’ll look forward to watching them! They also give you a great insight into American culture.

So choose a show, buy the DVD and start from episode 1, get addicted, watch it every day, and see your English naturally improve!

Want to take your learning with television to the next level? Check out this article that shows you exactly how the pro-English learners do it.

Read: 15+ minutes

fast-englishAs an English learner, you should be reading every day. It doesn’t matter what you read—just read something.

I assume that if you’re reading this, you already enjoy reading in English, so great job, keep at it!!

Like television shows, it’s not important that you understand every word. It’s just important that you understand the whole context. The more you read, the more English you’ll learn naturally. You’ll start to use vocabulary that you don’t even remember learningit will become a part of you without you knowing how or when.

Your grammar will improve, too, because you’ve been reading good grammar. It might take a while, but, for example, if you can finish an entire book your English will improve a lot.

Choose a book and become immersed in the story and the English. I prefer series, because they last you a long time and you become attached to the characters and absorbed in a new world.

Some recommendations are: Harry Potter, a Song of Ice and Fire, the Hunger Games, and Across the Nightingale Floor.

If you prefer to read the news, start reading a publication like the New York Times or the Economist online every morning instead of your local newspaper. It’s more challenging, but once again, if you make a practice of it, you’re English will start to improve naturally.

If you want to create a good reading strategy, then check out this article that I wrote about reading in English.

Make English a Part of Your Life with our FREE Mini-Course!

In Conclusion

It’s crucial that you have FUN learning English and that you practice a little bit everyday. This doesn’t require hours of time, just a few minutes, but you need to make a habit of immersing yourself in English EVERY DAY.

have fun englishA class twice a week by itself isn’t going to help you learn much. If you don’t make a lifestyle of learning a language, the process is going to be slow, and you’ll be quick to forget.

A habit like reading or watching TV everyday for 15 minutes is something you can do for the rest of your life, and, more importantly, it’s something that you’ll enjoy doing. After just a few months, your fluency is going to increase substantially, I promise.

So how can you get a book or TV show in English and start reading or watching today? Make a plan for where and when you’ll have time to get it.

Make English a part of your life!

Enjoy this article? Check out these:

  • Rawda Essam Hejazy

    True, True, True!!

    Amazinggg article as always Ethan!!

    But I don’t think eating while watching t.v is a good idea cuz it helps to gain weights ( That’s according to the doctor show) hehe 😛

    I agree with you about the reading point.. When I read in English, there’re lots of words which I don’t get it, I just skip it or sometimes guess it by the context of the sentence. But, not a big deal yanni! I’m not good at all in grammar, but I’ve learnt it through reading books..

    Thanks again Ethan W.

  • faranak

    Awesome! !
    The habit of watching TV shows is great and I’ve been enjoying that for a long time and also been making progress alot. But about reading habit Let’s make it happen Faranak!! :))Aww yeahh…

  • Super!!!

    Is it posible that you recommend me another TV shows for beginners, but no animated series?

    Thank you very much.

    • First, have you read this article? http://bit.ly/1cH2Apl

      Any sitcom is good for beginners, for example Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory… Just choose something you already enjoy (maybe you’ve seen it already, but dubbed or with subtitles in your own language), but watch it in English 🙂

  • Pingback: RealLife English – English Made Simple: 15 Minutes per Day()

  • rabergeo

    a very nice article Ethan , inspiring , interesting and informative , I have been following your tips and now i see my progress is so remarkable and able to speak with out fear ,