EC's social network
It is possible to learn English by watching Dramas, but only to a limited degree. Dramas can provide us with useful input.
Drama English differs from the English you find in newspapers and books, because written English and spoken English are quite different. In dramas you will find more slang and a great number of different accents. Exposure to these things improves your listening. Eventually, using natural language can help you to sound more fluent. Another good point about movies is that they offer ' authentic' English.
Too many English textbooks use formal English that sounds quite unnatural, leaving students sounding like robots. This, in my experience, is a big problem with Chinese students of English.
So, yes, dramas can be a useful study supplement. However, let me tell you something very important: Unless you manage them very well, dramas are not much use to the language learner! Unfortunately, people vastly overestimate the value of Dramas as a learning tool. They think you can just watch Dramas and learn. You cannot.
And if you rely on Dramas as a major source of input for your learning, think again. Be sure it' s not just an easy excuse. Let me tell you how to use Dramas in a disciplined and systematic way.
Sitting in front of a TV is passive. Being passive is not generally a good way to learn anything. You need to be more engaged in the learning by preparing for it, researching it, discussing it, taking notes, doing follow-up, etc. Interactive learning is more effective than passive learning. Unless you interact with the input you will forget it soon afterwards.
Here are a few tips on how to approach a movie in an interactive way:
Research it online
Identify the main idea of the Drama
Take notes on the key vocabulary
Discuss these ideas and words with your friend
Watch part of the movie, then stop it and discuss
Take more notes and use the new vocabulary in your discussion
After the Drama is finished, follow up through discussion and further reading on the topic, etc.
Let me make another point. Dramas can be difficult to understand. Sure you have an advantage with a Drama that you can see what is happening and you can stop/start it. However, the characters tend to speak fast and use a lot of slang. In some ways, Dramas are more difficult to understand than books. If they don't have subtitles, they can be hard to learn from.
Add a Comment