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Top 10 movies to watch to master English


Gaining English mastery is a must for international students aiming high in their studies and for those who want an overseas career. Fluency in English isn't just about how you communicate; it's a key to a world of opportunities. As you embark on your quest to get better at the English language, you're probably looking for fun and immersive ways to boost your skills. Well, guess what? Movies are here to save the day! Not just a classic means of entertainment, music can be your secret weapon to levelling up your English game.

The cinematic experience offers a unique blend of auditory and visual stimulation, making it an ideal platform for language acquisition. In this article, we will explore the top 10 movies to watch that can significantly contribute to English language mastery. We'll delve into the advantages of cinematic learning, the criteria behind our selections, and how each movie can enhance vocabulary, listening skills, and cultural understanding. So, let's embark on this cinematic journey towards linguistic excellence.

The power of cinematic learning

Movies possess a compelling allure that captivates audiences worldwide. They have the remarkable ability to transport you to different worlds, eras, and cultures, immersing you in a sea of language diversity. The power of cinematic learning lies in its capacity to engage your senses simultaneously, facilitating a deeper and more holistic understanding of language for you.

Visuals, context, and dialogues in movies work in harmony to aid comprehension. Visual cues provide essential context, helping you grasp the meaning of words and phrases. Context, often richly embedded within the storyline, helps you better grasp the meaning of words as it links words to real-life situations. Dialogues, spoken by native speakers, expose you to various accents, intonations and conversational styles, contributing to improved listening skills.

Moreover, learning through watching movies is far more enjoyable. The emotional engagement and immersion that movies offer makes learning a language a pleasurable experience. For those looking to pick up English as a second language, you can harness this powerful tool to sharpen your language skills and enrich your cultural understanding, all while being entertained.

Criteria for selection

We use a carefully considered process for selecting the movies to watch for language learning. Our criteria encompass the balance between engaging storytelling and linguistic complexity. Each movie on our list strikes this equilibrium, offering captivating narratives without overwhelming learners with linguistic challenges.

Diversity is another crucial aspect of our selection. We understand that international students and working adults looking for job opportunities overseas hail from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Therefore, we have chosen movies that feature different genres, accents, and cultural contexts. This diversity ensures that learners are exposed to a broad spectrum of English usage, enriching their language skills comprehensively.

As we delve into each movie, you will discover how these criteria come to life, offering you a tailored and immersive language learning experience.

Movie 1: "Forrest Gump"

Our first movie, "Forrest Gump," takes us on a remarkable journey through decades of American history. This classic film not only boasts an engaging storyline but also showcases a wide array of accents and cultural contexts. As Forrest navigates through life's challenges, you'll encounter various Southern, Texan, and African-American accents, providing a rich linguistic tapestry for learners.

Specific scenes, such as Forrest's interactions with his childhood sweetheart Jenny or his humorous encounters with Lieutenant Dan, offer valuable lessons in colloquial speech and cultural nuances. So, fasten your seatbelts for an unforgettable language-learning adventure with Forrest Gump.

Movie 2: "The Social Network"

In the age of digital communication, "The Social Network" offers a compelling backdrop for language learning. This gripping tale of the creation of Facebook features fast-paced dialogues and modern English usage. As you follow the journey of Mark Zuckerberg and his associates, you'll be exposed to tech-savvy expressions and the nuances of interpersonal communication.

Scenes depicting heated boardroom discussions, coding marathons, and social dynamics among tech enthusiasts provide a treasure trove of linguistic insights into business jargon and contemporary English expressions. "The Social Network" is not just a riveting movie to watch but also a linguistic goldmine for aspiring English speakers.

Movie 3: "Harry Potter Series"

The magical world of "Harry Potter" has enchanted readers and moviegoers worldwide. For language learners, this enchantment extends to the realm of language mastery. The popular "Harry Potter" movie series is renowned for its impact on language learners, offering a range of vocabulary from formal English to magical terms unique to the wizarding world.

One of the series' advantages is the opportunity to follow characters' growth in language skills. From the simplicity of early years at Hogwarts to the sophistication of later instalments, you'll witness a captivating linguistic evolution. Spells, enchantments, and incantations further enrich your vocabulary, making "Harry Potter" an indispensable addition to your language-learning journey.

Movie 4: "Finding Nemo"

"Finding Nemo" is an animated gem that transcends age barriers, making it a popular choice for language learners of all ages. This heartwarming tale of a father's quest to find his lost son unfolds through clear and slower-paced dialogues, making it an ideal resource for language acquisition.

The movie's simplicity and relatable storyline allow learners to focus on language comprehension without feeling overwhelmed. As you join Marlin and Dory on their underwater adventure, you'll find yourself improving your listening skills and expanding your English vocabulary effortlessly.

Movie 5: "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Based on a true story, "The Pursuit of Happyness" presents real-life situations and conversational English in an emotionally charged narrative. This classic film, starring Will Smith, follows the journey of Chris Gardner as he strives to overcome homelessness and adversity to secure a better future for his son.

The movie offers a window into American culture, presenting authentic dialogues in everyday settings. Learners will benefit from exposure to conversational English, idiomatic expressions, and the resilience that characterises the pursuit of the American dream. "The Pursuit of Happyness" is a compelling choice for those aiming to improve their language skills while being inspired by a powerful story.

Movie 6: "The King's Speech"

"The King's Speech" is a historical drama that underscores the importance of clear pronunciation and speech. This movie, based on King George VI's efforts to overcome his speech impediment, offers valuable lessons in articulation and enunciation.

Learners will appreciate the film's focus on the king's struggle and determination to communicate effectively. As you watch this classic, you'll gain insights into speech therapy and the significance of precise language usage, making "The King's Speech" an educational and enlightening choice for language enthusiasts.

Movie 7: "Inception"

Christopher Nolan's mind-bending masterpiece, "Inception," is a popular science fiction movie where a skilled thief enters people's dreams to steal their secrets. While the film's plot is complex, it presents a unique opportunity for learners to grasp intricate language structures and philosophical themes.

Challenging dialogues, layered storytelling, and intellectual depth characterise "Inception." As you navigate through dreams within dreams, you'll encounter advanced vocabulary and thought-provoking conversations. While the movie's narrative may be complex, its linguistic benefits are crystal clear.

Movie 8: "Toy Story Series"

The "Toy Story" series, known for its universal appeal, provides an excellent resource for language learners. These animated movies cater to a wide audience, making them popular amongst all ages. What sets them apart is the inclusion of playful dialogues and interactions.

"Toy Story" introduces everyday language, slang, and humorous exchanges in a relatable context. By following the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their toy companions, learners can enhance their conversational skills and enjoy language learning in a fun and light-hearted manner.

Movie 9: "Dead Poets Society"

"Dead Poets Society" is an inspirational drama that centres around education, literature, and the power of language. This classic movie offers poetic and literary language, making it an excellent choice for learners interested in literary English.

As you join the students of Welton Academy in their quest for self-expression, you'll explore diverse speaking styles, rhetorical techniques, and the profound impact of literature on language. "Dead Poets Society" is a testament to the transformative power of words and their ability to inspire.

Movie 10: "The Devil Wears Prada"

Set in the glamorous world of the fashion industry, "The Devil Wears Prada" offers exposure to professional and fashionable language. The movie's plot revolves around the demanding and fast-paced environment of a prestigious fashion magazine company.

Learners will benefit from hearing characters engage in workplace communication, including discussions on popular fashion trends, industry jargon, and office dynamics. "The Devil Wears Prada" provides a unique linguistic experience, offering insights into the language of both fashion and corporate culture.

Making the most of movie learning

While these movies can significantly contribute to your English language mastery, it's essential to approach cinematic learning strategically. Here are some tips to make the most of your movie learning experience:

  • Use subtitles:


    Start with English subtitles to aid comprehension. As your skills improve, switch to subtitles in your native language, and eventually, watch without subtitles.

  • Repeat dialogues:


    Pause and repeat dialogues to practise pronunciation and intonation.

  • Take notes:


    Keep a notebook to jot down new words and phrases for later review.

  • Discuss with peers:


    Engage in discussions with fellow learners to exchange insights and perspectives on the

  • Choose diverse genres:


    Explore various movie genres to expose yourself to different language styles and contexts.

By actively engaging with movies, you can transform your language-learning journey into an enjoyable and fruitful experience.

Unlocking your English mastery with IDP

Movies are undoubtedly a powerful tool for English language mastery and bring a host of benefits for learners. They offer an immersive and entertaining approach to language learning that can significantly enhance your skills. If you are an international student aspiring to study abroad, linguistic ability extends beyond casual conversations you’ll have every day. Proficiency in English is often a requirement for university admissions, and well-established tests like the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) play a pivotal role in this process.

At IDP, we understand the significance of language proficiency in achieving your academic goals. Make your dreams possible with the world's most recognised English proficiency test, IELTS, accepted by 11,500 organisations and institutions globally. As co-owners of IELTS, IDP offers structured material and IELTS preparation courses to equip you with the language skills needed to excel in your academic pursuits and language requirements for work. When you are ready, get started and book your IELTS test today.