Whether you’re thrilled by car chases and explosions or prefer to weep over a doomed romance, movies are a great way to escape from reality. Did you know that they can also supplement traditional language learning methods? Movies are a rich source of authentic conversation and vocabulary, and the visual nature of film allows the viewer to see the nonverbal context (such as facial expressions and hand gestures) surrounding the dialogue. Above all, they are a fun and motivational way to develop English language skills.
57.4% of our 6,000 global survey respondents said they use film and television shows as study aids to help them learn English. Which movies topped our learners’ poll?
1. Harry Potter was the most popular movie for English language learners
The most popular choice was the Harry Potter movie series, with 36.5% of the overall vote. All eight Harry Potter movies are among the top 50 highest-grossing films ever made, taking a total of over $7.7 billion at the global box office. It’s hardly surprising that our respondents are spellbound by the franchise.
2. Lord of the Rings was the second most popular movie for English language learning
In second place, 20% of the people we spoke to thought that watching Lord of the Rings helped them to learn English. Although the majority of the dialogue is in English, some of the characters speak in Elvish, a complex family of languages created and developed over many years by the author of the Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien.
3. Star Wars and X-Men tied for the third most popular movie for English language learners
Star Wars and X-Men tied in third place overall. The first Star Wars movie proved so popular that 42 million character action figures were sold in the year following its release in 1977. Some of this original merchandise is now worth thousands of dollars, particularly if it’s still in its original packaging.
Do you prefer Love Actually over Lord of the Rings? We’d love to know your favourite films for learning or teaching English – share your thoughts using the hashtag #InspiredtoLearn on Facebook and Twitter.