Views #1500 | Intermediate (B1)

Tips for Learning on TV

Hana shares TV shows that are good for learning English.

Ben: Hana, you just told me that one way to help with listening and practicing and understanding idioms is through American television dramas.


Ben:So, TV shows?

Hana: Yes.

Ben: Yeah. While you were learning English, what are some shows you watched? Something I wanna tell my students they can watch.

Hana: My favorite all time is the TV drama called Friends.

Ben: Oh, yeah! Yeah.

Hana: Have you seen it before?

Ben: Friends is super popular in the U.S. Yeah, yeah.

Hana: It is, yes. I mean, first of all, I just love the story.

Ben: Okay.

Hana: Other than just learning English, it's second purpose, I guess. There was an Italian or there is a character who is playboy and he used to say like, "How you doin'?" Yeah? And, it's interesting is, first, I watched the drama with my first language subtitled.

Ben: Oh, right.

Hana: Yeah.

Ben: So, you're watching in English with your language in the subtitles?

Hana: Yes.

Ben: Okay.

Hana: So that I can understand the main concept first.

Ben: Right.

Hana: And then, gradually, I changed to English subtitles.

Ben: Oh, okay. That's a great idea! So, first, to understand the meaning of what's being said, subtitles. Then, to maybe watch it again a second time or even a third time to understand exactly how the English is used in context of the show.

Hana: True, yeah.

Ben: Okay, that's a great strategy.

Hana: That way you can enjoy just watching the movies or dramas and that way you can spend a lot more time, rather than just trying to study English.

Ben: Right, so it's more ... a way to enjoy learning English and studying.

Hana: Yes.

Ben: Actually, you know ... You said Friends, right?

Hana: Yep, yep.

Ben: So I think Friends is on ... It's so popular, right? And it's all over the internet. I believe it's on YouTube. You can watch it on YouTube and Netflix.

Hana: Netflix, yeah.

Ben: Yeah, Netflix. One thing that's great about YouTube, I think, is that they have a closed captioning or a subtitling option, so if you can't exactly catch what they're saying while you're listening the first time, you can put the subtitles on like you said.

Hana: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Ben: That's a great-

Hana: And there are so many websites that shows the transcripts of the ...

Ben: That's true. You can read the scripts from the show to follow along, as well.

Hana: Mm-hmm.

Ben: That's great. So you said you watch Friends, right?

Hana: I do.

Ben: Are there any others that you've heard of? Friends, I know is popular. Many people know Friends.

Hana: Full House.

Ben: Full House, yeah!

Hana: Full House, yes.

Ben: Okay, you know they recently did a revamp, a newer version it.

Hana: Yeah, they did. Yeah, I haven't seen it yet but, yeah, it's good. Good, good.

Ben: I haven't either. Well, you recommend either Friends or Full House.

Hana: One of my friends, he liked a drama called Prison Break.

Ben: Oh, that's on Netflix, as well.

Hana: Have you ever heard it? Yeah.

Ben: Yeah, I have.

Hana: He watched like 60 hours or more than that and I asked him, "How's it going? Is it good?" He did understand without subtitles, which is good. And so, I asked him, "So you can speak English now, yeah? Can you use those phrases from the drama?" And he said, "Actually, not." I said, "Why?" It's because the words that they use from the drama. There's a bombing or escaping or something that's not daily life conversations, so that way Friends or Full House that people in daily life.

Ben: That's daily English. Yeah, daily life English.

Hana: Yeah, so I found it easier to use.

Ben: Okay, so you recommend-

Hana: Yeah, yeah.

Ben: Okay, yeah. That's great. Thank you so much. I think my students would love to watch that kind of drama and learn daily-

Hana: Daily, yes.

Ben: ... actual phrases you can use. Thanks so much for the tips. Thanks, Hana.

Hana: You're welcome.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

first of all


I mean, first of all, I just love the story.

The phrase first of all is used to introduce a series of points. The speaker uses it to show there are multiple points which will come in order. Notice the following:

  1. First of all, you are late. Second of all, you are not ready.



There is a character who is playboy.

A playboy is a man who dates a lot of different people and is not committed romantically to just one person. Notice the following:

  1. I was a playboy in college, but now I am married.



I watched the drama with my first language subtitled.

Subtitles are translated words that appear on a video to help viewers who cannot understand original language. Notice the following:

  1. Tedtalks have subtitles in many languages.

closed caption


They have a closed captioning or a subtitling.

Closed captions are the text of the spoken language on a video. They appear on the screen so the viewer can read the script, rather than listen to the audio. Notice the following:

  1. Closed captions help people with poor hearing.

follow along


You can read the scripts to follow along.

When you follow along, you process information in the hopes of understanding it better. Notice the following:

  1. If you cannot follow along with the lesson, please let me know so I can help you.



Thanks so much for the tips.

A tip is advice someone gives another person to help them in a particular situation. Notice the following:

  1. She lived in Rome, so she gave me tips for when I go there.

Vocabulary Quiz

first of all • playboy • subtitles
closed captions • follow along • tips
  1. I never thought that a family man like you has a history of being a .
  2. You tend to miss the good parts of the movie because you are always reading the .
  3. , you cannot judge a book by its cover.
  4. She has to ask her tutor to slow down because she cannot .
  5. It is nice that foreign movies have nowadays.
  6. Can you give me some when I am writing a movie review?

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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