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Can foreign language films and series help with language learning?

The answer to this is a big YES!

You might think that you don't need any more encouragement to watch even more films or series. It might be a bit of a surprise to know, but watching films and series in the language that you are learning can be really beneficial. A good compromise I think!

Media such as films and series have been used for many years to accompany the teaching of foreign languages. Films and series are fantastic authentic resources to aid language learning. They wont directly teach and explain the grammar aspects of a language, but they will introduce learners of the language to different cultural aspects of a country and new useful vocabulary which they may not come across in a language classroom setting.

Although in this blog post I am promoting the use of films and series to aid language learning, it must be realised that just sitting in front of the TV for a 90 minute Spanish film will not miraculously make one fluent. A little work and effort is also needed.

There are a few tips that need to be considered to ensure that watching these types of media resources are more beneficial than simply wasting your time.


My first tip would be, especially for those who are at the beginning of their language journey, to watch a film that they have already watched in their native language but in the target language. Many platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will allow you to change the language of the film in to another. You might be thinking why should I waste my time watching a film or series that I have already watched but this time in the language that they are learning? Well, the answer is that you will already be familiar with the plot of the film meaning you will be able to focus more on the foreign language that is being spoken.


My second tip when watching a film or series in a foreign language is to make sure that the chosen film or series is engaging. I would always recommend searching for a genre in the foreign language film that you would normally watch with films in your native language, whether that be crime, romance or comedy. Further on in this blog I will give some recommendations of some foreign language films and series covering a range of genres.


My third tip would be putting on subtitles in the target language whilst watching the film or series in the target language. One advantage of using subtitles is that it can improve reading skills in the target language. Another advantage is that they can benefit pronunciation and listening skills by hearing new words and phrases.

A notebook

My fourth and final tip would be to write any new words or phrases that you have learnt from watching a foreign language film or series in to a notebook. It is reported that every time we learn a new word in a language, we have to be exposed to it around ten times for it to form part of our own vocabulary. Therefore, if the word is written down, the learner can come back to look at it on a number of occasions.

As mentioned before, even if you watch a film or series that you have already watched in your native language but this time in the language you are learning, this a great step in the right direction and valuable with your language learning. However, if you feel like you don’t need to watch Game of Thrones for the 100th time but in Spanish, here are some authentic films and series in French, German and Spanish you could watch:


- The African Doctor – Film – PG

- Family Business – Series – 15


- Holiday Secrets – Series – 12

- Schubert in Love – Film – PG


- Siempre Bruja – Series – 12

- The invisible guest – Film – 12

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