This is the transcript for the English with Stephen podcast episode for how to learn English while watching Netflix or other streaming platforms.
Subscribe to your favourite podcast app to make sure you never miss another episode.
Alternatively, sign up to get regular emails with all the latest information.
Hello and welcome to English with Stephen the podcast that gives you all the tools you need to learn English in under 10 minutes. My name’s Stephen Greene and I have been an English teacher for over 25 years. For the last 15 years, I have been living in Brazil, so I have spent a long time learning Portuguese.
When I first started learning Portuguese, I developed a lot of ideas for using TV and films to help me. Unfortunately, I was only using videotapes and DVDs at the time. Nowadays, though, we have the magic that is Netflix, as well as Amazon, Disney and various other ways of streaming TV.
As the technology has changed, so have my ideas for learning languages. I work with my students on how they can learn English outside the classroom, and one of the most popular ways is to use Netflix. So, I thought today I would share my ideas for using Netflix with you, my dear listener.
I’ll be back right after this.
In today’s episode, I am going to refer to some apps you can use to help you learn English with Netflix. I will post links to the app, as well as other useful information, on my website EnglishwithStephen.com. If you go to the site, you will also find all my past episodes as well as links to my social media like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. So remember, go to EnglishwithStephen.com for links, videos and lots, lots more.
And so to Netflix.
- Develop a system
Just watching Netflix isn’t going to automatically improve your English. You need to have a system so you can focus on what you are watching and actually learn from it. In Episode 13 I talked about a system I have developed with my students that is highly effective. It is a six-stage system that involves watching for pleasure, watching and analysing, watching with subtitles and watching without subtitles.
The 6 stages I suggested in Episode 13 can be used with any TV programme or video, nit just a streaming platform like Netflix. In the rest of this episode, I will be talking about things that can only be done with Netflix or something like that.
- Change the language settings.
One of the most useful things you can do is to change the language settings on Netflix. This means all of the instructions and descriptions of the TV shows will be in English. This is great because you will interact with English daily, as well as being exposed to natural, authentic English.
An expert level tip here is to create an extra profile that is focussed on your English studies. It can be in English with the programmes you are watching. The other profiles can be in your first language. The advantage of this is that other members of your family can’t complain about not understanding the language.
Just make sure you know how to change the language back to the original settings, just in case you have a problem in the future. I will post a link to a video on my site that will show you have to change the language settings.
- Language Learning with Netflix
There is an app called Language Learning with Netflix (link on my site), that I just love. It allows you to watch a film and have two sets of subtitles at the same time. For example, a Brazilian student might decide to have subtitles in her native Portuguese and English simultaneously. The beauty of this is that you can compare the two languages and identify patterns and similarities.
You also have the power to slow down the recording, so you have the time to analyse the language properly. It highlights important words in the subtitles and it even has its own dictionary so you can quickly and easily check the meanings of words.
The only slight problem with Language Learning with Netflix is that it is only available as a Chrome extension. This means you need to be on a Google Chrome site, and so probably on a computer instead of your TV. But even this is ok as it helps you to focus more on the language and not relax too much on your sofa.
- Play with the subtitles
While we are talking about subtitles, did you know that you can change the size and the style of your subtitles? In fact, you can change the font style and the colour of your subtitles. This can be very useful if, like me, you sometimes find it too difficult to read the subtitles because they are too small, or if the subtitles disappear because the colour of the text is the same as the colour in the film.
It is quite a simple thing to do. If you need help, search for a youtube video or go to my site for a link with more advice.
Finally, for today I recommend that you go on Facebook and search for ‘Netflix’. You will be surprised at the results you get. There is an official Netflix page in English, as well as one for many countries and languages around the world. They post memes, trailers and lots of other stuff. What’s more, they encourage people to talk about the stuff they have just seen. Joining a group like this will give you the opportunity to use your English to talk about TV that you love.
There are also Netflix Watch parties, this is where you watch the same programme at the same time and chat about it online. This is another fantastic way to use your English. And it isn’t just Netflix. There is even a Netflix, Amazon and Disney + group so you can talk about ALL your favourite TV and films.
The problem with learning from Netflix is that you don’t necessarily get the chance to use the language you have learned. Well, joining a group like this will solve that problem straight away.
That’s all from me for today. I hope that with this episode and Episode 13 about learning from any TV or film, you will be able to learn a lot more and have a good time doing it.
Don’t forget to go to my site EnglishwithStephen.com to find all of the links and everything else I have posted to help you learn English.
Take care and speak soon!