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If we can learn English by watching English movies and listening to English songs?

If they work,which type of movies should we watch and which type of songs should we listen?  Thank you



For me, it depends on the level of English skill you got. I always believe that even if you are already an adult learning a new language, you still have to have a mindset of a baby/kid learning their first language. If you are a beginner, it's always good to start with children's tv shows or music. Once you think you can understand most of it, then it's time to move up another level. You always have to start from the bottom to the top ^^



"Learning English" is too broad of a term, so answering your question is tricky. Having a good command of English usually means you can read, write, listen to and speak English. But each of these skill sets is very broad by themselves. You can read technical reports well, write poems well, do well in TOEFL listening tests, or speak to native speakers comfortably. Depending on your purpose, you have to train your English in specific ways.


Watching moves and songs in English gives you good knowledge of American popular cultures, but will not help you do well in tests or school.


I think you should rethink your strategy to learn English. Ask yourself: "Why am I learning English?" If you have an answer to this question, I will have a great answer to your original question.



thank you for your answer,i have benefited a lot.

Bruce: Now that I re-read what I wrote, it does come off very harsh and more of criticizing than helpful advice. I agree with you on serveral things: students don't need to know all aspects of English before learning any English - that's not even possible, isn't it?

I am not assuming that Jane's question is not really what she is asking. Her question is too broad for me to give a good answer. I think you used your experience working with students to give your answer.  I agree that it's a good answer, but you are also using your assumptions to give that answer. Wouldn't you agree that with a little more information about why she is asking which movies and songs to watch, you can give her even better answer?


I don't agree with your logic about American children never questioning why they learn English but are still able to use it perfectly. The simple answer why it worked for them and not for foreigners is that American children from the moment they were born, they have been exposed to English, and not anything else. All non-English speakers has been exposed to their native tounge and then English. I'll use pronunciation for example. You may already know  there are many sounds that exist in English, but don't in Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese Mandarin. Take the letter "r" for example, the American R sound doesn't exists in these languages. A lot of times when Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese learn to pronounce the American R, they use their knowledge of how to produce sounds in their language to pronounce the American R. This results in not deep enough or not rolling enough Rs. Trying to be open-minded like a baby doesn't help either because of this thinking process happens voluntarily. Please watch this video about the McGurk effect, and you will see my point:


I usually advice against using songs and movies to learn English. The biggest benefit of using songs in English to study English is that songs can be catchy and provide lots of motivation for students to learn. There are several downsides to this method: 1) the McGurk effect I mentioned above. 2) Grammar in songs is usually not correct. The more modern the song is, the less likely its grammar is gonna help you anywhere. 3) The special sound effects make it difficult to identify how the natural way of saying things should be.

We are here to give Jane's helpful advice, right? So if I have to assume that she wants to improve her listening skills, listen to Discovery channel, Animal Planet channel, and History channel is way better than any song. If she wants to improve her pronunciation skills, English Pronunciation Workshop by Paul Gruber is a great place to start. If she wants to improve her grammar, Kaplan grammar books are simple and very practical...

Jane, the reason I ask you the why question really is to help you to getter more specific advice from other. Remember conversation between Alice and the Cheshire cat (from Alice in Wonderland):

'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where —' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat



Bruce and Tom thank you for your help.
Actually,I am a student and my teacher will teach me in English,so,I want to improve my listening skill but my vocabulary is very few.

You can learn some words but you cant be fluent especially when it comes to grammar. I learn lots of Japanese words and sentences by just watching anime with English subtitle.

But many Filipino children here in Philippines know how to speak english and learn english before someone teach them just because they are watching cartoons in disney or any other english cartoon channel.

With techno and mute movies, I think no.

@Bruce ,@Doris Day ,@Arthur Dent 101010
thank you

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