Media & Journalism is a field reflecting life clearly and authentically and has long been an integral part of our daily lives. Today, eJOY will take you to explore the world of Media & Journalism through 14 outstanding movies. Together, we will learn interesting English vocabulary and knowledge by exploring this movie list. This article is especially suitable for those who are majoring in or are interested in this field and also those who simply love the method of learning English through movies.

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“A To Z” Tips For Learning English with Movies

Learning English through movies – Reasons to choose

What is it with the hype of learning English through movies? Here is the answer: this method of learning is the full package! 

Expand vocabulary

In every movie, each line of dialogues is full of new words and useful expressions. In addition, vocabulary in movies is organized systematically in accordance with their topics. Therefore, many find it easier to memorize vocabulary when learning through movies. Moreover, acquiring new words in this way is proven to be more effective as we learn them in specific expressions and contexts.  

Enhance listening – speaking skills

Watching movies will help you practice listening to English at a standard speed equivalent to native people’s speed of speaking. At the same time, this method of studying allows you to approach different tones and accents of English such as American English, British English, Australian English, etc. By listening to and practicing the way movie characters combine their words, sentences, and body language, you can learn how to speak English more fluently and naturally.  

Develop logical English thinking

Many of us learners usually develop a habit of thinking in our first language, then trying to translate that into English, which will make our ideas sound unnatural. So how to get rid of that? A method you should try is to familiarize yourself with the English way of thinking through the world of movies. When you dive into the flow of thoughts and conversations of movie characters, you will find yourself getting used to logical English thinking gradually and naturally. 

Revive interest in learning English 

It is best to learn new things with an open and passionate heart. Learning English through movies is very likely to spark more interest in you rather than traditional ways of learning. As you are immersed in the exciting world of movies, exploring new cultures and lifestyles, you will find English less intimidating and more endearing. Then learning English will simply be doing something you like. 

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A step-by-step guide to learning English through movies effectively 

Below is a summary of the steps to learn English through movies effectively for Intermediate learners. To better understand this learning method, you should read our article “A To Z” Tips For Learning English with Movies” here

Step 1 – Watch the whole movie in dual subtitles

For Intermediate learners, after choosing a suitable movie, you should first attempt to watch it with dual subtitles. This will make it easier for you to grasp the main contents of the movie as well as the meaning of new words. After watching and noting down new words, you can attempt to watch the movie again but this time with English subtitles to practice on your listening and speaking skills. 

Step 2 – Extract a small part of the movie to focus on 

After watching the whole movie with the help of subtitles, you should choose a few particular scenes (under three minutes) of it to practice further. There are some exercises that you can use such as: 

  • Watch the scene with English subtitles over and over again
  • Look up and save new words and expressions to your notebook 
  • Practice listening using dictation exercises 
  • Practice speaking using the shadowing method

Step 3 – Rewatch the movie and play games to revise vocabulary 

In this step, you should watch the whole movie with English subtitles one more time to check how many percents of new words have you memorized and how much of the movie you can understand. After that, don’t forget to play fun vocabulary games to brush up on the words you have learned from the movie on eJOY eXtension or eJOY app. 

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Top 14 must-see movies about Media & Journalism

14 names on this list are the result of a process of careful selection from the eJOY team to provide you with the most interesting and diverse movie list on this topic. They can all be found on Netflix or Amazon Prime. By downloading eJOY eXtension on Google Chrome, your learning experience on Netflix and Amazon will be more pleasant as you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate easily, for example, repeat a line, access auto-pause feature, and more. You can find more details about how to use eJOY eXtension on Netflix here.

1. All The President’s Men (1976)

In the early 1970s, the Watergate scandal rocked the US government to its core. Two investigative journalists, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post discovered a conspiracy to cover the abuse of power by senior government positions headed by the president. Together, they unraveled the Watergate scandal, prompting President Richard Nixon to resign from his position.

The dialogues in the movie are of moderate speed but the way the actors speak makes it a bit difficult to follow and understand the content. The movie has a diverse vocabulary about journalism as well as political scandals, such as “scratch the surface”, “probe”, “leak information”, “conspiracy”, “slush fund money”, etc.

2. Broadcast News (1987)

Broadcast News is about a troubled love triangle in the context of a newspaper. Jane, a workaholic news producer strangely falls in love with a vapid anchorman whose everything she hates. To make the matter worse, her best friend, a talented but not so telegenic reporter, is secretly in love with her. The trio gets into a troublesome love story while the newsroom is getting ready for big changes. Both Jane and the newsroom had to make a difficult choice: substance or style?

3. The Paper (1994)

Henry Hackett is the editor of the New York Sun, a tabloid that is facing a financial cut. His pregnant wife, Martha, begs him to find a better job so that he can spend more time with his family. While Hackett was reviewing an offer from another newspaper, with fewer working hours and higher wages, he had the hottest news ever in his career. When this scoop led to a violent conflict with his new boss, Alicia, Hackett faced tough decisions related to his career and life.

4. The Truman Show (1998)

Everything in Truman Burbank’s life is part of a huge reality TV show, but Truman is unaware of it. Executive producer Christof created “The Truman Show,” a live broadcast of all Truman’s actions and gestures recorded by hidden cameras. Christof tried to control Truman’s mind, even removing his true love, Sylvia, from the show and replacing her with Meryl. However, when Truman gradually discovered the truth, he had to decide what he would do: continue to “act” along or protest?

The Truman Show has a fascinating script, in addition to the extremely diverse dialogues in daily life contexts with high applicability. The speaking speed of the actors is not too fast and the clear pronunciation makes practicing listening and speaking skills through movies more convenient than ever.

5. Shattered Glass (2003)

Young hotshot journalist Stephen Glass always puts up a good show for his respected editor-in-chief, Michael Kelly, but admits his deep insecurity with his fellow writer, Caitlin Avey. When Glass began to write sensational, hot news, his popularity increased at a dizzying pace. But soon, rival journalist Charles Lane became suspicious of the actual accuracy of the news and eventually discovered that Glass had fabricated many sources and created fake news in exchange for popularity and fame.

6. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003)

An advice columnist, Andie Anderson, is trying to push past her boundaries and write a more engaging article. The idea that Andie came up with was quite bold – about how to make a man leave her in 10 days. Her editor, Lana, liked it and commissioned Andie to test the idea in real life. CEO Ben Berry is so confident in his charm that he thinks he can make any woman fall in love with him for 10 days. When Andie and Ben meet, all their plans backfire.

This light-hearted romantic comedy will make your English learning even more fun. This movie is suitable for English learners at the Pre-Intermediate level or above. The dialogues are of moderate speed with clear and accurate pronunciation and various vocabulary of journalism & media such as “column”, “article”, “newsroom”, etc.

7. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Hotshot anchorman Ron Burgundy welcomes emerging journalist Veronica Corningstone into the world of male-dominated news broadcasting in the 1970s. As a talented journalist, Veronica gradually proves herself and begins to take away Burgundy’s airtime. Ron became jealous and finally made a vulgar slip on a live broadcast. His career is in danger of being ruined, however, when an odd story occurs at the San Diego Zoo, Ron has a chance to redeem himself.

8. State of Play (2009)

Prospective senator Stephen Collins is expected by many to be a top candidate for the presidency. However, Collins’ way to the presidential seat becomes much more difficult when his assistant is murdered, and some unfavorable information for him is revealed. Cal McAffrey, once a close friend of Collins, is now the most famous journalist in the capital, who was tasked with investigating the case and finding the murderer.

9. The Newsroom (2012 – 2014)

The Newsroom is a TV series whose main content is about a TV channel specializing in news. The series gives viewers a more realistic view of what goes on behind the TV screen – the pressures, the controversies, the fights and conflicts of the staff with the boss, the “sneaky” stunts to lower opponents to get higher positions in the world of television and journalism.

10. Kill the Messenger (2014)

Journalist Gary Webb accidentally discovered a piece that led to the origin of the wave of crack cocaine in the US and also accused that the CIA was well-aware about dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the country and using the profits to arm Nicaragua rebels. Despite warnings to halt his investigation, Webb continued to dig and uncover a frightening conspiracy.

11. Nightcrawler (2014)

Louis Bloom is a young man who goes crazy to achieve success and fame. Deciding that he was suitable for the media industry, Bloom joined the practice as a freelance journalist specializing in crime in Los Angeles. However, not every reporter can keep himself clean when embarking on this path full of danger and temptation.

This movie impresses audiences with its fast pace, intriguing details and a series of vocabulary specialized in the field of media & journalism. Some new words you can note down in your word book are, for example, “video footage”, “stringer”, “coverage”, etc.

12. Spotlight (2015)

In Spotlight, Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo play two journalists working at the Boston Globe who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for a series of investigations about pedophile priests over 80 boys at a Catholic church in Boston, USA.

13. The Post (2017)

The Post is a movie based on the true story of the media battle between the Washington Post and the US government in order to publish the Pentagon Profile publicly, which contains many military secrets during the Vietnam War. 

The Post takes viewers through real events portrayed extremely vividly. With The Post, English learners can use the movie in the process of practicing speaking and listening skills because it has moderate speaking speed, diverse vocabulary in the field of journalism. In addition, The Post also uses many good and common phrases and expressions in English such as “hold someone accountable for something”, “risk someone’s fortune”, “be at stake”, etc.

14. Trial by Media (2020)

Trial By Media is a series of documentaries that delves into the famous cases of the past 40 years which are heavily influenced by the media circles around them. The series shows us that the way a case is perceived can be affected by media, and media can even be the source behind these pitiful cases.

These 14 great movies on this list promise to provide you with effective, yet fun and entertaining English lessons. Hopefully, through these movies, you will have more opportunities to practice English and improve your use of English vocabulary and expressions, especially those related to the field of Media & Journalism. Do not forget to catch the upcoming articles of eJOY and download eJOY eXtension to make learning English through movies more convenient!

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