After the extended vacation due to the pandemic, students are finally allowed to return to their beloved schools. In the bustling back-to-school time and the exciting mood in welcoming the upcoming semester exams, let’s explore the list of the most outstanding English films on the subject of School & Education and revise English with us!

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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.

Before we get to a step-by-step guide, if you’re looking for a better way to boost your English, eJOY Epic is a great app for that with step-by-step courses generated from authentic videos in movies and TV shows.

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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. You can read the full instruction on this learning method here – Learn English with Movies: A Complete Guide.

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 percent 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 12 educational movies for you to learn English with

If you are ready for a wonderful journey to the innocent and dreamy student life, start scrolling down to see the 12 selected films on this list. 

These movies can all be found on Netflix and Amazon Prime. By downloading eJOY eXtension on Google Chrome, your learning experience on Netflix 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. High School Musical (2006)

High School Musical is a famous Walt Disney series. Troy Bolton – the captain of the basketball team is the most famous boy of East High School. Gabriella Montez is a beautiful, smart girl who just moved to this new school. They meet by chance at the year-end party. They become friends and quickly develop romantic feelings for each other. 

A subtle and cute movie with clear, easy-to-understand lines is a big plus for those who are learning English. Besides, throughout the movie, there are extremely catchy songs with meaningful lyrics for you to easily sing along and learn more useful vocabulary and expressions.

2. 21 (2008)

Based on a true story, the film is the story of six students from the world-famous MIT Academy who have focused their super intelligence on a special extracurricular activity: playing blackjack. With their card-counting skills and superior math skills, they defeated every casino in Las Vegas with blackjack throughout the 1990s.

3. American Promise

American Promise is a documentary film spanning 13 years from directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. The film captures the stories of Brewster and Stephenson’s 5-year-old son Idris and his best friend and classmate Seun as these families navigate their way through the rigorous prep-school process. The film is set against the backdrop of a persistent educational achievement gap that dramatically affects African-American boys at all socioeconomic levels across the country.

4. Pitch Perfect (2012)

Pitch Perfect is a movie about Bellas Barden – a female Acapella singing group at Barden University, which gathers girls with a passion for singing and the ability to perform on stage. After a disastrous defeat at the finals of the regional Acapella competition, they were forced to regroup, rectify the group’s activities, and admit new talented members. Among the new members is first-year student Becca, an independent and aspiring DJ who dreams of a singing career. Becca joined Bellas’ friends on a journey to build close friendships, find her identity in music, and together they achieved the prestigious trophy in the regional Acapella singing contest.

5. Monsters University (2013)

In Monster Inc., Sulley and Mike have all grown up, gone to work, had a stable job, and a life of freedom without any constraints. But before that, hardly anyone knew that Sulley and Mike met by chance at Monsters University and through many ups and downs had become close friends and companions in chasing their dreams. The movie tells the story of their accidental encounter at the university and their way to become friends, giving audiences lessons about friendship and dreams in life.

With a length of 1 hour 44 minutes, the movie is quite suitable for those who are getting used to learning English through movies. As an animated movie, the language structures in the dialogues are quite moderate, not too complicated. Moreover, the speed of the characters’ speech is medium and does not cause too many difficulties even for beginners.

6. Spare Parts (2015)

With the help of a new high school teacher (George Lopez), four Hispanic-American students formed a robotics club and participated in a national robotics competition. Although they do not have enough experience or knowledge and are constantly mocked by others, these young men are still determined with their goals. With only $800 and parts collected from old cars, they successfully built a qualified robot to compete with the prestigious championship team from MIT. This movie is a touching and inspirational story of the effort and the dare to dream of young people in life.

7. He Named Me Malala (2015)

He named me Malala tells the life journey of Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, who courageously stands up to fight for girls’ right to school and education. After being threatened her life by the Taliban rebels for her efforts, Malala did not give up but continued to struggle vigorously, rising to become a leading activist on children’s education rights. Malala has inspired millions of people around the world and is honored to be the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

8. Gifted (2017)

Frank is a single man, raising Mary – the daughter of his deceased sister all by himself. The two had a peaceful, simple, and happy life until Mary’s special mathematical talent was discovered. Shortly thereafter, Evelyn – Frank’s mother appeared with the hope to bring her to a better learning environment. However, Frank strongly opposed it because his sister’s will is for little Mary to lead a happy normal life as a child.

9. Whiplash (2014)

Andrew Neyman, an ambitious young jazz drummer, is determined to pursue his professional career in music. Terence Fletcher is a renowned music trainer specializing in leading top jazz talents in the music school but is also notorious for his harsh methods. Fletcher discovered Andrew and brought the drummer to his own band, forever changing the life of the young man. Passion for perfection caused Andrew to fall into a spiral of obsession because the ruthless teacher repeatedly pushed him to the limit of spirit and strength.

From the perspective of English learners, Whiplash’s language has average difficulty, suitable for the Intermediate level. The movie especially uses a lot of phrasal verbs, such as: “mess with somebody”, “take somebody out”, “hold onto something”, …

10. 13 Reasons Why (2017)

13 Reasons Why revolves around the story of the high school girl Hannah who suddenly commits suicide. Two weeks after that tragedy, Clay, a classmate who secretly has a crush on Hannah, suddenly receives a mysterious box containing 13 tapes recorded by Hannah, explaining why the young girl decided to take her own life. 

The series is especially suitable for people with Intermediate English level. With the duration of each episode being approximately 60 minutes, learners can practice very comfortably with this TV series. 13 reasons why has strong points in using modern slangs, besides notable phrases and structure such as: “party animal”, “role reversal”, “sweet ride”, etc.

11. The Mars Generation (2017)

This series is produced by Netflix and delves into the story of young people studying and training at the US Space and Rocket Center with the dream of becoming future talented engineers, astronauts, leading human’s way of setting foot on Mars.

12. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Lara Jean is an ordinary girl living an ordinary life in high school. Everything changed dramatically when one day, the secret love letters of Lara Jean were suddenly sent to the five guys she was secretly in love with. Lara’s quiet high school life was turned upside down from here.

After watching all the movies on this list, we hope that you had a great time reliving your memories of your high school time. Your English vocabulary, listening, and speaking skills will be definitely further honed through the method of learning English through movies. Do not forget to download eJOY eXtension to learn English through movies more easily and conveniently!

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