Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Michelle Kaplan
"The New York Radio Girl"

Have you ever watched a series on Netflix?

Do you prefer to binge watch shows or take it all a bit slower?

This is very much about what your preferred style is, and what you are hoping to get out of the experience.

Have you ever considered watching Netflix shows to help you learn and improve English?

That’s what we’re talking about today, and how you can approach it in two very different ways.

You can really enjoy some good TV, learn some English, and integrate into the local culture- to help you make the most out of this experience.

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Using Netflix To Learn English

We have discussed many times in the past what the best ways to learn English are.

There are so many different tactics to master English, and often times you may wish to do so through a fun and mainstream method.

This is where a lot of English learners may turn to TV shows, as they offer an entertaining way to really pick up on new vocabulary.

If you’re going to learn English then you may as well keep it entertaining and fun.

You may also find that watching a TV show also helps to integrate you into the culture as well.

We did an episode about which TV shows to watch which can help as an excellent foundation.

AEE 448: What TV Shows Should You “Binge Watch” To Learn To Connect In English?

So recognizing that TV shows can be an excellent way to learn English, you may turn your attention to a streaming service such as Netflix.

We’ve talked about the different ways to learn before, and now we’re going to show you how to best utilize this type of opportunity.

As it is a streaming service, you may find that there is the unique possibility of binging the shows that you are interested in.

This is one way to look at it, but then you may instead find that taking it slower is the way to go.

There isn’t really a right or wrong answer here, but rather this is about preference and how you learn.

If you want to check into some great shows and also learn some English, then Netflix has some great options.

We’re going to look at the pros and cons of binging shows as opposed to taking your time and watching them slowly.

You will figure out which works best for you, and then you can make this into a fun learning opportunity.

Breaking Down The Binge

So let’s start by looking at what binging a TV show can do for you, as this can help you to decide your best approach.

When you say that you’re binging a show, this can have a variety of different interpretations.

Some people watch an entire series over the course of a weekend, and some may watch a few shows at a time.

Again, the definition of binging is really up to you and is based largely upon your schedule as well.

So let’s take a look at the benefits and potential drawbacks to binging TV shows, particularly where English learning is concerned.

Benefits

  • Can quickly draw plot lines together: You can practice watching with someone quickly, and this can work almost like a book club. If you are staying on top of a series or watching the shows quickly, then you can start to put together the pieces very quickly. This can really help you to keep on top of things and make it feel almost as if you are living in this world.
  • Learning could be more efficient: You may tend to learn faster when you are watching one show after another. You can begin to apply what you are learning to real life much faster. You are basically integrating yourself into this show and it’s like a real life experience.
  • You can stay up to date with others: The reality is that some of the most popular shows are often binged. So you can quickly catch up and have conversations with others about these shows. When you keep up to date and see the show as it is released, then you have a great conversation to have. You are now a part of pop culture and can have discussions accordingly.

Drawbacks

On the other side of this is the potential drawbacks that binging can cause for you in your learning.

It’s not to say that binging shows can hurt your learning, but it may present certain challenges.

You want to be aware of these and then make the right choices for yourself based upon this.

Here we look at what some of the potential drawbacks may be to binging shows all at once.

  • May not give enough time to learn: When the pace is fast and these episodes are coming at you so quickly, it may not give you enough time to really absorb and learn. There is just too much coming at you all at once, and it’s too fast of a pace. If you want to reflect and take the time to really learn, then this fast pace may not work well for you in the long run.
  • Not as much for a real study plan: Though it can be helpful to use aspects of the popular culture, this may not work well for an official study plan. You may not get as much in the way of real lessons, and it may be hard to pick up on things such as vocabulary. So if you are looking at it from an official learning or study plan perspective, then it may not be your best bet to binge shows.
  • Difficult to have time for anything else: When you are fully committed to a show you may have time for little else. You may even lose sleep! If you have the time to commit to this, then that’s one thing. If however this will interfere with your life, then this may not be the way to go.

These are the things to consider when it comes to binging shows.

It can work for English learning, but it may have some potential drawbacks.

We’re going to get into the idea of spreading out your shows, and if that may work better for you.

Considering Spreading Out Your Show Consumption

So at the other end of the spectrum is spreading out your show consumption, and it may have some merit to it.

There are of course pros and cons to this as with everything else, but it can definitely be something that you consider.

Here we look at the benefits and drawbacks of spreading out your show consumption, and if perhaps that may be a better fit for you and your English learning.

Benefits

  • You can study more thoroughly: If you take your time and go show by show, then you can start to really connect to the show and the material. You can begin to make predictions and take the time to learn things more fully. If you are considering watching these shows primarily as a way of learning English, then perhaps it can be more beneficial to take your time and then you can truly study things and let them sink in.
  • It gives you time to really have conversations about each specific episode with people: You can get deeper into conversations in this capacity as there is something to work up to. It can help to build up the tension and excitement when you take it slower. This can allow you to have conversations on the spot as things are happening for you. It’s a great way to make a connection!
  • It takes less time at once: If time commitment is an issue for you, then slowing down and watching the shows at a slower pace can work much better. You can control how much time you dedicate to watching shows, and therefore it can fit into your schedule at a much better pace. This is up to you to dictate, and therefore it can be a much better fit in this capacity.

Drawbacks

Now let’s look at the drawbacks to taking your time with watching shows, because that matters greatly.

You will find that it may not always be easy to go this route, and therefore you may find that it’s not as much of a fit for your lifestyle.

However there are some potential drawbacks to consider so that you can decide what works best.

  • It takes discipline: You may have to really stop yourself from binging a show. If you are into it and you really enjoying it, then it may take discipline to stop yourself from continuing on. If you have that type of discipline this may not be a big deal. However for most of us, just stopping a show that you enjoy can be somewhat difficult.
  • You may miss out on the “Water cooler” conversations at work: If many people around you are binging a show then you may feel as if you are missing out on the talk at the office. People love to connect over a show, particularly when it’s new or popular. So if you take your time then you may miss out on some important or fundamental episodes, you just might miss out on the conversations about it the next day.

You can now use all of this to help you decide which is a better option for you.

There are some great shows out there to binge or space out, and they can help you with your English learning and integrating into the culture too.

Navigating Your Way Through Netflix

So you see the good and the bad about binging shows, but now let’s take it a step further.

It doesn’t even matter what your best approach is, but rather it’s about utilizing a streaming service such as Netflix.

You can see now why this can offer so much of a benefit to your English learning, and in a fun and innovative way.

Recognizing all of this, you want to really utilize Netflix for all that it can offer.

We’ve talked about some helpful tips for navigating Netflix before, but let’s take a look at this again.

These tips can help you to mix it up, keep things interesting, and really enhance your English learning while integrating into the local culture.

  • Choose popular shows, but ones that interest you! Don’t force yourself to watch something you don’t like. Focus on the genre or area of interest that is a fit for you. Yes you do want to go for the popular shows so that you can start or be part of the conversation. Be sure however that the popular shows that you select are actually of interest or you will be bored and won’t stay invested.
  • Try something new! Still keep with the idea that you want to go for something that interests you, but be sure to mix it up a bit. Maybe go for a different genre or something completely unique. You want to make this entertaining and educational, and if you mix it up a bit then that will work to your advantage. This is all about creating something meaningful that you can enjoy and learn from.
  • Write down words you learn: This can make for a great time to keep a journal. You might even consider just having a notebook next to you while you watch a show. This can help you to capture vocabulary words or phrases that you can use over and over again. This still ensures that you can watch a show that you like, but that you can also take important lessons away from it too.

Takeaway

There is much that you can learn from watching shows on Netflix.

The way in which you watch the shows is really up to you and what is a fit for your style.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose to binge shows or watch them at a slower pace.

The point is to use a streaming service such as Netflix as an entertaining way to learn English.

You can really enjoy some good TV, take away some important and helpful lessons, and integrate into the local culture which makes it a great option for you.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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