Watching English Movies And TV Shows Won’t Improve Your English
If you use English TV Shows and movies to try and improve your English.
The only skill you’ll build is your skill of watching the movie or TV series.
Let’s be honest.
We like how the actors/actress look.
We love the story.
We enjoyed the fight scene.
We enjoyed the escape or chase scene.
We loved the ending.
We loved the life lessons, impressive quotes and discussions from the movie or TV show.
You’ll just become more knowledgeable.
About the Marvel cinematic universe.
About the Fast and the Furious universe.
About the Harry Potter universe.
About Middle Earth.
About Disney movies.
About whatever movie or show you’re watching.
But movies and TV shows have very little to teach you about the key English skills that will land you a call center job.
First of, let’s discuss the kind of English that you need for call center work.
You’ll introduce yourself to the interviewer several times. You’ll introduce yourself in training. You’ll introduce yourself to the customer all the time when you get hired. You’ll also introduce the company and some procedures to customers on a regular basis.
Call center work is 90% asking questions. Your interviewer is judging you how well you use questions to deal with situations you don’t know how to handle and questions that you know the answer to.
After asking questions, you’re required to give the customer the solution in the form of step by step instructions.
When you’re selling yourself, and you share a positive point, you will be required to tell a story to explain how things worked out. Telling stories are one of the primary convincing tool in sales and getting cooperation and support from someone.
These are sometimes covered by movies and TV shows.
The keyword that you need to pay attention to is: sometimes.
That means not all the time.
In order to build your English skills to a level that you can competently interact in a business environment, you will need to expend an ungodly amount of hours watching all sorts of movies and TV shows.
I mean, sure you can sometimes find a small piece of pizza in a garbage dump but that’s not the best way to get pizza.
The best way is to write your ideas and discuss with a person who speaks English well.
Kids who consume English media build the skills to immerse themselves in the language and as a result do their thinking, reading and writing in English.
Adults who need to improve their English skills to qualify for jobs require a different set of steps.
If you want to work in a call center and you’re not getting hired, chances are you already finished high school or higher.
You already have over 10 years of experience watching English movies, reading and possibly writing in English.
What you lack is experience in “SPEAKING” in English.
You are probably making an average of small 30-50 grammar and pronunciation errors that need to be corrected.
That’s what needs to be confronted.
You don’t need more movies.
Some guy suggested Anime.
Here’s my answer.
Anime covers a lot of introductions when introducing new characters. Tiny elements of basic communication are available in Anime and the introductions part are portrayed well and usually included in the first three episodes. Then it’s just story-based dialogue.
There’s very little professional conversation covered in movies and TV shows unless you’re watching an “Office/Business based” movie and TV show.
Watching English movies and shows doesn’t help accelerate the growth of the skill of people who have bad English and turn them to people with good English.
Watching English movies and shows may give people an idea of what natural-sounding English is but it doesn’t provide a very good practical application.
Many English shows (including Anime) do not cover the following topics.
Asking intelligent questions, rapport-building questions, sales related questions, and questions related to interviews.
Step by step instructions. Except sports/cooking anime as well as heists movies. The point is some but not all movies have this element but there’s no guarantee that you’ll absorb the complete skill.
Cooking shows cover the step by step instructions element better than most movies.
Using stories to illustrate the point without directly saying what your trying to say is a very useful interview and sales skill. This is not something you generally learn in movies.
What usually stays with us is the drama/action of the story. Usually the emotional context of the film.
Not so much of what needs to be covered for getting a job and overcoming difficult interviews.
You’ll want to watch the first few episodes of whatever for character introductions.
Then you’ll shift to sports anime and cooking anime for step by step instructions.
You’ll also want to shift to a business/work/slice of life anime for conversational story-telling elements.
Japanese are also indirect with their manner of speaking so they’re not very compatible with American culture, unfortunately.
So this part isn’t very effective either.
You’ll also need higher intelligence to pull this off.
That will also be dozens of hours of anime watching very specific shows to accomplish.
And after a certain point the focus turns to the entertainment instead of the educational element of the show.
At which point the whole thing becomes a distraction instead of a productive practice session.
When I shared the advice to the page, I got a lot of people who disagree.
I noticed that people who disagree had these in common.
The problem is if you have these elements then it’s more proof that watching English movies and shows is horrible advice for people who want to improve their English for professional reasons.
Intelligent people see something and understand concepts almost immediately. They can watch 2-3 movies and make a lot of improvement to their listening and vocabulary.
People who have been consuming English media at a young age already thinks, speaks and writes in English (the missing elements to learning).
And it’s kind of discriminating.
Only intelligent people thrive on the just watch movies or play video games advice.
Regular people have difficulty without the help of another person.
People who have high intelligence and come from a good school and family background as well as have English speaking friends won’t have problems improving their English skills by watching movies.
But for people who work in minimum wage jobs, telling them to just watch English Movies and Shows is horrible advice.
Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with entertainment.
It’s just that some people are stuck just watching movies and not getting better.
Earlier today, I was assisting a security guard improve his English.
He said all he does is watch English shows and practice in front of a mirror.
But he’s applied over a dozen times and the advice has always been to watch English movies.
But he doens’t know exactly what to change and how to fix his English using what he learned from watching the movie.
People who are higly intelligent can watch a few shows and movies and do everything you’re saying in your response with little to no issue.
What I said at the end that the average person stuck in a minimum wage job who wants to work in a call center will only feel frustration for this incomplete advice.
But there are more steps involved than just watching movies.
That being said.
This top language teacher breaks down the steps to learning a language by watching movies.
There’s more work involved than watching movies.
I get it.
You have strong reason to belive that watching movies and shows is beneficial.
It helped you.
But here’s my problem with that.
You have some form of head-start over people who struggle to get hired.
But your advantages are the real reason why you have the job and that other Filipinos struggle.
Same with video games.
Video games teach some nice complex problem solving skills.
But the advice isn’t to “just play video games” and you’ll be fine.
My course back in college was IT related. I was on the computer all the time and I told my grandmother that I was studying when all I was doing was playing Starcraft, Diablo 2 and Half-life.
This is my objection to “just watching English movies.”
How many of you watch a movie with a notebook and pen?
You pause the movie, write down an unfamilliar word, maybe play back to the scene when you first encounter a word, Google the definition, say the word out loud and use it in a sentence and get it checked to make sure the word is used well?
Very few crazy people.
The Filipinos are not Americans is a perfectly reasonable excuse.
The problem with that is it doesn’t solve the problem of the people who are stuck in low-paying jobs jump to earn BPO income.
That’s why I’m teaching people a better alternative to the horrible advice of “just watch English shows and movies and you’ll be fine.”
Movies don’t teach work/business English.
You just get the story elements most of the time.
If you open with Pursuit of Happiness and Wolf of WallStreet that won’t cut it either because of the jargon.
Talking to a real person who’s sincere at helping you correct your mistakes and the proper training materials are a better way to proceed.
I’m not saying that watching movies and shows don’t have any benefits.
What I’m saying is watching movies and shows an inferior and incomplete method if your main objective is learning English for the purpose of qualifying for a job.
You can’t go against Manny Pacquao and expect to win with just watching Rocky and a few boxing movies and YouTube videos.
In sales, they teach us you don’t learn everything from a book, you have to face your prospect.
In the same way, to learn a language, you must SPEAK it.
Talking to people who are better at speaking in English have better results because of the kinesthetic element.
In other words, you get actual practice instead of doing everything in your head.
The other advantage is that the other person will be able to spot and correct your mistakes.
The second most useful method is journaling, reading the words out loud, recording a video and listening for incorrect pronunciation and grammar.
That’s the reason why I compare watching movies and shows to finding pizza in the garbage dump.
Compared to the top two methods, you’ll get far inferior results in the context of job application.
The only downside to the top two methods is that it requires you to confront your fear of being rejected, corrected and embarrassment.
The Art of War is usually quoted in business and with good reason. That’s because using just one method is never enough in order to secure a victory. You will need to use everything you have at your disposal and actually make an effort to collect other advantages for your upcoming battles.
Watching is only one element of learning.
There’s also reading.
There’s also researching words that we don’t understand.
There’s also writing in English.
There’s also practice thinking in English.
Most importantly, speaking with someone who has a higher skill level is the most effective way to do it.
The second most effective method is a writing exercise, reading what you said out loud while recording, then listening to how you sound.
Both methods require a person to confront their fear of being corrected and making the corrections.
I get hundreds of people messaging me telling me they watch English movies but they are still not getting hired.
I’m actually using this post to put together my response for that.
Having another person to help with corrections and practice writing is a better method to learn.
Reach out to friends and family members, even if you have to pay them.
If you can’t find anyone ask help from friends and family members to introduce you to someone who is good in English and practice with them.
Offer to pay them if you have to.
It’s a weakness you will have to voluntarily face.
At the end of the year, a minimum wage job gets a person 119k/year
A regular call center gig pays 240k/year.
And an experienced agent can earn 390k/year.
So all the suffering is worth facing.
And it’s way better than explaining to family members why you don’t have money.
Which is a whole another long discussion.
Thank you for reading this far and thank you for your attention. God bless.
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