How to Use Netflix to Study French | Newsdle
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How to Use Netflix to Study French

03/12/21

Fancy some guilt free studying? Tune into Netflix! You will get to see the French language in action in real-life situations (or as real as French Netflix!). As well as language learning, you’ll get a hit with a sense of wanderlust too! With scenes ranging across France, from Paris to Marseille, and elsewhere across the French-speaking world.

One study by American researchers has even proved that watching movies of TV shows with subtitles was effective for all language learners! It is however especially useful for post-beginners, as it allows you to quickly pick up new vocabularly, building upon foundations already laid.

Netflix is an easy way to get some language practice in. You’ll quickly learn new vocabulary, hear different French regional accents, and uncover useful slang. All from the comfort of your sofa.  

Here are some of our top tips to study and watch Netflix at the same time!

Subtitles

If you’re at the beginning of your language learning journey, start by watching French Netflix shows with the English subtitles turned on. That way, you’ll be able to follow the plotline and all whilst listening to it all in French. As your language learning skills progress further, try a few episodes with French subtitles.

However, if you are further along in your journey, do not be afraid to switch the subtitles off! It can be unnerving to move to this stage, but you have to if you want to continue your progress. It will allow you to fully immerse yourself in French language, the only way to do so short of travelling to France!

Choose Your Goal

Try to pick movies or shows that will expose you to the types of language you want to learn. Struggling with the past tense? Pick a film with a story in the past that’s told from the present.

Looking to expand your knowledge of action verbs? Nature documentaries are a fantastic option. Maybe you just want to build your knowledge of basic, everyday nouns and verbs; sitcoms and even cooking shows are fantastic for those.

If you are looking for shows to watch, check out our list of the 4 best shows to learn French on Netflix! In this instance, we would also recommend TV shows over movies. As TV shows are typically shorter, it will break up your studying session into manageable chunks. 

Pause, Rewind, Replay 

Don’t be afraid to use pause and rewind features available on Netflix! You’re not in the cinema, so take advantage of the pause button to read a subtitle, or rewind a bit to relisten a word or phrase you’ve never heard before! Using this will ensure that you do not miss any new, and give you adequate time to record them. Take your time when studying French with Netflix, and treat it like a guilt free lesson.

Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions are very different from subtitling, but the accessibility features on Netflix are helpful for language learners! Instead of just trawling through the subtitles, a voice will describe what you're watching. This is a fantastic way to pick up new descriptive vocabulary, as well as improve your sentence structure. Also, since the on-screen action is being described, it will be easier to follow! The connection between seeing and hearing will also greatly improve your comprehension.

The only thing to note, is that audio description does not exist for all shows, but where it does, make sure you make the most of the immersion available!

Notebook at the Ready!

Or any other recording device! Writing things down will help you process and remember newly discovered phrases / vocabulary! Discovered a great bit of slang? Make sure you record it down so you can use it next time you travel to France! Don't just treat it like watching TV aimlessly, think of your Netflix session as a way to study. Learning French through Netflix will greatly improve vocabularly, so take it seriously. 

Study at Your Own Speed

Don’t immediately dive straight into the deep end! Unless your language skills are advanced, the quick-witted humour and sarcastic jokes might be too quick a step up. Different movies and series will have different paces of spoken French. Documentaries are typically spoken at a slower pace, but at a higher language level. Sitcoms on the other hand are often fast-paced and brimming with peculiar language. Most importantly, choose a show that you are interested in watching. Don't just aimlessly slog through a period drama if that is not your cup of tea, choose a more light-hearted show. 

Any other top tips that you have found useful when studying French using Netflix? Be sure to share them with your fellow language learners on our social channels!

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