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“Is there any other way to get fluent in English without watching movies and web series?”

March 26, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

Honestly, this is a…. strange question:

“Is there any other way to get fluent in English without watching movies and web series?”

I get asked stuff like this a lot.

And all it really tells me is you have no idea how to improve in English and you’re confused about all the conflicting advice out there.

Let’s think about this…

Why do you think watching films (or “movies” if you prefer American English) or series is essential?

And why do you think just doing that will get you fluent, anyway?

It’s not.

And it won’t, or at least not by itself.

Look, it’s not about doing any “certain thing”. It’s about doing the things you actually do… and actually enjoy doing, want to do, or have to do… just in English.

Ultimately getting fluent is going to require two things to happen in balance:

1. Daily focused, intensive study where you are actively learning English and using exercises to practise it and force your fluency.

2. Doing as much in English as you can, with the caveat that it needs to be real (none of this fake ‘conversation partner’ rubbish, unless you want to improve really slowly), and it has to be true to you and your personality, and of course relevant to your life.

If you do those two things well, you’ll improve.

Doesn’t matter whether you watch films.

Or read books.

Or go out being super extrovert-social and meeting new people every day (which personally I don’t enjoy at all).

Or live in an English speaking country (or not).

Because if you’re thinking any one of those things is the “key” to improving your fluency in English, and that not doing it will stop you improving… you’re missing the point and your thinking is far too simplistic (and wrong).

And in fact, if you’re stuck at that intermediate and up stage and not progressing now matter what you do, you could make your life a hell of a lot easier by having me help you (1) get unstuck and (2) make a big difference to your ability to use English well over the next 90 days.

Your choice, of course.

But if you want to join the next MEFA group, the place to go start here:


Dr Julian Northbrook

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