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  • - [Voiceover] Welcome to The Effortless English Show

  • with the world's number one English teacher, AJ Hoge,

  • where AJ's more than 40 million students worldwide

  • finally learn English once and for all

  • without the boring textbooks, classrooms

  • and grammar drills.

  • Here's AJ with a quick piece to help you learn

  • to speak fluent English effortlessly.

  • - Hello and welcome to The Effortless English Show!

  • I am AJ Hoge, the author of Effortless English, this book.

  • And this is the show that teaches you

  • to speak English powerfully.

  • Many years ago, I was sitting

  • in Spanish class.

  • So I was in university, sitting in my Spanish class,

  • another day of Spanish, (sighs) waiting for the teacher.

  • And the teacher strolled in, and I'm thinking,

  • "Oh God, another, another terrible class of grammar rules

  • "and vocabulary lists."

  • But on this day something different.

  • The teacher was pushing a cart, right, with wheels

  • that had a TV on top.

  • So, instantly everybody in the class

  • kind of sat up more straight and smiled,

  • and there was a little bit of energy in the room,

  • and we all looked at each other,

  • and everybody was happy.

  • This positive energy spread around the classroom.

  • We all kind of giggled and laughed, and "Ah", "Ooh".

  • Because we realized that it was Movie Day.

  • Yes!

  • No boring grammar rules, no boring vocabulary lists,

  • no tests, no quizes - we were gonna watch a movie!

  • Yeah!

  • Movie Day was always a happy day in school,

  • in any class, but especially in Spanish class.

  • So the teacher hooked up the TV, plugged it in,

  • and, of course, there was a VCR in those days,

  • so they used tapes.

  • There was a VCR, and the teacher put in the tape,

  • and started the movie.

  • Then she walked over and turned off the lights.

  • So movies days were wonderful because it was a day

  • where we didn't have to do anything, right.

  • There is no real studying, no work, no stress;

  • the teacher wouldn't call on us

  • and force us to speak Spanish

  • and make us all stressed out and worried.

  • So I sat back ready to watch the movie,

  • and the movie began.

  • It was a story about, I don't know, an immigrant

  • coming to America from Mexico.

  • But because it was Spanish class, of course,

  • the whole movie was in Spanish.

  • So the teacher walked over to her desk and sat down,

  • and started reading a book.

  • And I could tell she was also happy,

  • because no work for her, right?

  • Just plug in the movie, press Play,

  • and then sit back and relax for the whole hour of the class.

  • So, in the beginning of the movie I watched it

  • with good concentration,

  • and, of course, everybody speaking Spanish,

  • and I couldn't understand anything.

  • Basically - zero (laughs).

  • So I'm watching - eh, but I'm watching the pictures,

  • kind of following the story, kind of figuring out,

  • kind of understanding what was happening.

  • I managed to concentrate maybe for 10 minutes,

  • but then after 10 minutes I could feel my energy

  • dropping down.

  • And I started getting tired: my shoulders dropped down,

  • I leaned back, "Aah, oh, well, just enjoy the movie."

  • (sighs)

  • And then after 15 minutes my eyes got a little -

  • we say "droopy" meaning they get kind of low like this,

  • this is droopy eyes.

  • So my eyes got droopy.

  • Then I looked around the classroom at the other students.

  • (laughs)

  • I looked over to my right, and I saw several students

  • with their heads down on their desk, just like this.

  • Just sleeping or resting, not even watching the movie,

  • not even trying, just.

  • Several others looked like me,

  • most of the others looked like me:

  • just sitting kind of bored-looking,

  • with these blank faces,

  • staring at the movie, but not understanding anything.

  • And it stayed that way for the entire class.

  • I got sleepier and sleepier - I didn't fall asleep,

  • but I was kind of half awake and half asleep

  • with this look on my face the whole time.

  • More and more people in the class, my classmates,

  • put their heads down on their desks.

  • Some of them started whispering to each other,

  • passing notes to each other, "Hey!" (whispers).

  • In English, of course.

  • Pretty much no one in the class

  • paid attention to the whole movie

  • because we couldn't understand it at all.

  • Finally, at the end of class, the teacher put down her book

  • that she was reading, walked over,

  • stopped the movie about half way -

  • because we couldn't watch the whole thing,

  • the class was too short -

  • walked over, flipped on the lights.

  • And the bell rang "brrrring",

  • and we all stood up and got our books,

  • and hurried out of the class off to our next class.

  • An hour wasted, but at least an hour without stress.

  • Later in my life I became an English teacher.

  • And I can remember, at several jobs that I had,

  • walking by classrooms of other teachers

  • and seeing the exact same situation,

  • but in English.

  • Looking through the door or the window,

  • seeing an English teacher bring in the television,

  • looking at all the happy faces of the students,

  • because "Yay, an easy day of doing nothing!"

  • And the teacher plugging in the television,

  • popping in a movie - this time in English,

  • turning off the lights, pressing Play.

  • The teacher also happy walking to their desk,

  • usually reading a book, or sometimes just, you know,

  • laying back and resting and doing nothing;

  • and little by little all the students in the class

  • falling asleep (snores).

  • That is how most people use movies

  • or television shows to learn English - sadly.

  • Now, at home I know that you might try to learn English

  • with TV or movies.

  • Perhaps you turn on CNN

  • and you try to follow the news.

  • Maybe you watch a movie on television,

  • you watch the Star Network, or HBO,

  • or whatever you can get in English.

  • You turn it on, you press Play, and you watch the movie.

  • And of course, what happens?

  • Usually the same thing that happened to me

  • in my Spanish class,

  • the same thing that happened to all those students

  • that I watched in English classes.

  • In the beginning you try to follow what's happening,

  • but you can't understand most of it: it's too fast,

  • they use a lot of idioms, they use slang,

  • they speak with maybe a little bit different accents.

  • And so, you try to figure out the story from the pictures,

  • but after a while your energy drops,

  • your concentration drops,

  • because it's too hard to understand.

  • And then you finish the whole movie - maybe,

  • and you have basically learned no English at all.

  • And yet, around the world teachers continue to show movies

  • to their classes in this exact same way.

  • A waste of time.

  • It's used as a waste of time;

  • it's used as an easy day, a restful day.

  • It's used as wishful thinking.

  • It means we wish, we hope this will improve our English,

  • because it feels fun, it feels easy to watch a movie.

  • But the truth is using a movie in this way

  • does not help,

  • unless you're very, very, very advanced.

  • Just watching a movie in English

  • will not help your English.

  • Why? Why not?

  • Because you will not understand most of it,

  • and if you don't understand, you are not learning.

  • I learned zero Spanish watching movies in Spanish class.

  • None. Zero. Nothing.

  • It was a complete wasted hour of time.

  • If you simply put in a movie and watch it,

  • you're also just wasting your time.

  • Again, unless you're very, very advanced.

  • And if you're advanced, if you're very advanced,

  • if you understand most of the movies,

  • most of the TV shows you watch in English,

  • well, congratulations, you're doing a great job.

  • But for most people, just watching a movie like that,

  • it's a waste of time.

  • So should we forget about movies?

  • Should we forget about TV shows?

  • No.

  • In fact, TV shows and movies

  • are possibly

  • a very, very powerful tool

  • for improving your English speaking.

  • Much, much, much better than a textbook.

  • You know, I hate textbooks

  • because in textbooks the English - it's not real, it's fake.

  • "Hello, how are you?

  • "I'm fine. And you?"

  • Who talks like that?

  • Nobody talks like that.

  • But in movies, movie English is much, much closer

  • to the real English we use in the United States

  • when we talk to our friends,

  • when we're at work, at our jobs,

  • when we're on the street chatting with people,

  • when we go to a restaurant.

  • Movies and television shows show you

  • a much more real kind of English.

  • Movies and TV shows have slang and idioms

  • that we use all the time.

  • They have very, very useful phrases.

  • Perhaps the most important of all,

  • movies and TV shows have real pronunciation.

  • It's how we really pronounce words and phrases.

  • We push some words together, we cut some words,

  • some words we stretch and make longer.

  • All of the real English speaking that we use in real life

  • you can get from movies and television shows.

  • So how do we use them correctly?

  • How do you use them so you could really learn,

  • you actually improve your English,

  • not waste an hour of time or two hours of time?

  • Well, you do it by using

  • The Effortless English Movie Technique,

  • which I will teach you

  • right after I answer a few Twitter questions.

  • When we come back, I will tell you exactly step by step

  • how to use a movie or a television show

  • to improve your English speaking and listening.

  • But first let's go to a few Twitter questions.

  • Twitter question time.

  • Well, this is a good question.

  • "AJ, which series or TV shows do you recommend us to watch

  • "for learning English?"

  • Great question!

  • Perfect for our topic.

  • I don't have just one to recommend,

  • because it depends on you, right?

  • If you love crime shows, for example,

  • then you should watch crime shows.

  • But what if you hate crime shows,

  • well, then don't watch them.

  • Maybe you prefer something more light,

  • something more romantic, something a little funnier.

  • So I won't tell you exactly what to watch,

  • but I will tell you which types of TV shows or movies

  • are best for you.

  • So, the best kinds are modern.

  • First of all, they need to be modern.

  • Modern means they're in this time period in history.

  • They can be a little bit old like from the 1980s,

  • or '90s, or 2000s, that's okay -

  • if you want something a little older

  • for a movie or a TV show.

  • You do not want a movie, however,

  • about the far past.

  • For example, an obvious example,

  • you don't want a movie about Shakespeare's time period,

  • or an actual Shakespeare movie.

  • You don't want that.

  • Why not?

  • Because that kind of English, it's not normal anymore.

  • Right?

  • That old style of English, we don't use it anymore.

  • Some of those old British movies about the 1800s,

  • the British Empire.

  • Some people might like them, they may be kind of romantic,