Want to have a conversation in English? A lot of people are simply looking for some to speak to in English. Does that sound like you?
No matter where you are in the world, that’s quite an easy problem to fix. You can go on an app or website like Tandem or iTalki where you can find a language exchange partner or a language tutor.
So you try out a language exchange app to find someone to talk to and you ask the usual questions:
- how are you?
- where are you from?
- what do you do?
And then you quickly run out of things to say. Or you realise that you don’t have much to say to each other. Or the exchange doesn’t work and you have to find someone else. And the cycle begins again with the same boring questions. So in the end, you don’t really get to talk in English, at least not in the way you had imagined.
So if you’re fed up of boring small talk or you’re ready for something else, then I’ve got a suggestion for you. Have a conversation in English by discussing movies or TV series.
Watch the video:
How To Have A Conversation In English With Movies
Here’s how this could work. With your language exchange partner or your language tutor you both choose a movie to watch and discuss. You could even chat to a colleague or friend who’s learning English too. You don’t have to talk to a native speaker!
You can start really small, with, say a short movie – you can find plenty of them online. So the next step is that you both watch it. You don’t have to watch it together but you could have a watch party too. During a watch party, you both watch the movie on your devices and then you send each other messages about it on a chat app.
Or you can both watch the movie in your own time and then meet to discuss it after. That could be live in a Zoom chat, or through text or voice messages. However you prefer.
Instead of a short movie, you could also use a feature film or, even better, you could both agree to watch the same TV series. You could agree to watch an episode per week and then meet every week to discuss it.
By the way, if you don’t know what to watch in English, here are 3 reflection questions to help you choose the right TV series or movie for you.
Questions And Expressions To Have A Conversation In English About Movies
So you’ve found your partner and you’ve watched your chosen movie. Now, what can you actually talk about? Well, think about when you go to the cinema with a friend.
When you go out of the cinema, what sort of things do you say to each other? At the very least, you’re probably going to say something like: what did you think of the film? Did you like it? So you can start with simply sharing your opinion on the movie.
6 Questions To Start An English Conversation About Movies
You can go a bit deeper with these questions:
- What did you think of the acting?
- Have you seen any of this director’s movies before?
- Who was your favourite character?
- What was your favourite moment?
- Are you a fan of any of the actors in the movie?
- What do you think of their performance in this movie compared to others they have starred in?
8 Expressions To Discuss Your Opinions On Movies & TV Series In English
Here are some expressions you can use to talk about movies:
- I loved the bit where…
- I didn’t get the bit where….
- I thought it was so funny/weird/dark/….
- I can’t wait for the next episode
- X character always makes me laugh/cry/feel uncomfortable
- X character has the best lines/the funniest lines/the wittiest lines
- I couldn’t believe what happened at the end
- I prefer the old episodes
How Talking About Movies Helps You Learn And Remember New Vocabulary
Now, the bonus of having English conversations about movies is that you can use what you hear in the episode or movie to talk about it.
So if you’ve been listening actively, then you’ve probably learnt some new words and expressions. This is the perfect opportunity to test if you can remember these expressions or if you’re able to use them correctly in your own speech.
So, for instance, with my Movie Club students, we came across two nice words in a scene from the movie Howards End. One was “incorrigible” and the other was “inadvertently”.
In the scene in question which you can watch below, one of the main characters, Helen, accidentally or inadvertently steals an umbrella. And we discover that she has a terrible habit of inadvertently stealing other people’s umbrellas which makes her an incorrigible umbrella thief.
So you can see how you can start to use the new words to discuss what happened in particular scenes. This way they stick in your mind more easily
7 Bonus Movie Discussion Questions To Have A Conversation In English
Rather than discussing a particular movie or TV series, you can also talk more generally about movies. So you could ask each other questions like:
- What were your favourite things to watch on TV as a kid?
- Did you have many British or American shows on TV in your country or not?
- What were your favourite movies growing up?
- What’s your favourite movie genre?
- Who is your favourite actor/director etc?
- What are you watching at the moment?
- What TV shows are popular in your country?
Ditch The Boring Small Talk And Have Interesting English Discussions With Movies
So instead of the same old boring small talk about what you did at the weekend or the weather where you quickly run out of things to say, with movies, you’ll always have something to talk about.
And of course, if you don’t like movies but you prefer podcasts or TED Talks or whatever it is, then you can use the same system with that content instead.
Join Movie Club To Have A Conversation In English Thanks To Movies
By the way, if you’re interested in watching and discussing movies to improve your English listening, speaking and pronunciation skills, please make sure you sign up for the Movie Club waiting list
In Movie Club, you watch and discuss movies with other movie-loving English learners from different countries and cultures. Enrolment opens 3 times a year. When you sign up for the waiting list, you also get a free gift “Movies Together” which is a 3-day email course that will teach you how to connect with others to improve your English through movies. Sign up and get your free course.