You’ve heard of a book club right?
Book clubs are for book lovers who not only want to read books regularly, but also chat to others about them.
Typically, book club members meet once a month to give them time to read the book they’ve chosen and then discuss it together. This could be in real life or on a video call or by text or voice message in a WhatsApp group. The members usually have discussion questions to help organise their book chat.
A movie club works the same way! A group of movie lovers watch the same movie and then discuss it together.
Watching and discussing movies together is so much more effective for your English than watching them alone and having no-one to talk to about them.
I know because I’ve been organising movie clubs for English learners for several years.
In this post, you’ll discover three reasons why being part of a movie club is such a fun and effective way to learn English with movies.
Hit play on the video below to watch the video version of this post. Otherwise, keep scrolling to read the blog post.
3 Reasons To Create Or Join A Movie Club For English Learners
#1 Watch A Movie More Than Once
When I first started my website in 2016, I interviewed Fluency MC, a teacher and rapper.
He teaches English with songs because repetition is key in language learning. And it’s natural to repeat a song, either by listening to it over and over or singing it or preferably both. It’s much harder to do this with a movie – even your favourite movie can be hard to watch over and over!
The good thing about a movie club is that it encourages you to engage with a film multiple times. So you’re more likely to catch things that you missed the first time when you watch it again.
For instance, you might watch the movie once to try and follow the story and form your initial opinion on it. Then you might watch it again during a “watch party”, this time reacting to it with others. You may wish to view it again while thinking about the discussion questions or taking notes.
You could also watch the movie initially dubbed into your own language to make sure you follow the story completely. Then you could watch it again, perhaps with English subtitles. And then a final time without.
If you don’t have the time to watch the movie again, you could also:
- watch clips from the movie
- watch the trailer
- read plot summaries on IMDb and other movie trivia sites.
Usually, my movie club members find the time to watch the clips several times. Although at least one watches the movies twice: the dubbed version first, then the English version.
#2 Engage More Deeply With The Movie
When you watch a movie in English, you only watch it once, often superficially. Maybe you found the film hard to understand and you aren’t motivated to try watching it again. Perhaps you even give up halfway through because you can’t understand what the characters are saying!
When you participate in a movie club you have to watch the whole movie at least once. And you need to be ready to discuss it with others.
So, as you watch, you’ll pay more attention to the plot, the characters, the feelings the movie evokes, the message you pick up from it etc. That way, you’ll have plenty of ideas to contribute to the discussion so you can have a great conversation in English thanks to films.
And of course, by watching attentively, you can also pick up new vocabulary from the film more effectively.
If you have some movie discussion questions to reflect on, your brain is starting to think about them even before you watch the movie. The questions can be as simple as “is this the type of movie you normally watch” or “do you think you’ll enjoy it – why/why not?”.
When you watch the movie, your brain will already be trying to answer these questions. So you’ll be more engaged and attentive than usual. Even more so if you take a few notes as you watch. These could be about new expressions, insights you want to share, or both!
#3 Motivate Yourself To Watch And Discuss Movies With The Support Of Others
There’s nothing like accountability to motivate you. In a movie club, other people are relying on you to watch the film and to be ready to discuss it.
To do this, you need to ensure that you’ve watched the whole film at least once, preferably while paying attention and thinking about the discussion questions. Not while getting distracted by your phone at the same time!
Obviously, if you love movies, you’re probably motivated to watch them anyway. But movie dialogue can be hard to understand. So you can easily get discouraged and lose your motivation to watch films. You may find it easier to binge watch TV series instead of watching movies.
A movie club keeps you accountable and motivated!
The other bonus of a movie club is that you have the encouragement and support of others. You might discover that they also found the movie hard to understand. Your fellow club members might be able to help you understand parts of the movie you found hard to catch. And you can probably answer many of their questions too.
For more reasons to stop watching movies and TV series alone, check out my interview with Lauren from the Language TV Club.
Why Join A Movie Club?
So there you have it, three reasons to create or join a movie club to better learn English through films.
Joining a movie club solves one of the biggest problems many English learners face: not enough practice. Movie clubs are an opportunity to practise your speaking and writing skills in a real-life situation.
Thanks to a movie club, you can share your opinion on a film. And learn what other people thought of it too. That way, you can have stimulating and enriching discussions in English on a topic that motivates you.
And of course, the other people in the club are not just a source of speaking practice. They can also motivate you to watch movies till the end, even when the dialogue is challenging. And they can help you to understand them by explaining aspects of the film that you might have missed.
What’s not to love about movie clubs? Time to stop watching movies alone, and join one! And if you’re looking for one, you can always join my movie club.
Tell me in the comments – have you ever created or participated in a movie or book club? How did it help your English?
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