The article addresses the problems of learning English among students at the university, it discusses the use of free time using video and TV shows. The main advantage lies in the fact that the training is carried out during the rest and does not make it necessary to search for free time for a purposeful study of the discipline.
Keywords: leisure time, pastime, learning English, watching TV series, alternatives methods, individual training.
It is a well-known fact that nowadays learning English language plays an essential role in our lives. English takes the first place among all international languages such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, French. All these languages are official for the UN. Russia takes 39 place among 70 countries, where people can speak English. This rating was made by EF (Education First) . So that, Russia is situated between Mexico and Ecuador hitting in a group with a low level of English. “The level of English in the adult population is much lower than the average European level, while men know the language much worse than women”-write the authors of the EF report. The competence of Russians in these area of English is not homogeneous by regions of the country. The situation is better in the Central region — indicators are in the range of «moderate» language skills there. Results in the north and far eastern region are very poor.
English is an international marine language, so seafarers need to know it in a perfect way, so that they would be able not only to get a job abroad, but also to ensure the safe navigation and management of the vessel. Furthermore, it has a special meaning due to a growing number of international merchant ships with crew’s members, speaking different languages, because problems in communication, which can start from a usual misunderstanding end with a serious situation related to the safety of navigation. According to statistics, the level of language training of specialists has decreased: even at the end of specialized courses or after graduating from universities it is difficult for many of them to have an interview in a foreign language, even on general topics, not to mention professional communication.
All these facts lead us to the idea of increasing the level of knowledge of the English language. The only problem is time, the fact that all students at the university suffer from the lack of time. So, what can students do to improve their level of English without wasting time? It is a well-known fact that because of a large number of classes, students cannot pay too much attention to one thing, because everyone needs rest. And this free time is our key to success, this is the only thing that people always find time for. Despite the huge amount of work at home and other duties, trainees always find time to watch movies and TV shows, as everyone likes to do it, this is the most popular pastime nowadays. So why not to dedicate this pastime to learning English! Watching English videos is one of the best way of improving your skills in understanding English speech. In addition, you get a unique opportunity to see a novelty movie or the next season of the serial before anyone else. It's not a secret that dubbing is usually done a few months after the picture has been released, and the translation is not always successful. Learning English, you can hear the real voice of your favorite actor or watch movies or TV shows with are not translated into Russian. If for the first time it was difficult for you to understand what the heroes of the video were talking about use subtitles. If you can spend at least 15–20 minutes watching the video, then in 2–3 months you will begin to understand the phrases of the characters without subtitles. So, studying English on serials and films helps «to accustom» ears to different accents and intonations of speech . For example, if you have not watched The Big Bang Theory, you completely missed some amazing time on the air . This is, perhaps, one of the most popular shows on television all over the world at the moment. This is a group of talkative friends who work together at the university, conducting various types of scientific research and experiments. Why «The Big Bang Theory» perfectly studies English: it's fun, and you do not even need to understand everything that is said to understand what is happening, because the actions are clear.
While watching a TV series or a movie, you can significantly expand your vocabulary. The meaning of many words you will guess from the context, remembering in which cases to use the new vocabulary. Doing this, you use the best way to learn words and expressions — in context. You see in what situation the characters of the video use different phrases and words, so in future you will know when and how to use the acquired knowledge. While watching the video, you can hear a live pronunciation and with what intonation you should talk, where to make logical pauses and stresses. The acquired information stays in your head and so you gradually start unconsciously to copy the speech of the native speakers, use some phrases, stick to their speech tempo etc. Making yourself to learn English is useless and even harmful. So, do not look at what you are not interested in — you would just waste your valuable time. If after 10–15 minutes you catch yourself on that you are tired of viewing, look for something that is interesting for you. Perhaps you will be closer to the news or entertainment rollers, and may be creative advertising videos. If you want to not just have a fun, but also benefit from viewing, work with the dictionary . When you meet an unfamiliar word, stop the video, open the online dictionary and write down a whole sentence with a new vocabulary and a translation to it. So, you will learn words in context, learn how to use them properly. If you often hear a phrase or turnover in a video, then it's often used vocabulary. Write it in your dictionary, learn and try to use it in English or with a native speaker. Your work will be generously rewarded with increasing the level of knowledge of the language only on condition that you will actively apply a gained knowledge. Speak English as often as possible and try to add new words and phrases from your video into your speech.
To summarize all mentioned above, we understand that a proper combination of free time activities and learning English is a good way to improve our knowledge. This helps to open the world of English from the better side, people can not only increase knowledge, but also expand their horizons, getting knowledge from abroad. All the tricks of working with films and series are fascinating and effective. However, such «training» is interesting though it takes time, patience and efforts, besides the watching of your favourite TV series or films in a such way will help you to speak English.
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- 10 Best Modern American Sitcoms to Learn English. [Электронный ресурс] — Режим доступа: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/english/learn-english-american-sitcoms/ (дата обращения: 26.10. 2017).
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