Topic: comparing the positive points of watching documentaries and the positive points of watching tv drama.
(Updated on 2021/01/16)
- Positive points of learning from documentaries
- Can learn mature sentences easily
- Can learn more advanced vocabulary
- Business English is used in some scenes
- Viewers can speak about the topics in the shows even with people who haven’t seen them because the topics are about general culture
- Can develop skills through criticism
- Positive points of learning from tv drama
- Can learn basic expressions and vocabulary
- Stories can be enjoyable
- Can share impressions of the series with others
- Can relax while watching
- Can project the viewer’s feeling onto the characters
Hi, there Kinkajyuu here.
Have you experienced a situation where you want to join the conversation but you weren’t able to? For example, when the topic is difficult for your level, such as global warming, economics, art or health… Mid-level English learners might struggle to discuss these kinds of reality-based stories. It’s ordinary to study natural English conversations and vocabulary from tv dramas or movies. It’s enjoyable, but is it also useful for learning professional topics in business scenes?
I recommend intermediate-level English learners to watch documentaries. Some intermediate or higher-level learners may be able to hold a job in an English environment. It helps to watch documentaries because viewers can learn to talk about realistic topics with their colleagues. Business conversations are sometimes casual but also sometimes formal.
This article compares the positive points of watching documentaries with the positive points of watching tv drama.
1. Can learn mature sentences easily.
You can lean new vocabulary from videos as you watch them. Documentaries often use mature, higher-level sentences. They rarely have childish or lengthy sentences in them. Documentaries need to teach viewers – usually adults – through logic and without much drama. They use mature expressions because adults can understand them easily. If you are in your 30s, it might be the right time to take a grown-up attitude and learn through documentaries.
2. Can lean advanced vocabulary
Documentaries sometimes present on scientific topics, but also stray into politics, art or some other specific stories. And the videos use difficult words and technical language. Watching documentaries is really good for learning those words. Viewers can study from the spoken context while referencing the visual support on-screen. So even if viewers can’t understand the vocabulary, they can still follow along.
3. Helpful for learning Business English
In business scenes, what do characters talk about? Conversations at work are mostly casual: “Have you been to somewhere?”, “Do you know something?”… But aside from casual topics, some people at work like to talk about news, financial topics or eco-minded topics and so on. Connecting through common interests tends to make for closer relationships, and business scenes in television can teach the vocabulary.
4. Viewers can speak about the topics in the shows even with people who haven’t seen them because the topics are about general culture
All in all, documentaries are usually about general culture and most people are familiar with the topics. So, viewers can converse about the topics with almost anyone.
5. Can develop skills through criticism
I recommend being skeptical about the information presented in documentaries while you are watching. Mostly, documentaries have correct information, however some are technically correct but biased. It’s a good idea to double-check information from other sources.
1. Can learn basic expressions and vocabulary
One strong point of tv drama is that shows frequently use casual English, often in funny situations. I would guess that more advanced learners are already proficient in casual conversation, so drama is more useful for beginner to mid-level learners. If your TOEIC score is under 650 points, tv dramas are a great place to learn the basics of casual conversation.
2. Stories can be enjoyable
Drama is created for viewers to enjoy. Even viewers who are not interested in the overall subject of the show may still enjoy watching if it has a solid story.
3. Can share impressions of the series with others
Having peers is really helpful to keep one’s motivation to learn. Learning alone is sometimes pretty tough, especially for beginners. Speaking with people who are having the same difficulties can be very encouraging, which helps maintain the enthusiasm to study.
4. Can relax while watching
Watching tv drama is usually more relaxing than watching documentaries, so viewers can have fun while still learning.
5. Can project the viewer’s feeling onto the characters
Viewers can watch tv drama while imagining themselves as one of the characters. This is an advantage over documentaries, where either there are no characters or it’s difficult to relate with them. Getting into the role can help with learning English as learners become more invested in the story.
In summary, if you are more mature and have a higher level of English ability, it might be better to start watching documentaries.
I’d recommend watch them on subscription services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and so on. I’ve posted an article comparing these services, so you can check which one is the best for English learners.
Thank you for reading this post to the end. Let me know in the comments which shows you decide to watch!