Learning English with videos

Intro

You can use Anki to study English you hear in movies, TV shows or other videos.  Learning English with videos is an awesome way to learn because it’s incredibly fun and rewarding. You can watch videos that are fun and interesting to you, and then study them in Anki.  After you study the video in Anki you can watch the video again and understand it much better!

It feels very good to watch a video in a foreign language and understand everything.  This will boost your confidence and increase your motivation to keep learning.

After you watch a movie, TV show, TED Talk, etc., check the EFA Anki Deck Library. If your video is not there, request it by leaving a comment here. We will upload a deck of cards for you in 24 hours

How does an Anki movie deck work?

Each subtitle in the video is one piece of your “video comic book.” There is one flashcard for each subtitle. The flashcards include a picture and audio from that moment in the video.

Click the Preview button to look at and listen to the movie-comic book cards.

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Tutorial

If your English level is too low to understand the movie without subtitles:

  1. 2 options (pick one)
    1. Read a summary of the movie on Wikipedia in English or your native language.
    2. Watch the movie/episode one time with subtitles from your native language.
  2. Follow the steps in Trimming an Anki movie deck to determine which cards to keep and which to delete.
  3. Study the cards.
  4. Watch the movie (again) without subtitles and enjoy your new understanding!

If your English level is good enough to understand more than 50%:

  1. Watch the movie without subtitles and try to understand.
  2. Follow the steps in Trimming an Anki movie deck to determine which cards to keep and which to delete.
  3. Study the cards.
  4. Watch the movie again and enjoy your new understanding!

Don’t follow the 50% rule exactly.  This depends on you.  If you’re not having fun, you need to change what you’re doing.  Study these movie decks in the way that is most enjoyable to you.

Extra Tips

Split movies up into pieces

Movie decks are quite long.  You can split the movie up into pieces like this:

  1. Trim your movie deck until you reach the 30-minute point in the movie.
  2. Stop trimming, and study the cards for a few days
  3. Watch the first 30 minutes of the movie again and enjoy your new understanding
  4. Repeat for the next 30 minutes of the movie

Splitting movies into pieces helps you stay interested.  If you try to learn all of the English in the movie at once, you might get bored.

Watch the movies as many times as you want

We encourage you to watch your favorite movies as many times as you want.  Every time you watch it you will learn more English.

Work on one movie/TV show at a time.

It’s usually easiest to stay interested in a movie/TV show if you only work on one at a time.

Read about the movie/TV show

Go to IMDB or Wikipedia and read about the movie.  Learn about the actors, the director, the writer, etc.  Find out when the movie was made.  Are there any sequels?  Is it a remake?  Is it based on a novel?  All of this is interesting information that you can study.  If you really like the movie, you will easily enjoy reading the Wikipedia page.

Talk about the movie/TV show

Tell you friends about the movie/show.  Explain the story and characters.  Explain why you like it.  Invite them to come watch it with you.  This is useful even if your friends don’t speak English.  It will increase your interest and excitement.  Your friends will also be very impressed that you are watching English movies and you can understand them.