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TV series and TV shows have become more and more popular these past few years. Thanks to various streaming networks such as Netflix, Amazon prime and the like, it became a lot easier to watch (and choose) a TV series you would enjoy for sure. Did you know that it could also help you improve your English? Let us guide you and show you how!

→ Our Top 10 best TV series and TV shows to learn English.
→ How to learn English while watching TV series/shows ?
Advantages and tips of learning this way.
Learn English with General English by GlobalExam.

Now without further ado, let’s get into it!

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Our Top 10 of the best TV series and TV shows to learn English

Here is our top 10 best TV series and TV shows according to their capacity of helping you learn English.


Russian Doll:

This TV show is super entertaining and will not disappoint you. The main character gets trapped in a time loop where she ends up reliving the same day over and over: her birthday. The simple plot and repetitive timeline makes it really easy for beginners to understand!

Modern Family:

In this TV series, we follow the everyday life of a large family. A lot of the characters in this show are children so they speak slow English with a simpler vocabulary. It is a very funny show that you will love to watch in order to learn English!

Big bang theory:

This sitcom is very popular and very entertaining. It follows a group of geeky friends and their daily adventures. It’s easy to understand and very visual to work out new words in context. There are 12 seasons so if you really like the show you have a lot of material to improve and work on your English!

living room with a tv and sofa


Stranger Things:

If you love Science-Fiction, this one is for you! This show is a supernatural comedy set in the 1980s. All the main characters are children so it is very easy to understand too. The plot is slightly more complicated to understand than Modern Family but it is as entertaining and very addictive!

The Good Place:

This TV show takes place in what looks like heaven, “the good place” and we follow a bunch of characters in their new home. The plot is very simple and a lot of the actions are repetitive and easy to understand. The vocabulary is rich but not too difficult to understand either, which makes it a great TV show for intermediate English learners!

American Horror story:

This one is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a TV show that focuses on horror, suspense and fantasy. It is highly entertaining and each season has its own plot: some seasons are easier to get around than others. If you don’t like the theme of the season, you can just watch another one!

The Crown:

If you like history (British History, to be precise!) then you will love this show. It follows the life of Queen Elizabeth but in a very romanced way, which makes it highly enjoyable. Plus, you will pick up an incredible British accent, the same as the Queen herself!



Sherlock is an iconic British character imagined by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was adapted many many times but this TV series might be one of the best. It is fun, modern and addictive. Each plot is well designed and will leave you on the edge of your seat. There are a lot of vocabulary words to learn and they can speak a bit too fast sometimes, that’s why it is meant for advanced learners.

Brooklyn 99:

Brooklyn 99 is a TV show about “cops”, policemen in New-York city. We follow adorable and very funny characters in their everyday lives at a New York police precinct. This show is highly entertaining and hilarious, but the words used and fast paced dialogs can be sometimes a bit difficult to understand. The plots are not too complicated so it makes up for the dialogs!


How about a superhero series? In this TV show, we follow five young people that were sentenced to do community service. On their very first day, they are all struck by some lighting that gives them superpowers! This show is very entertaining but the difficulty lies in their accents: they have a strong British accent from different regions which makes it difficult to understand if you’re not used to it. But it’s definitely a great way to train your ear to different accents!

How to learn English through TV series and TV shows?

Each learner is different and you might find some techniques that work (or don’t) best for you. You have several ways of learning English while watching your TV show: You can just sit back, relax and put on English subtitles. Not your native language! Putting English subtitles on is way better because it will train your ear to associate what you hear with what you read. It will also help you with spelling and pronunciation. When you put the subtitles in your native tongue, your brain only focuses on this and you completely lose the English!

You can take a pen and paper (or a notebook especially dedicated to it!) and note down new, important vocabulary words. You can also write down after each peculiar scene (a funny scene, a scary one, an entertaining one, one that you didn’t like that much etc) and try to explain why.

Finally, you can watch scenes or short episodes and try to rephrase them in your own words with a short summary! Try to avoid pausing every 2 minutes as it will prevent you from enjoying / following the plot correctly.

Pros of learning English through TV series and shows

There are a few advantages of learning English through TV series and TV shows that are backed up by real scientific research. Here are the reasons why learning English with TV show and series can really help you:

  • It improves your listening skills, comprehension and vocabulary. You get to hear real spoken English. You hear in context dialogs. Vocabulary words are in context as well which makes them easier to memorize and understand!
  • Repetition helps: watch your favourite episode or TV show over and over again with your notes, try to memorize the words, the pronunciation… Repetitions, when spaced regularly (a few days apart), are one of the most efficient ways to learn and memorize! Listening to podcasts or to music and songs will also help you with your listening skills and therefore your memory.
  • Your brain works best before you sleep. At least, your memory does! So you want to watch your TV show at the end of the day, before you get to sleep. Reading your notes just before you fall asleep can really help your memory too. You might also consider playing games at the end of your day to improve your English while resting.
  • Use subtitles, but in english exclusively! This will help you associate what you hear with what you re ad, and really keep your brain focused on the language!

Finally, watchin TV shows is an excellent method of improving your English but do not forget that you should also learn English on various websites or with language learning applications for more results.

woman eating popcorn and watching tv

Our tips to learn English while watching your favourite TV show

Now that you know why, here are some tips on how learning while watching your favourite TV show can help you improve in English:

Tip#1: Choose TV shows with short episodes, especially if you’re a beginner

If the episodes are too long you might be overwhelmed by the vocabulary and not follow the plot correctly. If you don’t understand anything you’re seeing or hearing (whether it be the plot or the language), it will bore you out very quickly! Remember one of the keys to learning is to stay motivated and to be consistent.

Tip#2: Watch them with english subtitles, NOT your own language

We already mentioned it, but watching something with your native tongue’s subtitles really keeps you from focusing on the English language. It will help your brain associate what you’re seeing with what you’re reading, as well as improve your spelling skills. You should also try to read stories and novels in English as often as possible in order to improve your reading skills.

Tip#3: Work out the show’s meaning with context

If you don’t understand something, avoid pressing pause every 2 words. This will make the show very hard to understand and not entertaining. Instead, try to work out what the characters say in context. Look for clues on screen and deduce the meaning of what you want to understand with what’s on screen. This is why watching TV can be easy too, you see what’s on screen, so you have visual clues as to what certain words might mean. Alternatively you can also watch movies or cartoons to get similar results.

Learning English with our General English program

If you enjoyed watching your favourite TV show but you feel like you want to take your English skills a step further, you can always hop on with us at GlobalExam and follow our General English course. We provide a wide variety of lessons and exercises that are fun and are meant to keep you motivated in your learning journey. Train your English with us and discover all the different ways you can learn English and you will find tons of lessons that will help you and get more confident in English. You will also find detailed, in depth corrections that ensure you understood everything perfectly so you can be sure you progress at your own rhythm.

There are revision and vocabulary sheets accessible anytime, anywhere too.What are you waiting for ? Let’s learn English together !