A statue small enough to be carried or placed on a shelf.
To benefit from a situation.
To have trouble speaking due to a tendency to repeat sounds.
Informal speech often very specific to a place.
A movie that tells the story of a real-life person, often a celebrity.
To be about or concentrate primarily on something.
The beginning of something.
A woman who used to live with children and teach them at home.
The 92nd Academy Awards –or, as everyone calls them, the Oscars– will be celebrated on February 10th and we honestly can’t wait to see which movies, directors and actors will take the statuettes home!
Cinema is one of the most effective ways for English students to expand their vocabulary, so we’ve decided to take advantage of the occasion to gather a list of award-winning movies that will help you learn the language. You may have already seen some of these in Spanish, so here’s an excuse to re-watch them!
The King’s Speech
Academy Award winner in 2011
A British historical drama film, The King’s Speech was highly acclaimed upon its release in 2010. The film tells the story of soon-to-be King George VI, who enlists the help of a speech therapist to overcome his stuttering issues. Coincidentally, King George VI’s brother abdicates and, as a newly appointed king, he must deliver a speech to announce Britain’s declaration of war on Nazi Germany.
The King’s Speech is a great movie to watch if you want to familiarise yourself with different accents. It’s also curious how much of the film revolves around George VI’s efforts to improve his pronunciation, so there’s also a lot to be learned from him!
Academy Award winner in 1995
Forrest Gump might easily be one of the most popular movies of all time – almost everyone has seen it at least once! Not only is Forrest a relatable character who goes through all kinds of experiences, but his story also takes us through several decades of American history.
There are two main reasons why Forrest Gump is a great choice if you want to improve your English. On the one hand, Forrest tends to talk slowly, which makes it easier for beginners to follow the film’s events. The movie, however, also works for advanced learners, who will get the chance to learn a lot of American English slang.
The Theory of Everything
Academy Award winnerin 2015
Even though The Theory of Everything did not win any Academy Awards as a movie, it did earn Eddie Redmayne an Oscar due to his stellar performance as Stephen Hawking. A biopic about the scientist’s paralysing illness and his relationship with his wife, The Theory of Everything is a captivatingly moving story that teaches us what it’s like to overcome obstacles.
Most characters in the movie speak formal and clear British English, which enables learners to follow what is going on with ease. Advanced students, on the other hand, will learn more specific vocabulary relating to science, which abounds throughout the story.
Toy Story 3
Academy Award winner in 2011
Who hasn’t seen at least one of the Toy Story movies? Even though Toy Story 3 was the first film in the saga to receive an Academy Award, all of them make for great watching… and English learning! Just like the previous two movies, Toy Story 3 focuses on the joys and hardships of Andy’s toys – this time, however, the story revolves around their fears about the future. Andy is now a university student and the toys do not know what will become of them.
Since Toy Story 3 is a movie aimed at all audiences, the vocabulary is simple enough for beginners to follow, yet the story is complex enough for more sophisticated speakers to learn useful vocabulary. Fun and educational for all levels!
The Sound of Music
Academy Award winner in 1966
We simply cannot miss the chance to include a classic movie! The Sound of Music is a fantastic example of how musicals can help us learn English. Set at the onset of World War II, the movie tells the story of Maria, a governess who takes care of the Von Trapp children and falls in love with their father. The story combines light-hearted musical scenes and darker moments about the war.
The songs from musicals tend to be slower and better enunciated than usual, as they are carefully integrated into a narrative. There’s also the fact that you might already be familiar with the story – re-watching movies in a new language makes you enjoy them from a different perspective and follow the story easily!