4 shows
that helped me
learn English

How my English got great by watching TV Shows.

So many it is impossible to count, to number.

The 2000s.

Comprehend fully.

Enthusiasm to do, have or know something.

To be very lucky. The Jackpot is large cash price in a game or lottery.

To make grow.

Altered weaker version of something that was very good.

To watch multiple episodes of a TV show in a row.

Opinion piece by Laura Martin, Content Manager at What's Up!

Throughout my time as a What’s Up! coach many students asked me how I learnt English, where had I lived abroad or where my parents were from – and I am sure my fellow coaches are still being asked those questions to this day. My answer was pretty simple: I had always loved English and had spent countless hours watching TV shows in English, listening to music, chatting, blogging and making friends online. This all helped me build the courage to speak to an actual human who only spoke English. I basically lived my teenage years and early twenties Living in English from the solitude of my bedroom to then finally  go out into the world and really start living in English.

You are pretty fortunate to have a place like What’s Up! to socialise and speak in English non-stop, but back in the late noughties we didn’t have the Social Club, nor streaming platforms, and YouTube had just started. When I wanted to watch a TV show that hadn’t been picked up by a Spanish TV channel, I had to look for it - and that meant having no subtitles, no translations, nada. That’s how my English was forged. So, if you want to go the extra mile and put your free hours to good use, here are some of the shows that helped me get here. You just need to find the ones that work for you!

One Tree Hill


I was around sixteen when I watched the first episode of this show. It aired on public Spanish TV and, when season one finished, it didn’t air again. I was disappointed and angry, but I found comfort online and started watching the show with Spanish subtitles there. However, when I caught up with the season that was airing in America I was too impatient to wait for subtitles… and decided to continue watching. It’s safe to say that Peyton, Lucas, Brooke, Nathan and Haley were my first English-speaking friends, and I loved following their stories, even though I didn’t understand everything they said. But I grasped the general meaning and kept going. That's the key, my friends.

Gossip Girl

Come on! I wasn’t the only one obsessed over the adventures of Serena van der Woodsen and ‘lonely boy’ back in 2007. People still go to the stairs of the MET to take a picture wearing a bandana like Blair Waldorf (and I am planning to do so myself someday). My eagerness to know more made me watch this TV show completely in English and it didn’t disappoint. Yes, we all hated the ending of the show, but despite that, this picture of rich-people New York City life still deserves a place on my list of favorite shows. Xoxo.


A musical TV show! I hit the jackpot when I discovered Glee in the early 2010s. The show follows a high school choir consisting of a bunch of unpopular-geeks and popular kids with big dreams, great voices and terrible taste in clothing. The show was not only easy to follow - they would sing every 10 minutes! I used to listen to their songs during the week, building up my excitement for the following episode. Those were glorious days. I reckon the show was great for three seasons but it then become a watered-down version of the real Glee in seasons 4 to 6. But I watched it until the end anyway.

Game of Thrones

It is back for its final season and millions of fans around the globe are biting their nails with anticipation to discover what happens to the Starks, the Targaryens, the Lannisters and all the people of Westeros. The first episode aired in 2011 even though I didn’t start watching the show until 2015. I’ve watched it entirely in English and, even though it might be hard to get used to the different accents at first, it’s been completely worthwhile. If you haven’t watched it yet, now is the time to start binge watching it. If you have seen it, start over, but in its original version and without subtitles. Sounds better than studying, doesn’t it?

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