My favorite English TV shows

study english with tv shows

The other day some of my ‘Basic Listening and Speaking’ students asked me for recommendations regarding TV shows. I mentioned that I didn’t like learning from textbooks as well and hence learned from reading novels and watching TV shows. So I came up with this post about my 5 favorite English speaking TV programs. However those shows are not education related or designed to study English. I simply like those shows and figured they really helped me – at least somehow. And learning is always easier when you like what you watch / hear. So here we go:

5.) How I Met Your Mother
I started to watch HIMYM almost 10 years ago when it first aired and still do even though it’s not that funny anymore how it used to be. But that’s what happens to most shows when the ‘wow something new’ factor disappears. Nevertheless it is still a funny show with some entertaining highlights once in a while.

From an English learning perspective it’s interesting to have different characters with different accents (Canada, NY, Western USA) and different speaking styles. Barney speaks fast and loves word plays, Ted always uses the correct grammar and knows almost everything while Marshall quite often comes up with funny made up words and Robin swears all the time. Hence: A lot to learn 😉

4.) NBA Live Broadcasting
Sports live broadcasting in general (I simply love Basketball) is a great thing to practice your English skills. The ever changing action on the court / field needs your complete attention and while you see what happens you can even pick up some new vocabulary. Besides that it’s also interesting to hear different commentators arguing – which also leads to an improvement in vocabulary and speaking abilities in general.

3.) Late Nite with Conan O’Brian
There are quite a few Late Night shows out there – I prefer Conan over Letterman, Leno or all the others. However all those late nite shows have the basic idea in common: A monologue of the host at first, some witty chats with their sidekicks and then some (more or less) interesting guests.

The cool thing here is that you can learn how conversations can be developed and how you can react in different situations. Furthermore you can even see how irony or humor are being used in order to keep conversations going. So if you are preparing for a presentation or a talk – Late Nite Shows might help to prepare for those occasions 😉

2.) The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory is, to keep it simple, incredibly funny and by far my favorite sitcom at the moment. Besides funny conversations it also presents scientific knowledge (once in a while) in an interesting and understandable way. Furthermore the characters are keep one engaged and develop interesting behaviors and speaking patterns. If you try you can learn a lot from Sheldon, Penny & Co.

1.) Psych
With Psych the USA Network simply created a gold mine. I love this show because of it’s funny main characters, the witty & sometimes even mysterious riddles and crimes or even because of the changing style of the theme song – regarding to the theme of the episode.

Gus and Shawn deliver word battles and word plays on a very high level while also quoting many interesting facts, well known movies and common knowledge. Even after 7 seasons I still love this show and don’t stop learning & laughing.

Those were 5 of my favorite English speaking TV Shows – just because I like them doesn’t mean you have to as well. I simply hope one or two of them help you to improve your English as well. If you have different favorites I’d be glad to hear some of them in comments!

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