Wanna Be Good at English? - The UOS Times
The UOS Times
Wanna Be Good at English?
Ho Hyun-ji Reporter  |  ghguswl88@uos.ac.kr
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[0호] 승인 2009.03.11  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글
That the American drama craze has reached its peak is a well known fact. ‘MID’, a shortened word for the American drama as a Korean word has already became a proper noun as well as new words like ‘MIDs’ and ‘MID addicts’; people who are addicted to the American dramas.

After the American dramas started to be broadcast on TV, it is a close runner for the popularity of the Korean dramas and their audience ratings. Following the popularity of the American dramas, it quickly became an English teaching tool to office workers and university students.

For quite a while English has been important not only for getting a job or a promotion, but also daily life. Lately, however, speaking English has become the fastest growing skill. Several companies value speaking skills more highly than TOEIC or TEPS scores.

So students who want to get a job prepare for English interview or speaking tests such as OPIc or IELTS, TOEFL. Most university students and workers feel pressure to study not just grammar, reading and vocabulary but also speaking English. It is a natural thing, therefore, that people who are on the receiving end of this pressure value the American dramas highly as a way to study English. It’s like killing two birds with one stone because people can study English by watching television programs they like.

While the American dramas were growing in popularity, many people wanted to study English this way. But watching these shows that we like as much as possible isn’t helpful in studying English. It’s very important to know the most effective way to study English using TV shows.

Find One That Fits You
‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘CSI’ and ‘Prison Break’ which were broadcast on TV are not a good choice as English learning tools. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ deals with daily life in a hospital, characters use a lot of technical terms related to medical science and also in ‘CSI’, a criminal investigation drama, many technical terms related to criminal investigation are used.

These dramas are far from an English textbook for beginners, while ‘Prison Break’ which deals with jailbreak is also not appropriate to be an English textbook because the characters use excessive amounts of slang.

The American dramas that deal with the daily lives of families, friends and coworkers such as ‘Friends’ that have long been used as English textbooks or ‘Desperate Housewives’ or ‘Smallville’ are very good for textbooks. Because we can learn ordinary language, various humor and metaphorical expressions through watching these dramas.

Watch to the End without Subtitles
If you want to just watch dramas that you like, it’s not a problem if you watch with subtitles or not. But if you want to both study English and watch the drama you like, watching without subtitles is much better than if you do.

If you feel it’s difficult to understand the story of the drama, then, at least use English subtitle rather than Korean. Using Korean subtitles is not helpful to English study because we can’t concentrate on the voices while reading. Watching a drama to the end is better than watching sections that you can’t understand repeatedly.

We may differ from each other in how we use the American dramas to study English, but the important thing is to know that a journey of a thousand miles must begin with the first step. The excessive passion that causes people to watch more than ten episodes everyday is not helpful.

Fortunately, we feel less bored about studying English when watching dramas than with other ways of studying, so if we do study with the American dramas steadily we can gain a big learning effect, more than we expected.

All of university students who feel difficulty studying English and are tired of studying English for over ten years, it’s time to watch the American dramas!

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