Improving Listening skills at home

Updated: Nov 11, 2021


A great way to improve your English listening skills is to watch Netflix with the audio in English and the subtitles also in English. A series is better than a film because each episode is normally 40 to 60 minutes and therefore you don't have to concentrate for too long! Follow these steps.


  • Select a series that you are interested in and that you think you will enjoy. For example a police drama or a cooking competition.

  • Turn English subtitles on.

  • Watch episode one. Use the subtitles to help understand the dialogue.

  • While reading the subtitles try to actively listen at the same time.

  • After watching a few episodes try re-watching an episode with the subtitles turned off. How was it? If you feel you understood a lot of the dialogue try watching the remaining episodes with the dialogue turned off. If you don't follow enough of the story with the subtitles off you can switch them back on.

While listening you don't have to understand all of the dialogue but just enough that you can follow and enjoy the story.


Here are a couple of Netflix series suggestions to try.

  • "Emily in Paris" Fashion, Romance & Marketing. American and french accents.

  • "Line of Duty" British police drama. Wide range of British accents.

Watching Netflix in this way is also good for IELTS Listening preparation as it develops the skill of listening and reading at the same time which is needed in the IELTS exam.

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