Question of the Week: Number 1

 Question Box

What are some American and British TV shows I can watch to improve my English listening skills?

This question came from one of my students recently. Our conversation went something like this:

Student: What are some American and British TV shows I can watch to improve my English and hear both accents?

Me: Well, it depends on what kind of TV shows you like. What do you like? Are you interested in dramas and FBI type shows?

Student: No, I don’t like those. I like comedies.

Me: Have you heard of The Big Bang Theory? It’s a popular show about a group of friends who are scientists that work at the California Institute of Technology.

Student: That sounds good.

Me: I don’t really know a lot of British shows, but I’ll find some and let you know. I would also try finding both an American and a British YouTube channel you like. That’s another great way to hear accents and natural English.

Here are a few recommendations:

Modern Family: An American sitcom (situational comedy) about a diverse extended family. Currently in Season 9.

The A Word: I haven’t started watching this yet. I found it when I was searching. I’m planning to start watching it. It’s a BBC comedy drama about a family whose youngest son is diagnosed with autism.

The IT Crowd: Another show I haven’t watched. It’s a British sitcom centered around 3 staff members of an IT department.

Finally, here’s a fantastic YouTube comparison of The Office UK and The Office USA. It’s fast-paced, but has decent CC subtitles. Surprisingly, the subtitles are mostly accurate. This video also explains the differences between British and American comedy. I prefer American humor for all the reasons explained in the video. I’ve watched the American version of The Office but have very little interest in the UK version. Lots of people prefer the UK version. It all depends on your taste.

Have a question? Let me know either in a comment below or by sending me a message on my Facebook page.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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