The Benefits of Watching Movies with Subtitles in Language Learning

by | May 21, 2023

Movies create a real-life context for students to learn a language. They understand how to use vocabulary and phrases in a variety of situations.

By watching movies, students learn to use common expressions. It makes it easier to remember how to use the words in communication in the future.

Specifically, movies with subtitles can help learners understand the language better. A report by ResearchGate shows subtitles improve the development of vocabulary. It is important for the success of language learning.

If learners fail to grasp an adequate understanding of words, they might fail in education outcomes. 

The role of subtitles in developing communication skills

Human beings communicate in diverse ways. In college, learners communicate through writing, face-to-face, and online.

They need to use the right words to express themselves correctly. It would not matter how well they have mastered grammar or sounds. Without proper use of words, they can never communicate in a meaningful way.

The size of the vocabulary a learner has learned affects their writing skills. 

A learner must develop the skills fast. Multimedia technology is playing a great role in promoting these skills. Students take time to watch movies on TV, computers, smartphones, and online.

If the movie is in a student’s second language, it might be harder to follow. Movies with subtitles help the student learn a language better.

They play a great role in developing language skills. 

A student with proficient language skills is good at writing essays. They understand content during research and reading.

The student effectively develops arguments. Their performance keeps improving as they build more vocabulary skills.

At times, even native speakers have problems with written communication. They leverage the benefits of expert writers on website. They can find help with different English assignments to check their problems and improve writing skills.

The site has a pool of qualified native writers with excellent knowledge of writing essays. 

Activating the listening and speaking parts of the brain

The brain is important in developing listening and speaking abilities. The frontal and temporal lobes help with speech formation.

The two parts are important in cognition development. According to NIH, several things help in the growth of the lobes. Amen Clinics lists them as:

  • Listening to music or watching movies
  • Rhythmic movements
  • Memorizing sentences and words
  • Solving puzzles and brain games

Language learning apps are different from movies. The trainer speaks at a slower rate which can slow down the speaking rate.

Subtitles play at the same speed as in an ordinary conversation. They help accelerate listening and speaking rates in learners.

To increase the rate of learning, a student needs to re-watch the movies. They may replay their favorite subtitles.

As they watch, they need to focus on what is being said. 

Boosting memory and cognition in students

A review in Google Scholar shows subtitles help boost memory and cognition. The report shows adults who watch subtitled movies remember the events better.

Cognition Today reports that subtitles boost the mental capacity needed for reading and listening. AI Media reports that watching subtitles increases comprehension abilities. 

It boosts understanding between the sound, its meaning, and its context. The report says it does not matter if the subtitle is in a native or second language.

Cognition development helps a student to improve attention rate and thinking. They develop a greater curiosity to explore things.

There are many inspiring movies for students that can help them increase their learning abilities.  

They help build better skills for writing a research paper or in studies. Moreover, subtitles expose viewers to a variety of accents.

They hear different pronunciations, and grammar structures. Such experiences help learners stretch their thinking further. 

They may try to compare the accent with another accent in a different movie. This experience increases their memory capacity and cognition power. To get the best outcomes, a student needs to mix subtitles from different countries.

Improved performance in education

In most countries, education is delivered in English. In many institutions, students are required to learn English as a second language.

It starts from elementary schools to high schools and colleges. To join universities abroad, they are required to prove their proficiency in English. 

Regardless, many learners still lag in English fluency be it in writing or speaking. The main challenge is that most students engage in memorization to pass exams.

They fail to capture and learn day-to-day communication in English. The time offered for classroom lessons is limited which reduces their speed of gaining fluency. 

In several studies, researchers found that watching subtitles help increase performance in education. Technology is consistently evolving giving students access to a wide range of movies.

They spend many hours watching movies with subtitles. They build in them a combination of skills. 

They develop their grammar both spoken and written. They understand how to use English in day-to-day commutation.

This is beyond the formal English they are used to learning in the classroom. Even without realizing it, they begin to use the skills to improve formal English.

They improve their research paper writing skills. In the long run, they record improved performance in education. 

The power of visuals in learning language and brain development

It is commonly said that a picture is more valuable than thousands of words. It is correct to say that its value increases when voice and text are added.

This is true especially when learning a language. The visual effect in a movie helps improve comprehension among learners.

It strengthens their recall capacity. Through visuals, a student’s learning speed increases by many times. 

Visuals can also motivate viewers to learn more. The more interesting a subtitle is, the more a student takes an interest in learning.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that visuals increase memorization. They improve learning by 400%.

Research shows the brain processes visuals more by 600x. They play an important role in language learning. 


The speed at which a student learns language helps boost their performance in education. One of the ways to increase learning is to watch movies with subtitles. They provide an array of benefits to students.

They increase the development of cognition and memory, and students learn speaking and listening skills. The visuals help promote brain development and language learning.