The Most Popular TV Shows Every Advanced English Language Student Should Be Watching

Learning a new language can be a challenging task, however, using television programs can be a great outlet to advance your vocabulary.


How to Improve Your English Listening Skills

As an English language student, finding new and exciting ways to develop your skills can be a trial. Trying to keep the learning process as varied as possible is important in ensuring you stay motivated. Reading and writing can become dull after long practice sessions. As an alternative, focusing on your listening abilities can open-up interesting studying methods. This can make life as an English language student more fun and will engage you in the different dialects the country offers. The method is simple: watch television.

English television has an array of shows on offer. They can inform you on current affairs, educate you on England’s historical background, expose you to British culture, and provide you with the staple TV diet of all English homeowners.

Using Media to Learn English In England

You can avoid having to research what to watch, and where to watch it, by using this comprehensive list of English TV shows as a guideline. These TV programs will show you popular elements of English culture, and help you connect with the language even more.

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Fun and Informative Comedy:

  • Have I Got News For You – an established panel show using news and current affairs in a comedic light. If you want to learn and study about English news, whilst laughing constantly, then this is the show for you. Found on BBC and Dave.
  • QI – another British comedy quiz program. It was hosted by Stephen Fry (the most stereotypically English man in television) and focuses on panellists attempting to answer obscure questions. Most responses have a comedic twist, so the show is educational and introduces viewers to English humour. Found on BBC channels.

Historical Dramas:

  • Peaky Blinders – set in 1920s Birmingham, England this criminal drama shows life as part of an urban youth gang. With money, violence and power it presents the historical reality people lived through in the country after World War One. Apart from being one of the most successful dramas on TV, it allows you to listen to how the harsh Birmingham accent originated. Found on BBC Two.
  • The Crown – a drama following the life of Queen Elizabeth II. As an English language student, knowing about the monarchy is a priority. Being able to listen and watch the spectacle of Her Majesty’s life unfold is an opportunity you cannot miss. Make sure The Crown features in your list of TV shows to catch up on. Found on Netflix.
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Young woman laughing while watching TV in the living room

British Culture:

  • Doctor Who ­– a mixture of drama, comedy, science-fiction and adventure all in one. This cult classic depicts the travels of a Time Lord called ‘the Doctor’ in his time-travelling ship known as the Tardis. A show that has held its popularity in England for over 50 years is a must-see to develop your language skills. Its unique storytelling and complex characters put it on a pedestal in Britain’s TV culture. Found on BBC One.

Soap Operas: 

  • Coronation Street – a long-standing British soap opera. It centres around a fictional town in inner-city Salford and follows an array of characters’ lives. The history behind this English program is huge due to it almost having reached its 10,000th To engulf yourself in the language, soap operas cannot be avoided as they provide daily entertainment to millions of British homes.

Benefits of Watching English TV

Taking the time to look into these shows is something you will not regret. Along with being a relaxing way to study, it reveals different English dialects and history you would not have encountered before. Use these recommendations to educate yourself in the immense diversity English television culture offers.

Do not neglect television, it is always the best and easiest technique to truly immerse yourself in a new language.