Do you often find yourself binge-watching your favourite series on Netflix instead of doing your homework? Well, for English language students watching English TV shows is one of the most beneficial things you could do! Watching TV is a brilliant way to improve your listening skills and learn British slang while immersing yourself in the world of British popular culture. Here’s a list of the best English language Netflix series you should watch to improve your English.
The Crown follows the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II as she navigates political rivalries in public life and romantic interests in her private life. This series is full of brilliant performances and offers students the chance to experience an in depth account of the British Royal Family throughout the 20th century. The cast speak with Received Pronunciation (RP) so it is relatively easy to follow the dialogue, although any slang used will now be out-of-date.
DO watch this if you want to speak English like the Queen!
DON’T watch this to learn modern slang.
The Inbetweeners is vulgar, outrageous and hilarious in equal measures. The series follows the narrator Will as he moves from a private school to a run-of-the-mill comprehensive. Does this sound a bit boring? Well, that’s exactly why the show was such a success – it found comedy and absurdity in ordinary situations faced by British school students. The Inbetweeners is full of modern British slang but most of it should definitely not be said in class!
DO watch this if you want to learn common British slang.
DON’T repeat anything you hear them say!
Luther is a gritty detective drama based in central London. This series launched the career of Idris Elba who is now an international movie star and is packed full of exceptional performances from the rest of the cast. Each episode focuses on a new case and is full of twists and turns to keep the audience guessing. Many of the cast members speak with a regional British accent, so Luther makes for great listening practice!
DO try to solve the case as you watch!
DON’T show this to your parents before you come to London!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one of the most revered figures in British literary history and his famed detective Sherlock Holmes has long been a household name. This reboot has brought famous tales like The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Reichenbach Fall to a whole new audience by casting the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role. The dialogue is lightening quick and the performances are exceptional, particularly Andrew Scott as the evil Moriarty.
DO visit Baker Street in London to see where Sherlock Holmes lives!
DON’T try to watch this if your language level is only elementary, Watson….
The Office is widely regarded as one of the greatest British comedies of all time. Famous for its “mockumentary” style, The Office has a cult following due to its ability to find absurd humour in the mundanity of a boring office environment. The script emphasises naturalistic spoken English and the punch lines are often muttered under the actors’ breath so if you can follow The Office, there’s nothing you can’t watch.
DO watch this to learn natural spoken English.
DON’T put your classmate’s stapler inside jelly.
(You’ll understand when you watch the series…)