Learning and Relaxing! The Best 20 TV Shows for English Learners

Elly KimRevisado porKateryna Protsenko / más sobre Proceso editorial18 min
Creado: Oct 1, 2022Última actualización: Jan 24, 2024
The Best 20 TV Shows for English Learners

To prevent English lessons from becoming a boring routine, you need to dilute your study with interesting additional sources and tasks. Very often, such sources can be music, games, TV series, and television shows.

Classes with an individual teacher are very useful, but not available to everyone. In this case, special language video channels come to the rescue. They will help you practice pronunciation, begin to understand speech better and learn important nuances of the real use of the English language. This collection contains resources that are useful for both beginners and experienced students who have been studying a foreign language for a long time.

Types of English shows

There are different directions for English TV shows. As a rule, talk shows are held in the form of a conversation between the presenter and the participants invited to the studio. Participants may be associated with any events or be experts on the issue under consideration. The audience in the studio can also sometimes participate in the conversation.

There are distinctions between music shows. They are held in the form of competitions for performing skills. They differ from conventional music programs by the non-definiteness of the result.

TV shows also include various sports or intellectual games or quizzes.

There are categories of "documentary" TV shows. These include TV shows with short stories about any events, in between which they are discussed in the studio. Also, the so-called reality shows are referred to as "documentaries". They are based on the principle of observing the lives of people who behave naturally.

There are also "theatrical" shows where actors play. In some cases, the entertaining nature of such shows is not hidden. Sometimes the actors' acting is interpreted as a reconstruction of real events.

TV shows for English learners

The talk show has several advantages because the live language of the talk show is as close as possible to native speakers. Talk shows are filled with modern vocabulary, speech phrases, and slang. This is very useful if you don't want English to be unnecessarily academic. All movies, books, or TV shows are coming out at the moment; they will appear on talk shows. There is also a lot of mention of politics, so you'll see new political terms in context.

The topics of talk shows are very diverse, different guests come to them and discuss all events. Due to the diversity of guests (their origin, place of residence, lifestyle, and professions), you can hear a lot of accents and manners of speech.

1. The Voice

"The Voice" is one of the most popular shows around the world. It came from Holland in 2012. The show "The Voice" instills in the viewer a taste for good quality music. It gives talented performers a chance to show themselves, create and show the right image the performer. All participants of the show (host, mentors, and contestants) support human qualities such as kindness, honesty, fairness, cooperation, and support through their actions.

This show presents natural speech. The moderator and mentors ask questions and support the conversation. This is great for teaching natural conversation.

2) The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has been broadcast in many countries around the world for fifteen years. The duration of each issue is 60 minutes. Host Ellen DeGeneres is an actress and a TV presenter of the eponymous show – The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She talks to the guests of the program about recent events in their personal life or the social and political life of America. The conversation is carried out in sit-down chat format and, as a rule, has a duration of 5-8 minutes. The guests are most often well-known public people, but ordinary Americans can also be invited. The participants of the program use speech cliches in their speech, which will help in learning English. You will memorize difficult words in the English language. You can also listen to many different accents and the ways people talk. People who are guests can be from anywhere in the world, the way they talk is very different. It helps you practice your listening skills to understand different accents.

3) Travel Man

Travel Man is a travel program. This is an English documentary. The presenter spends 2 days with the star in some country.

New episodes are released regularly. The talk show is available to watch on TV or the Internet, so it's easy to find and watch! With this show, you will learn how to imitate British and American accents. Travel Man is a complete immersion in the language environment.

4) Conan

This show is hosted by Conan O'Brien. He has hosted many other shows, such as “Late Night” and “The Tonight Show.” The presenter is a musician, actor, and comedian. Since he is a well-known personality, he has friends among many famous people. Therefore, their conversations are more friendly than interviews.

During the conversation, you will see how to be funny without offending anyone. It's also like chatting with old friends you haven't seen for a long time. Sometimes he goes to different places for filming, for example, an issue where he is in a Korean spa with Steven Yeun from “The Walking Dead.”

To make the English from the TV show as useful as possible, scroll through some moments several times. Write down interesting or incomprehensible expressions and analyze them. This way you will stop putting off English and start acting.

5) Loose Women

This show has been around since 1999. It involves four women who communicate with each other and interview guests.

The ability to talk to several people at the same time in English is a useful skill for parties or events. So you can pay attention to how they include everyone in the conversation. Taylor Swift was on the show once when she was just starting to be a celebrity!

By paying attention to how people talk to each other, you will be able to improve your English and break your main fear of English. So enjoy watching!

6) Jimmy Kimmel Live!

This is the late-night talk show of American host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel. This daily show is very popular with viewers across America and beyond.

The live conversational English of Kimmel and his star guests will help you plunge into the language environment, expand your vocabulary, and improve your English completely unnoticeable.

7) Masterchef

The American culinary reality show "Master Chef" is a real TV tutorial for everyone who wants to learn how to cook and improve their English at the same time. The charismatic host of the show is legendary chef Gordon Ramsay.

The show will allow you to get acquainted with live English and different accents. It will allow the viewer to observe the fate of chefs and, finally, expand the vocabulary with "culinary" vocabulary.

8) «QI»

The British intellectual comedy-game program will help you not only to improve your English but also to laugh heartily. The show will especially appeal to fans of British humor. Participants are asked questions. Points are awarded not only for correct but also for the most original and funny answers. Fans of Stephen Fry should also pay attention to this program; he was the host of the show until 2016.

A show helps to train your understanding of English jokes.

9) «Oprah»

The Oprah Winfrey show has had a tremendous impact on American popular culture. It was on TV screens for 25 years and became the longest in the history of America. The program is no longer being released, but at your disposal – more than 4,500 issues with a variety of guests! These shows are funny, but they are fictional and can have really unusual situations that don't happen in real life. And here are a few reasons why talk shows are good for learning English conversation: Natural Speech.

Often, talk shows in English are most convenient to watch on their own YouTube channels. In addition, English-language broadcasts can be found on the following portals:

  • YouTube TV
  • SideReel
  • CTV
  • GlobalTV

TV Series for learning English

TV series also help in language learning. Many people, who speak a foreign language perfectly, without being native speakers, watch cool TV shows in the original language.

Many people say that they are "not ready to watch TV series and movies in English." They explain that they need to "learn more". But these are just excuses. You can start learning English from good TV shows and TV series by watching them in the original with subtitles in your native language.

The more you practice watching movies in English, the better you will know the language. Gradually, you will be able to switch to watching TV series with English subtitles and, ultimately, without subtitles at all.

This method of study is not suitable for everyone. It will be appreciated by visuals — people who remember the maximum amount of information by perceiving images. The level of language proficiency is not so important; you can start watching movies and TV series from the Elementary level.

1) Alf

This is an American comedy series. Alf is an alien from the planet Malmak. He followed the signal of an amateur radio operator from the Earth and made an emergency landing in the Tanners’ barn. In each episode, Alf learns new things about the Earth and makes friends both in the Tanner family and beyond.

Here you have both entertainment and study. You can learn the most important aspect of the language. And this is an aspect of language - the ability to express one thought with many colloquial options. It is a sitcom with dialogues on everyday topics, with which you can learn the names of almost all everyday objects. Therefore, anyone who wants to tighten up their conversational — look, listen to, and absorb.

2) Friends

The series appeared on screens in 1994. Popularity has led to the fact that this series has been translated into many languages and is used as educational material in many countries of the world.

The main characters are three girls: Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe, and three guys: Joe, Ross, and Chandler. They get into all sorts of situations, often comical. They fall in love, get burned, break up, come together again – the usual life of young people,

This sitcom is a wonderful example of live conversational speech. The dialogues of "Friends" are full of modern expressions, phrasal verbs, idioms, and proverbs. This will greatly help you in learning modern English.

The characters of "Friends" get into all life situations, so a rich vocabulary and phrasal stock, suitable for everyday communication, is provided to you!

Watching the series will always lift even the saddest mood!

3) "Pirates of the Caribbean"

Pirates are not the most positive characters in the world, but this movie is worth watching and having fun with friends.

It is an adventure film rich in vivid dialogues. It is also ideal for those who are just starting to learn English.

4) Shameless

It is an American comedy-drama series. Shameless is an emotional roller coaster in which fans laughed and cried. The series "Shameless" is dedicated to the life of a troubled family that survives as best it can – for 11 seasons. It tells about the everyday life of a dysfunctional family – an alcoholic father and his six children. While Frank spends his days searching for alcohol or illegal substances, the children live independently. In addition to the Gallaghers, we see a description of the lives of their neighbors and other residents of the southern outskirts of Chicago.

This film teaches stable expressions and various dialects well.

5) Extr@

This is a 2002 comedy that was filmed in the UK. The comedy series was filmed just for those who study foreign languages. It presents different versions for different languages, including English, and fixed subtitles to facilitate learning.

The plots of the series are simple but fascinating, and the characters' speech is easy to understand. It is what beginners need. Extr@ is specially filmed so that the viewer understands and learns elementary phrases. A student or an adult will definitely do it if he watches, or even better – repeats after the characters. You will be able to study topics such as the tenses of the Simple group, the imperative mood, and the plural of nouns.

6) Desperate Housewives

One of those TV shows that you start watching and can't stop. The plot tells about four friends whose lives are full of intrigues and mysteries. The characters talk about everyday things, so it will be easy to understand them.

There are always a lot of episodes about the same thing in the series. The same people, in the same places, communicate about the same topics. After watching this series, you will definitely remember the necessary phrases for small talk. Everyone is constantly asking how everyone is doing, how are the children, schools, and work. Inevitably, the phrases are remembered. The language in the series is simple and ordinary, without unnecessary professional additives. This is ideal for beginners in English.

7) Game of Thrones

This is a fantasy for the Advanced level. This is a story about the struggle of the families of Westeros for the Iron throne with unpredictable plot twists. In "Game of Thrones" there are expressions that are unlikely to be useful to you in everyday life. But you will get used to the English language and different accents that are not heard in dubbing in your native language.

8) Sherlock

This is a thriller and detective - a modern interpretation of the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle. There are star British actors, and theatrical. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy excellent English pronunciation for an hour and a half.

You will remember to solve a crime, suspect, and a few other words from the detective dictionary. And in general – just enjoy the speech of the main character and his colleagues. You've known the plot for a long time.

9) “Crown”

This is a series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. If you like historical films, detective stories, or biographical stories, this movie is for you. The film is about the reign of the queen from the age of 25 until the death of Princess Diana in 1997.

For English learners, the series is useful. You will diversify your vocabulary with various jokes, phrases, and cliches. The language in this series is simple, if your level is pre-intermediate, then you feel free to take up watching.

Cartoons for learning English

Almost any cartoons shot in the original language are good for learning English. They are the best TV shows to learn English. But still, the format of TV series with episodes from 5 to 25 minutes will be optimal. Start with educational cartoons. They were originally conceived as assistants when learning a language. The characters speak in shorter and clearer phrases. And many words and expressions are especially repeated from series to series for better memorization.

1) The Simpsons.

This is a funny humorous cartoon that adults like for its unusual satire.

The Simpsons are really one of the best educational materials for learning English in an interesting format. This cartoon occupies a special place among the other series and cartoons. It is suitable for students because of the diverse vocabulary from different spheres of life.

2) Pocahontas.

This is a story about the relationship between an English soldier and the daughter of an Indian chief.

When you watch a cartoon that you like, you start watching it in English. This cartoon will make significant changes not only in your ability to understand but also in your desire to learn English.

You will be passionate because you will identify with the characters. This will significantly accelerate the learning of English.

3) Family Guy

This is the most politically incorrect animated series about an unusual family. The series is about the eccentric fat man Peter Griffin and his family: his wife, three children, and a talking dog. They live in the city of Quahog and make bad jokes all the time.

There are so many idioms and other expressions in American English that you can hardly understand without special study. This series is full of slang, which is popular in youth circles.


Why are best-rated TV shows useful?

Nowadays, in the time of technology, almost everyone is on the Internet. Whether it's lunchtime, breakfast time, or a trip to school, or work, everyone is watching YouTube, TikTok, or just movies. However, you can not only enjoy watching but also spend minutes usefully.

The Promova platform helps you learn English anywhere, choosing a convenient amount of time and an interesting format. A useful application helps you focus on a specific aspect of the language. You can become a better version of yourself by mastering a useful skill. The platform also offers classes with a tutor.

You can talk to a tutor on completely different topics: from health to business.

The platform is suitable for beginners and experienced English users. Theory and practice are conducted in a clear and accessible language. All topics are perfectly structured — from easy to complex. A big plus is that this site has almost all sections for practice, namely: the translation of songs, videos, articles, tests, and TV shows.

Why TV shows in English are useful:

  1. Vocabulary increases. Memorize verbal forms, expressions, and stable combinations;
  2. Listening is improved. You learn to understand what the speaker says. If you can perceive information at such a speed, then you will not get lost when talking to a foreigner;
  3. The rest continues. You learn a language, but you still watch TV series;
  4. You work on the pronunciation. It is enough to repeat after the characters, copy their intonation and the correct name of things;
  5. It is immersion in the peculiarities of the culture of another country. Many phrases and humor are based on the origin of words, and the irony is based on successful turns, which in principle cannot be translated into your native language.

How to watch the best educational TV shows for adults?

TV shows can be watched with or without subtitles. It all depends on what kind of training you have. If you have a similar experience and have seen this TV series before, then you can watch it without subtitles. But it is important to remember how well you are doing with listening. There are adapted subs, original or combined. The latter option can mostly be found only on paid online players and by subscription. To understand the meaning of TV series, and TV shows, it is not necessary to know the translation of all the words — it is enough to understand the general idea. However, it is better to translate unknown phrases and write them down in a notebook.

It is difficult for a beginner to perceive information without subs at all. There is not enough vocabulary, and the speed of reproduction is sometimes greater than the intensity of information processing in the head when translating.

How to learn English TV shows correctly?

There are several tips on how to properly learn English on a TV show:

  • At the first viewing, you may not understand half of the meaning and give up everything. It just means that you got down to business wrong. First you need to choose a training series that you can do.
  • Choose the difficulty. If you start with "Game of Thrones" or "Sherlock" without having proper training, then you will not understand anything. To begin with, it is advisable to focus on simple uncomplicated plots or fascinating cartoons.
  • Watch your favorite genres. If you are excited about horror, watch these movies. Comedies are considered universal — "Friends", "Clinic" and others.
  • Write down new words and pay attention to the context in which they are used. It is better to have a small dictionary. To consolidate knowledge, repeat what you have learned.
  • Review. A great way would be to once again watch the season that you have already seen in your native language. Knowing the plot, you can concentrate on grammar and expressions.


Sometimes there is no opportunity to study in English courses or with a tutor. Therefore, self-study of the language will surprise a few people. The coolest thing is that there are a lot of resources and opportunities.

Having fun and learning is a great motivation. Don't you have enough time to visit the cinema and enjoy the latest movies? You can be ahead of the whole planet! It's no secret that dubbing is carried out only after a few months, and you can afford to view it in the original.

Video and audio materials were and remain the best way to perceive speech. In the initial stages, the use of subtitles is recommended, and after 3-4 months you will be able to refuse them. We can talk about such effectiveness only if we watch videos daily for 20 minutes.

Another aspect of learning a foreign language from films is vocabulary replenishment. In the first stages, you will guess the meaning of the words and compare them with a particular situation on the screen. Later, ready-made lexical expressions will be stored in your memory.


How will TV shows help me learn English?

If we start learning English, then we must get used to the sound of a foreign language. Books are no longer suitable for this. That leaves movies and podcasts. In TV shows and series we see, hear, and read. We do all this at the same time, and over time we acquire another skill - to see what is happening on the screen by looking at subtitles.

The main skill that we train when watching TV shows is listening. The shows are good because it is not the announcer's speech that we are used to hearing in the classroom, but quite a fluent speech.

What are the TV shows for learning English?

It is possible to distinguish the main types of TV shows:

  • Television (talk shows)
  • Reality shows
  • Games
  • Information and entertainment
  • Street performances
  • Sports and technical programs
  • Club programs in various directions

It all depends on the purpose for which you choose to watch a particular TV show.

Learning a language is always quite difficult. But there is a way to start talking fluently without too much effort. TV shows, TV series, movies, and cartoons – everything you need for an interesting and productive study of English.

Where can I find a TV show for learning English?

Now there are many different TV series, and watching them gives a lot of pleasure. It is another huge advantage for forming a stable habit of daily learning English. Thanks to Hollywood, the choice is huge.

A lot of TV shows and TV series can be found on the Internet. Once you find a series that you like, it won't be difficult to make watching it a daily habit.

How many times do I have to watch a TV show to learn English?

We choose the right topic and the complexity of vocabulary and pronunciation in the series. Learners should move from simple to more difficult. It is important to watch a lot of good and different series. The following is to watch with subtitles. It hardly makes sense to watch in your native language, choose English. Do not hesitate to include subtitles, even when you know the language well.

Learning a new language always consists of four aspects: writing, speaking, listening, and reading. What will you achieve by constantly watching TV shows in the original with subtitles? Of course, you will improve your listening and reading, and develop a passive vocabulary.


PromovaSep 27th, 2023
Absolutely, using subtitles effectively involves a few techniques. Beginners can start with English subtitles to match spoken words with their written form. As you become more comfortable, switch to subtitles in your native language, and then eventually turn them off altogether to challenge your listening skills. Additionally, pause and rewind to review scenes with complex dialogues or unfamiliar words.
Josiah Sep 27th, 2023
The article mentions the importance of using subtitles while watching tv shows to improve language skills. Are there specific techniques or tips for using subtitles effectively?
PromovaJun 27th, 2023
Certainly! Watching TV shows can be highly beneficial for language learners in terms of vocabulary expansion and cultural understanding. By immersing themselves in authentic English content, learners are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and colloquial phrases used in real-life contexts. Additionally, TV shows provide insights into the cultural nuances, social interactions, and everyday life of English-speaking countries, enhancing learners' cultural understanding and language comprehension. It allows learners to familiarize themselves with different accents, dialects, and cultural references, ultimately improving their overall language skills and fluency.
Laura HuntJun 27th, 2023
Could you provide some insights into how watching these shows can benefit language learners in terms of vocabulary expansion and cultural understanding?