Free Friday: Learn English with Breaking Bad

breakingbadWhen it comes to Breaking Bad, you may be one of 3 groups of people:

1. “I’ve never seen it.”

2. “Eh, whatever…didn’t care for it.”

3. “AMAZING, re-watching…[for the 3rd time]”

Perhaps number 3 is a bit of an exaggeration, but whatever group you may….or may not fit into, this post will still definitely appeal to you. I think that films and TV series are sometimes undervalued as a learning tool. Most shows can become “guilty pleasures” or seen as times when you’re being lazy on the couch; however, they carry such incredible language learning opportunities. Actually, the learning doesn’t stop at language…cultural references can be seen too! They’re an insight to so much more than just the words you can hear. Not only is there the entertainment value (assuming you choose a good one, and like films) but there is the personal challenge: your goal to watch a foreign film, without subtitles. This inner challenge can be a great motivational tool if you’re the kind of person who needs a little extra motivation.

Most students learning English want to speak fluently, but don’t fully realize the importance of all those other skills that make a fluent speaker. You know which skills I am talking about, the forgotten ones:  listening comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, reading, etc…

But how can a TV show help with my grammar and reading?

The listening part is obvious, you watch a show or movie and you practice listening. What isn’t so obvious is the underlying grammar that you are also listening to and processing. You’re experiencing complete and accurate sentence structures, a variety of tenses, and just how it should sound in relation to pronunciation and intonation. If you have subtitles, in English, you’ll practice reading skills (pace, skimming/scanning, comprehension), and there will be new vocabulary, without a doubt.

Still not quite convinced at how much a TV show can help with your language skills? Try it out! I’ve included a PDF attachment of an example of the type of material that’s a part of my English Through Film & TV Series course. The first section has important vocabulary and expressions, and not ones that you can necessarily find yourselves in a dictionary or online. You can pre-study the vocabulary so you are aware of the meanings as you watch the show. While you watch, a variety of questions will check your comprehension and understanding of the episodes, and finally as a way to practice speaking and wrap it up, discussion questions that you can review with me. In this case, I encourage interaction through my comment section. Share your thoughts, opinions, and answers for others to read as well!

Students: Interested in more lessons and practice with English through Film and TV series? Contact me for class options:

Teachers: Interested in a file without the watermark? Contact me for details:

See the pilot episode of Breaking Bad’s lesson here:


Happy Studying! ♥ Looking forward to hearing from you.

News in Levels: Animal Week

Practice your reading and writing comprehension with

There are a few articles related to animals this week, so I want you to choose one of the following, and in the comment section:

  1. summarize the article in your own words.
  2. try to use the new vocabulary and create your own sentences.
  3. share your opinion. What do you think?
*I have linked the articles to the website’s level 3. However, remember you can test your level if you’ve never used the website before, or try the level below the one your reading if it’s difficult.*


Giraffe has new friends   ((this one features our very own, San Diego Zoo!))

Leopard on a house

Doctors help a gorilla


Happy Studying! ♥


10 Famous People Who Overcame Substantial Challenges

  Obstacles and challenges are a part of life. When we are going through life trying to achieve our goals, it is inevitable that something will get in our way, sometime, on our journey to success and happiness. So when … Continue reading

News in Levels: Finding your appropriate reading level

Reading comprehension practice anyone? Luckily, I’ve come across this great news website created specifically for English learners. Click here  to go to the website, and take a quick (1 minute) test to find the reading level appropriate for the site. When you get your level, choose the stories that match you by clicking on the correct level tab on the top of the site. Choose an article that is interesting to you, and once completed, summarize what you read in the comment section.  Please also tell me what level you tested.


Happy reading! ❤



Undocumented immigrant can practice law in California

Sergio Garcia’s story

Watch the video above, and read the article at this link:

Summarize what you understood from the article.
In addition, 1) what are your thoughts to this ‘controversy’? 2) Should Sergio be allowed to practice law? Why or why not?

Other related articles:

Are you addicted to technology?

Are you addicted to technology?

Do you think you’re addicted to technology? What were your quiz results? Do you agree? Write about your main technology use.

How will you use the “real world” to improve your English this weekend?

How will you use the “real world” to improve your English this weekend?

Around the World…

Around the World…

What was the most interesting or surprising thing you learned about your partner’s country? (Jennifer’s classroom activity) Blog readers and followers, what is the most interesting or surprising thing you’ve learned while being abroad? ♥ Be sure to read other … Continue reading

Living abroad can be (is?) the best way to learn a language…

What activities have you done while living abroad? How have you felt about them? What advice would you give to someone thinking of learning a language abroad? What has helped you adjust/adapt to a new life? Have you experienced culture shock? Are you nervous for reverse culture shock?