5 Foreign Language Films To Improve Your Skills
When learning Spanish or any new language, one of the most overlooked advantages is the wealth of recent foreign language films that are now available for your viewing pleasure; and for study purposes, of course!
For those whom the spoken language is not their first language, foreign language movies are sometimes overlooked for the simple fact that subtitles are required, or some films can be dubbed poorly.
Well, we think this is an injustice! Foreign language films are not only culturally enriching; they’re a great way to immerse yourself in the language that you’re either studying or passionate about. Many people learn languages or enhance their structured lessons – like Spanish courses – using films and television series.
It’s a chance to hear the language spoken by native speakers in casual and day-to-day circumstances that textbooks sometimes don’t account for.
How Can Foreign Language Films Help Your Spanish Courses?
Suppose you have taken up some Spanish courses, for example. In that case, a foreign language film will not only help you exercise your linguistic muscles, once confident and fully fluent, it will also mean you can expand the catalogue of available films for you to watch.
We will be looking at five foreign language films that will pique your interest for whatever genre preference and help you improve your language skills, as well as switch up your Netflix recommendations!
Or, why see what films we recommend in our upcoming film nights? They’re fun, social and are a great chance to practise your Spanish with other learners – plus, we have our on-site Tapas bar…
1. El Secreto de sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes)
Newly retired federal agent Benjamín Espósito tries his hand at writing a novel about the murder of a young woman; however, the novel is based on a real-life cold case, for which he is now seeking closure.
This film is excellent for learning Spanish as the integration scenes give a perfect opportunity to practice questions and answers, along with providing great examples of directions as Benjamin conducts his further investigation. This Crime thriller is an excellent film packed with intrigue and suspense – it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009! It is a must-see and provides many language learning opportunities for a beginner.
2. Y tu mamá también (And Your Mother Too)
Two teenage friends search for adventure while their girlfriends are away in Europe; the teens meet Luisa, an older woman, at a family wedding. After finding out about her husband’s latest marital affair, Luisa decides to join them on a road trip they initially made up to entice her. So the trio embarks on a journey where they learn about life, friendship, and sex. This lighthearted drama shows the beauty of Mexico City, but the real-life conversations within this film give great context and reflect current speech norms for the learner to pick up and put to practice.
When watching any film in a different language, we suggest that you don’t go in blind. Instead, we recommend you do some research to give you a basic understanding of the plot and summary of the film to give you some context clues as to the topic of conversations.
3. El Hoyo (The Platform)
In this dark, psychological thriller, a standard jail is reimagined as a vertical chamber with one cell on each level, holding two people per floor. At mealtime, a slab of food descends from floor to floor to feed everyone. The inmates at the top eat well; however, as the slab lowers at each level, less and less is left, leaving just the scraps for those starving at the bottom. Finally, however, all comes to a head when the inmates decide enough is enough. This film’s suspenseful and horror-like nature perfectly demonstrates for a Spanish beginner how and where to emphasise phrases and colloquiums that you may not have picked up in the classroom. But just as a warning, this film verges more on the horror genre – so it’s not for the faint of heart!
4. La llamada (Holy Camp!)
This musical comedy has everything you want in musical, rebellious teens, over the top dance breaks, partying, and of course nuns! Maria and Susana spend their summer at a Catholic camp run by nuns. On their first night, the girls sneak out and go partying; however, this completely goes against what seems to be the camp’s “no fun” policy, and the nuns stop this behaviour, and their love of music will not be tolerated. The film centres around whether Maria and Susana’s unshakable spirit and passion for music change the nuns’ opinion! This film is not only a laugh out loud musical; the catchy tunes and musical numbers are an excellent method of helping you remember specific phrases and words. So if you are looking for a lighthearted film to help aid your learning of the Spanish language, “La llamada” is for you.
5. 100 metros (100 Meters)
Based on a true story, this film follows a Spanish man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who decides to train for an Ironman Triathlon, despite being told that he won’t make it past 100 meters. In the process, he gets help from his father-in-law, Manolo, a former professional athlete battling his demons. This uplifting, true story is a fantastic movie. However, to ensure you make the most of what you are watching, we recommend taking regular breaks to digest any new vocabulary you heard or rewatching key scenes for you to practice memorising lines.
Even more excited for your Spanish courses? We don’t blame you!
We hope that this article has given you some fresh new options for your next movie night, as well as helpful tips on how you can improve and ease your language skills. If you are looking for further tips or even wanting to know more about ways to improve and learn Spanish, reach out to us, or take a look at our many wonderful Spanish courses today! We organise our classes to be accessible to all levels, whether you’re a complete beginner or a fluent speaker looking to refresh your skills.