British TV Shows To Help Boost Your English

Apr 02, 2024By Michael C Durrant
Michael C Durrant

In my last blog post on how to improve your fluency, I wrote about how watching English-language TV shows can have a big impact. Well, in today's blog post, I'll offer some recommendations for TV shows learners at different levels can watch to improve the fluency, and hopefully enjoy.

For Beginners: A1-A2 learners

  • Peppa Pig: This beloved animated show follows the adventures of a cheeky little pig named Peppa and her family as they engage in everyday activities, often ending with snorts of laughter and life lessons learned. Why it's good for learners: Simple vocabulary, clear pronunciation, and everyday situations make it perfect for beginners to grasp the basics of English.
  • The Adventures of Paddington This classic and heartwarming series follows the story of Paddington, a polite and curious bear from darkest Peru, as he explores life in London with the Brown family. Why it's good for learners: Gentle humour, everyday vocabulary, and the cultural clash between Paddington and his new environment provide a wonderful opportunity to learn a wider range of English usage.
  • Charlie and Lola: This charming stop-motion animated series follows the adventures of siblings Charlie and Lola. Why it's good for learners: Clear pronunciation, focus on everyday situations, and simple sentence structures make it ideal for beginners to build confidence in listening and comprehension.

For Intermediate Learners: B1-B2 learners

  • The IT Crowd: This sitcom follows the antics of three IT workers (Roy, Maurice and Jen) who work in a large corporation and spend most of their time tackling IT problems in unconventional and hilarious ways.. Why it's good for learners: The series is full of British humour and everyday vocabulary that intermediate learners should grasp and will help upper-intermediate learners improve their understanding of British cultural references
  • Outnumbered: This hilarious sitcom follows the lives of a middle-class London family with three mischievous and entertaining children. Why it's good for learners: Fast-paced dialogue provides a listening challenge, exposes learners to natural, everyday speech patterns, and offers a glimpse into British family life.
  • Doc Martin: This drama follows a grumpy but brilliant doctor, Martin, who moves from London to a small coastal town and has to find his place in the community. Why it's good for learners: Clear pronunciation and well-structured dialogue make it easier to follow conversations. 

For Advanced Learners: C1-C2

  • Sherlock: This critically acclaimed show features a modern update on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories. Join the brilliant Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. John Watson in 221B Baker Street as they solve complex and impossible mysteries . Why it's good for learners: Sharp dialogue full of wit and complex vocabulary pushes learners to make the jump from upper-intermediate to advanced. 
  • Luther: This crime drama follows the brilliant but troubled detective John Luther as he employs unconventional methods to catch London's criminals.  With suspenseful storylines and complex characters, it is a great choice for any lovers of the detective genre. Why it's good for learners: Suspenseful storylines that keep you engaged and dialogue that will push and develop your English understanding.
  • Fleabag: This dark drama-comedy follows a young woman in London as she navigates her way through life in London, dealing with relationships, family issues, and her own personal struggles. Why it's good for learners: The show uses witty dialogue and sarcasm that is ideal for anyone who wants to better understand the uniqueness of British humour.
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Remember, watching TV shows in English should be a fun and effective way to improve your language skills. Try to watch with subtitles in English to help you follow along and pick up new words and phrases to add to your learning journal. Happy watching and learning!