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What television programs should I watch?

Lots of students ask me for recommendations of television programs to watch to help them improve their English. Watching TV is a great idea if you can find programs that you are interested in.

Some of my students watch drama series such as Friends, the Big Bang Theory or Suits. These are great if you have a good ear for language and time to watch lots of episodes. However, some students might find dramas too difficult, even with subtitles.

If you want something easier, I'd recommend news programs or documentaries. News presenters tend to speak clearly and you may already have a good idea about the topic being discussed. Documentaries include lots of visual clues to help you understand the theme.

Children's programs might also be something to try out for a bit of fun. The most important thing is to find something that you are interested in.

Here are a few programs you could try:

Kids' programs

Hey Dugee - such a great program for young kids and adults too.

Horrible Histories - fantastic if you want to learn about history in a fun way.


The Green Planet - the most recent documentary from David Attenborough. It's all about trees and plants and was completely amazing.

Springwatch - Chris Packham and team observe wildlife in the UK over a two-week period.

Autumnwatch - the same as Springwatch but set in autumn.

Storyville - various documentaries from around the world. Sometimes in English, sometimes subtitled.

Light entertainment

The Great British Bake Off - a baking competition with amateur bakers from across the country.

The Great British Sewing Bee - similar to Bake Off but for people who sew.

The Great Pottery Throw Down - if you are into ceramics you might prefer this show.

Gogglebox - people at home watching television! Sounds a bit boring but can be very entertaining.

The Repair Shop - a lovely program about repairing special things.


Friends - If you watch all ten seasons, you'll learn a lot of English.

The Big Bang Theory - quite complicated language at times but if you are into Sheldon and co, it's a good one to watch.

Suits - good if you are interested in the legal world.

The Crown - posh British accents and an insight into the British royal family. It will also test your critical thinking skills as you consider what is fact and what is fiction.

You can also find more fantastic resources for learning English on the resources page.


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