“It’s the greatest teaching tool since the printing press.”
Can you believe this quote, from a famous American businessman, is about TV?
Most people associate TV with relaxation or even laziness.
But you actually can learn a lot from TV—especially when it comes to the English language.
The eight English TV Android apps that we’ll cover in this article will help you do just that.
They’ll let you watch both educational episodes and authentic English TV shows, from home or on-the-go. Several of them are free and some don’t even require internet access.
So tune in and get ready to learn!
Can TV Really Help You Learn English?
Watching TV gives you experience listening to natural English conversations. The dialogue you learn in an English class might sound forced, but TV series show you how native speakers actually talk. This can teach you proper grammar and sentence structure, but it’ll also help you with pronunciation.
If you really want to see benefits from watching TV, try repeating the lines after the character says them. This will give you a chance to make sure you’re saying words correctly and will make new words feel more natural to you.
If you need extra practice with conversation, try copying a conversation from your favorite TV show. Pause the show after each line and practice repeating it out loud. Practice as many times as you need and don’t be afraid to watch the same conversation several times.
Watching TV, especially on one of these Android apps, is great because it’s easy to fit into your schedule. Do you take a train or bus to work? That can be the perfect time to pull out your phone and watch a few shows. You can also watch TV while waiting between activities or in bed before you go to sleep. If you watch English TV, learning will start to become a part of your daily schedule.
Watch and Learn! The Top 8 English TV Android Apps for Language Learners
FluentU gives you the best of both worlds: authentic English TV and helpful language learning tools.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
I can’t talk about TV apps without including Netflix. Today, Netflix is one of the most well-known services for watching English TV shows—and shows in many other languages. There are a ton of selections on Netflix and many of them have the option to add English subtitles.
Subtitles make it easy to learn because you can read the words while you hear them. The best form of practice is to play an authentic English show with English subtitles, so you learn the written and spoken words.
But if you’re not quite ready for that, listen in English with subtitles in your native language. Or, there are tons of Netflix TV shows that you can watch in your native language with English subtitles.
Hulu is very similar to Netflix. I wanted to include it in this list because it’s another go-to (reliable resource) for many people. One perk of Hulu over Netflix is that Hulu includes a lot more reality TV shows. Reality shows follow real people living their lives, instead of actors playing a story.
This means you can practice with conversation that’s even more real, casual and natural. This page lists Hulu’s most popular English-language reality shows for you to choose from.
Hulu also has other shows, though, so you can find something interesting no matter what you like watching. You can find cooking shows if you need to practice food vocabulary, or shows about school if you need to master your classroom English.
BBC Learning English
This is another resource that’s designed with language learners in mind. These videos tend to be shorter and often more educational. The TV clips include news reports, English lessons and dialogues, etc.
BBC Learning English lets you view and read the transcript of the video. Try reading the transcript before watching the video to see how much you can understand. Then watch the actors and see if you understand more the second time.
Finally, BBC Learning English offers several quizzes and tests if you want to push yourself a little harder and make sure that you’re learning while you watch TV.
TVPlayer has 62 free channels, plus another 35 channels available if you decide to go premium. Some of the channels on TVPlayer even show live footage, so with this app, you’ll feel like you’re watching real TV.
Many of the channels can be recorded. This is great if you just don’t want to miss an episode, but it’s also great for language learning.
By recording a show, you can go back to that same episode and watch it as many times as you want. The repetition will help you remember and practice any new words you learned.
Tubi has a large selection of movies and TV shows. No matter what your interests, you’re sure to find something on Tubi. The app lets you search by actor, genre or title.
One of the cool features of Tubi is that it lets you build a video queue (a list of the shows you’re interested in) so that the app will keep playing exactly what you want to see.
Tubi uploads new content every Friday. That means that each week you have new options to choose from, so you’ll never get bored of practicing English while watching TV on Tubi.
All the videos on iflix include the option to add English subtitles, and most videos include other languages as well. This makes it a great choice for watching TV while learning English.
Plus, iflix allows you to download videos so that you can watch offline. This is perfect for people who need to watch a show during their daily commute or who live in places where internet service isn’t always reliable.
There shouldn’t be any limits to English learning, so offline TV shows and movies are the best!
English Club TV
English Club TV is all about educational videos. Many of the videos give you English language learning tips, and can help you learn grammar, spelling and vocabulary as you watch.
This app doesn’t have as much of a selection as the others on the list, but I wanted to include it because each video is specifically made to help you learn English. At the end of each video you can take a short quiz to see how much you’ve learned.
Take a look at these English TV apps for android and get comfortable no matter where you are. You can learn while you watch your favorite shows plus some great resources specifically designed to help you learn English and speak like a native.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.