How did BTS learn English?
BTS is the world famous Kpop group that has millions of fans worldwide and despite being Korean, many of the members have had to learn English to reach out to their international viewers, or their fans, affectionately called Army.
On an episode with Ellen, RM, the leader of BTS, explained how he learned English.
BTS learned how to speak English by watching the TV show Friends. Actually, millions of English learners around the world have improved their English by watching Friends.
So with the Friends Reunion show recently coming out, we will look at why Friends is so good for learning English, and how English learners can improve their English ability by watching TV shows.
The Friends tv show is one of the most beloved tv series of all time with a new reunion show coming out May 27th on HBO.
What many don’t know is the massive impact Friends have had on English Learning. Millions of English learners have used FRIENDS to learn practical English.
Does BTS speak English?
All the members of BTS can speak and understand some English, RM is the most fluent member. With their first English single, ‘Dynamite’, all the BTS members sing some words in English and since they will focus more on a Western audience, they will improve their English. Their next 2 English songs, ‘Butter and ‘Permission to Dance’, all feature the members.
We can expect all the members to improve their English fluency. Besides speaking English, different members in the group can also speak Japanese and Chinese.
Why is FRIENDS good to improve English fluency?
- You learn about western culture. Especially American humor and characters. You are also now a part of the global community that loves Friends so you will understand memes and references to the show.
- It’s funny so viewers love watching more episode. When learning is fun you will do more of it.
- The characters use clear accents and are universally easy to understand. Sometimes strong accents like a Californian dialect or a deep British accent are difficult for English Learners to understand. Therefore a neutral accent is better for language learning.
- Fluency, in most cases the speed at which the characters speak is not too difficult to understand. When you watch shows like Modern Family, they speak too quickly for intermediate English learners, but the pace at which most of the dialogue in Friends happens, is suitable for English learners.
- The Script uses every day English vocabulary with useful expressions, which means that English learners can apply the language in real life. They also use phrases and vocabulary that apply to situations in life. – Like parties, relationships and work.
So how can you use FRIENDS to improve your English learning. Like RM said, many Asian parents get their children to watch friends to learn English. I have friends and students that have used it too.
How to use TV shows to learn English
Don’t be passive – Write down new vocabulary and phrases then use it as often as possible. Students don’t learn until they actively use the language. So don’t just sit their listening, write it down and use it.
Listen for new expressions and solidify ones you already know – Once you hear a new expression, look up the meaning and try to memorize it. If you hear a word or expression you already know, try to use it in a sentence or context to make the meaning even more clear to yourself.
Ps. The goal is to take the English language used in the show, and make it part of your daily lexicon. A lexicon is the vocabulary that you can easily use at any time.
How to watch the show:
First, watch the show with subtitles from your language. That way you can understand the story and jokes. Next, when you are ready, watch it with only English subtitles – That way you can practice your listening and understand the reading. Finally, watch it without any subtitles. If you come across words you don’t understand, you can rewatch it with subtitles.
Don’t worry about strange expressions you don’t understand – The show was written in 90’s so many of the jokes might be outdated. But… I wrote a small book about season 1 of the show, it explains all the difficult expressions from Season 1 if you really want to understand everything.
There is a book version or audiobook version if you want to learn on-the-go.
ENGLISH with FRIENDS Book ► https://amzn.to/3bSZyiW
And that’s how BTS learned English. They watched the Friends TV show to learn vocabulary, practiced their listening and expanded their interest about using English in the outside world.
If you want to improve your English, watch the Friends TV show but also remember to use all the new words and expressions in your daily life.