sitcoms to learn english

Top 5 Sitcoms to Watch with your Students to Learn English

The following is a list of top 5 TV shows that I believe are useful to helping students improve their English:

5. The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is currently one of the most popular sitcoms on TV. It’s about a group of nerds who all work at a University doing research and Science experiments.

It’s a cleverly written comedic TV show. The characters struggle with society and social norms. Adults ESL students who have spent much of their lives studying in University can relate to this show and learn much from all the interesting scenarios that arise in the show.

4. The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years is an American classic television show that follows the life of Kevin Arnold through his teen years.

This show really gives the students the feel of what life was like growing up in America during its golden era. The show was very well written and portrays real life issues that every teenager goes through life.

3. Survivor

Why would Survivor make this list you may ask? That answer is simple. Watching any type of reality TV is a great method for improving ones English.

The positive side of reality TV is that it isn’t scripted. Students get to listen to real natural conversation between individuals. They get to each feel an attachment to one of the characters and cheer for him or her during the season.

2. Mind your language

This is a very old BBC sitcom that I found accidently while surfing on YouTube. It is an excellent comedy about an English teacher teaching immigrants at an ESL school in England.

The students in his class come from all cultures and nationalities. Some do not get along with each other and all of their English levels vary.

Students can relate to this show easily and will definitely feel more confident about their English after watching some of the poor English from some of the characters in the show.

1. Seinfeld

Not only do I believe that this is the greatest show of all time. I also believe that it is the most useful for when teaching English to your students.

I spend five months watching Seinfeld with my previous English class and the results were incredible. My students got so involved in the show not only did their listening improve but their felt less shy speaking and using popular quotes or phrases from the show in public.

Seinfeld actually uses very basic English in their scripts and is easy to understand. The show is so well written that the students are laughing half the time and learning without even knowing it.

Overall I think watching a show with your class is a great way for them to improve their English.

Listening to old tapes and exercises from an ESL book is useful but doesn’t really interest the students and is very outdated. Allowing the students to build an interest in the shows character and see the shows development over the season will not only have the student wanting to watch more, they will also focus more on learning the language so they can understand more of what is being said.

Some students will watch an episode numerous times just to gain a better understanding of what is going on. The best way one makes progress is when they are interested and motivated in what they are studying.

Watching TV shows in not only rewarding for the students it’s a method that showcases the benefits of understanding another language.

I host a daily podcast on iTunes called the English Funcast. New lessons are posted daily where different jokes are read, and explained. For more go to

  • Robert

    Nice list, except for Survivor. Survivor is not a sitcom.

  • Алексей Мышкин

    Extr@ is one more sitcom for English learners

  • Kyle

    what activities do you incorporate to get the students speaking and practicing?

    • I will review vocabulary from each lessons ,and create discussion questions.
      I also like to find slang words from the episodes and teach that.