Almost every country in the world has its own Independence Day celebration. Every 4th of July, we celebrate with the US. For most Americans, it is a time to gather with family for picnics, movies, or BBQ.
On this special holiday, we’re putting a spotlight on Tom Hanks – a familiar actor not only in the US but around the world. Since many English learners are looking to improve their accent in a fun way. A Tom Hanks’ movie might just be the one you need.
The Value in an Accent Role Model
Watching movies is one of the most effective ways to hone your accent and pronunciation. It trains your ears to everyday English, enhancing mastery over the language. It also helps with many aspects of intonation. Often, intonation is just as important as what you want to say.
With an improved accent, people can focus on what you are saying rather than how you are saying it. You don’t have to sound like a native speaker to achieve that. But a thick foreign accent will certainly get in the way.
Thanks to the clear and slow voice of Tom Hanks — not to mention his clean American accent — you can easily pick up an American accent while enjoying the plot of the film. After all, learning English through films should be fun!
How to Watch a Movie for Your Accent
A good start is to choose movies you already know. This is because you are familiar with the story. So instead of trying to follow a new plot, you focus on the language.
If you want to challenge yourself, leave the English subtitles behind. However, you will want to stick to movies that use a natural sounding accent. This way you don’t lose the main plot. Films starring Tom Hanks won’t fail!
Is there a certain accent you want to learn? In the US alone, there are so many regional accents. From a thick New England accent to the Southern drawl – Tom Hanks has assumed quite a few. Let’s get those mimicking skills rolling!
Getting a Taste of Culture
Movies offer a window into a nation’s culture. It exposes you to real-life conversations, or at least similar ones. It shows you how people interact with one another.
Movie actors are America’s storytellers. They offer an accessible way to learn about a country’s beliefs and traditions. Sure, there might be some added drama. There’s a big difference between life in movies and life off-screen. But for a language learner, these finer details do not take away from the learning (or the fun).
Four Movies to Make Your July 4th… a Blast!
1.) Forrest Gump – This tells the story of a man moving through 1960s and 70s America. This will teach you a lot about US history and culture. The movie also uses simple and easy-to-follow language, aside from some Southern slang. This makes it perfect for English learners wanting to understand a Southern accent.
2.) Apollo 13 – The film speaks to the American spirit of discovery, as well as the nation’s we-leave-no-one-behind creed. It’s a great film to inspire you to reach for your dreams. Besides, who doesn’t like a front-row seat on a mission to the moon?
3.) Catch Me If You Can – This is a fascinating movie based on a true story set in the mid-1960s. Playing the role of an FBI agent, Tom Hanks will show you the value of perseverance. Undoubtedly, it’s a trait you’ll need to reach fluency.
4.) Independence Day – Okay, we’ll admit it. Tom Hanks is not in this one. But Will Smith is. And what better way is there to celebrate the 4th of July than secret agents fighting off aliens to save the human race? Obviously, it’s not a 4th of July weekend without this movie.
There you have it – four great movies to help build your English accent. Get cozy, enjoy some popcorn and check out these films to learn real-life English for humans, aliens and in outer space.
If you still have a bit of an accent, we can help you get started. Try out a free trial lesson today!