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Online Movie Rentals: Another Way to Study English

Think of these questions before you start listening and find the answers in the recording:
  1. What are the steps for renting online movies?
  2. What is one way of using video to improve your language skills?
  3. What online movie rental companies provide service in your area and which seems to be best for students on a low budget?

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Have you heard of online movie rentals? If not, there might be an option for you to increase your language skills and enjoy some entertainment at the same time. Some people have grown tired of going down to the video rental store to rent movies. Now, more and more companies are offering customers the ability to rent movies online.

Here's how it works for most of these companies like Netflix, Blockbuster, and Qwikfliks:

  1. Select and sign up for a payment program, which will determine how many movies you can rent and hold at any one time.
  2. Choose the movies you want to watch (generally 1-3 at a time).
  3. Movies (usually DVDs) are sent to you within 1-3 days, and shipping is covered by the company.
  4. Watch the movies, often with no late fees.
  5. Return the movies in a prepaid return envelope.
New companies and terms of service are always changing, so check these sites for specific, up-to-date details.

Once you receive the movies, how can you improve your language skills with them? Well, just sitting in front of the TV with a drink in one hand and popcorn in the other isn't a bad way to relax and passively enjoy movies, but you won't learn much doing it. Rather, one idea to improve your listening skills is to watch the movies with the captions turned on and pause the movie when you see and hear new expressions. Write down these words and look them up in a good English-English dictionary to understand their possible meanings. Then, think of some sample sentences for each word. In other words, learning vocabulary has little meaning if you don't know how to use them in context. Good luck.

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