How F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Helped People to Learn English!

4 minute read

If the latest F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reunion brought tears to your eyes, you must have watched the show million times already and awaited the cast to relive the story again! No doubt, the show has a special place in our hearts which won’t be forgotten easily. It has taught us many life lessons, the value of friendship and that “JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD”! But only a true F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fanatic knows that it is not just a teacher of life but also English. The show has helped many people across the globe in learning English and we will tell you how!

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The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Phenomenon

Credit: Indian Express

F.R.I.E.N.D.S is undoubtedly one of the most popular sitcoms ever created and even after 17 years, there is always a new generation ready to watch it and live the world of 90s! Many consider it to be their happy place, a show that makes them forget their worries and anxieties. You may not relate to the dad jeans and cordless telephones anymore, but the plot twists — falling in love, starting a career and other seminal moments will keep you hooked to the show. 

Celebs on Learning English Through F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Celebrities like Jurgen Klopp, the German soccer coach whose first language is Spanish and Kim Nam-Joon, leader of the South Korean pop group BTS have claimed that it was through ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ that they learned English. “I thought I was kind of like a victim at that time, but right now, I’m the lucky one, thanks to my mother,” Kim, who performs under the stage name RM, was quoted saying to a television host Ellen DeGeneres in 2017.

The ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ reunion episode that recently aired on HBO Max showcased the sitcom being translated to various languages used across the globe. Fans from different corners of the world were interviewed where they were quoted saying “F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was that show that helped them get over their personal dilemmas and fear”. Based on research and page-view, it has been revealed that the show still has a wide following among English-language learners.

Hear It From The Fans 

Fans across the globe also mentioned in interviews that this show specifically helped them in their journey to learning English. Jamie Ouyang, 30, discovered the show during her last year of high school in south-central China when she bought a box set in her hometown, Changsha, for about $15. She was hooked from the first episode, in which Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston, meets the other characters in a wedding dress after abandoning her groom at the altar.” While another reported, “Ouyang, who attended college in Ohio and now works as a film producer in Beijing, said that F.R.I.E.N.D.S. gave her the confidence to make small talk with Americans. It was comforting, she added, to see Rachel make grammatical errors on her resume.

The Evergreen Legacy of F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Credit: Amazon

It goes without saying that ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ has only endured as a teaching pool because the internet has made it accessible to the new generation through various platforms. This allows non native speakers to watch it without actually having to purchase DVDs. Another reason as said by Angela Larrea Espinar a professor in the department of English studies at the University of Córdoba in Spain, is that “people who teach foreign languages have gradually shifted over the last two decades from a communicative approach that emphasizes grammar to one that encourages cross-cultural understanding and reflection.”

For instance, Konus, an English Teacher in California built lesson plans around an episode of ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ to avoid the general textbook trap. This greatly helped the students in being active participants in the discussion. Konus also pointed out that her students from Brazil, China, Colombia, Japan, South Korea and Turkey liked “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.” lessons. As a result, they ended up binge-watching the show on their own. They also use lines from it in conversation, like Joey’s signature “How you doin’?” greeting, and the depressive way in which David Schwimmer’s character, Ross Geller, says “Hi.” You can very well understand by all of this how this sitcom has influenced the masses over the years and still continues to influence GenZ in their day to day activities.

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This was all about how F.R.I.E.N.D.S. helped people across the globe in learning English. Hope you found this article to be interesting. For more exciting content and news updates, follow  Leverage Edu on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram.  

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