Sample Journal Entry: Watching a Movie in English Without Subtitles (An ESL Student’s Experience)

Essay Personal Essay
Dec 5, 2021

A journal entry is a type of written coursework that details the writer’s personal response to a given topic. The response can include reactions, thoughts, feelings, and any other ideas or insights that the writer has. This project is derived from the practice of writing a journal or diary. The sample provided below details the experience of an English as a second language (ESL) student watching a movie in English without subtitles for the first time.


When I first started learning English, I thought that it was not going to be that hard. The first lessons were a little easy. But then the lesson became longer and more complex and I found myself struggling to keep up. Luckily, my teacher gave us some tips for practicing our skills. One of the tips was to watch movies in English without subtitles. She told us that doing this will help us feel like we are listening to an actual conversation. She said we should not worry if we cannot understand everything. She said the important thing is for us to recognize some words or phrases. She also said that we will get better over time. Last night I tried watching a movie in English without subtitles for the first time. I chose to watch the movie “I Care a Lot,” which I found by looking at some of the best films available on Netflix . Although the experience made me realize that I still have much to learn, I am very happy because I was mostly able to keep up and understand not just most of the dialogue but the entire story of the film.

Although the entire experience was challenging for me, I am glad to say that I was able to understand most of the dialogue. Perhaps it helped that the dialogue was simple and that the actors spoke clearly. But this is not to say that I understood everything perfectly. There were more than a few times when I failed to recognize words or phrases, especially when the actors were speaking quickly. I gave myself one chance to go back and hear the lines again in order to see if I can understand on second hearing. I was able to understand some of the lines on second hearing, but not all. I was also able to understand the story of the movie. “I Care a Lot” is the story of a woman named Marla Grayson (played by Rosamund Pike) who earns money by becoming legal guardians of rich old people. She makes it appear that the old people are no longer able to take care of themselves and make important decisions. But she is only scamming them by stealing their possessions and selling them. But she makes the mistake of preying on a rich woman who turns out to be the mother of a notorious gangster. So even though I missed some of the words and phrases because of the fast delivery of lines, I was able to understand the entire movie.

Another challenge I encountered was getting the meaning of certain phrases. English also has idioms like any other language. But because I am not that fluent in English, I am not that quick to recognize if a phrase is an idiom. There were times when I got confused by a line because I was not aware it was an idiom. For example, there was this scene where a character mentions the term “cash cows.” I suddenly got confused because the scene does not have anything to do with cows. I found out what it means after checking on the internet. Based on this problem, I think that I need to focus more on understanding expressions. I guess being able to understand what figurative language means is a mark of fluency. Another example was when a character says “You hold no cards.” I did not know what it means so I had to check it on the internet after watching. It turns out that the statement means someone is in a position of disadvantage. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Overall, I think I did a good job. It was my first time to watch an English movie without subtitles yet I was still able to comprehend the dialogue and the story. There were some challenges such as missing some words and phrases because the actors were speaking fast as well as failing to recognize idiomatic expressions. But the entire experience was positive for me. I know now that my teacher’s advice is useful even if it seems scary at first. I also feel happy that all the work I did is paying off now. Because of this positive experience, I plan to continue watching movies without subtitles. This will help me improve since I will be forced to sharpen my listening skill. After all, there are no subtitles when a person is engaged in a conversation. I expect that this activity will greatly help me and make me more fluent in no time.

The journal entry is one of the many written projects that feature personal insight. Others include the reflection paper and the personal narrative essay . These three are often written in the form of a short essay . But remember that while they have similarities, they also have important differences. If you are too busy to learn how to write these papers, a professional writer from CustomEssayMeister is available to help you.

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