Are you looking for a mentor who can help with your online English language learning? Check out this post and find out how can you learn English with Ricky Gervais!
Ricky Gervais is one of the most promising and talented men in the world. He has done a lot in producing, directing, writing, acting, and many more; thus, he became an inspiration for young artists globally. While Ricky Gervais is widely recognized as a renowned stand-up comedian, touring numerous countries and captivating audiences with his comedic prowess since the 1990s, there is a lesser-known aspect to his talent that can greatly benefit language learners: his ability to facilitate language learning through entertainment.
Read on and find out how you can benefit from watching this versatile celebrity.
How Can You Learn English with Ricky Gervais
Some people love to travel and learn about different cultures. By traveling, people can learn basic words and phrases from different languages. But, the pandemic forced people to stay at home, and one of the few things that can be done is to watch TV. Thanks to numerous online streaming platforms, people can easily watch movies and TV series.
English may be considered a universal language, but still, not all nations mandate the teaching of the language in schools. App developers created language-learning apps such as Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone. The growing interest of people in YouTube and Netflix allowed for another outlet for learning English and other languages. According to 2021 statistics, around 5.6 billion people worldwide have smartphones, and 4.66 billion have access to the Internet. That’s more than half the global population!
The majority of studies claim that learning English with TV shows and movies can be highly beneficial for improving language skills. Aside from providing entertainment value, this approach also positively impacts cognitive and educational functions within the brain.
Teaching the English language to most non-English speakers can be challenging. It is one of the most complex subjects to teach in Japan since most Japanese do not speak any other language except the native. It may take months and years to attend English tutoring services. However, the improvements in our technology allowed more Japanese and other non-English speakers to learn the language. One of these is the popularity of movies, TV, and social media. Here are some basic English skills that watching TV and movies helps improve:
1. Vocabulary, spelling, and grammar
Western and American film creators use a wide range of English words in a single movie. On average, a 100-minute movie can have 10,000 up to 12,000 words – quite a good number to add to your vocabulary! Watching movies with subtitles can also help improve spelling and grammar skills.
The best thing about watching movies is that you can hear the actual words, from pronunciation, diction, and the like. Unlike reading from a book, you can hear the actors speak the movie lines with the original pronunciation and a more conversational tone.
Movie and TV fans can adapt the speaking style of most actors and actresses by solely listening to their dialogues. It also helps them draw their attention to the expressions and emotions that come with such words.
Can Ricky Gervais Help You Learn English?
Ricky Gervais created a limited comedy online series for teaching people to learn the English language. “Learn English with Ricky Gervais” offers free access for fan subtitling in different languages, making it easier for viewers to interpret the English words according to their native language.
Ricky Gervais offers free access to episodes through YouTube. The uploaded pilot episode has another version that does not have subtitles. It allows viewers to upload another video that uses their own language for free. For example, Japanese viewers can watch the episode in English audio and Japanese subtitles.
Yurika Moro and Matt Cooper created a Japanese version of the pilot episode of Learn English with Ricky Gervais. They divided the episode into two parts, both containing Japanese subtitles.
Also, if you can’t get enough from the pilot episode, you can look into his successful directing and acting career. You have many options to choose from his successful career, may it be film, TV, or podcasts.
Fun Steps to Learn English by Watching Ricky Gervais
Although limited, watching the pilot episode of Learn English with Ricky Gervais greatly helps me learn the language. It can provide a “warm-up” for studying English. Here are six quick steps to improving English skills with Ricky Gervais:
1. Take notes.
Comedy materials by Ricky have more conversational themes than drama. Write down words or expressions that caught your attention while watching. Afterward, search for its meaning online or through an English dictionary. You may also look for its equivalent to your native language. Doing this helps you understand the English translations of some words that you can then use in everyday conversations.
2. Turn on the subtitles.
For beginners, it is always better to watch in your own language but with English subtitles. It helps you learn the English context of the conversations in your native language and improves your listening skills while reading the subtitles. Also, it helps your brain to learn English words and their proper pronunciations.
3. Watch Ricky’s English-language movies.
Schedule your free time as your watching time, may it be before bedtime or after a long shift at work. Also, bookmark or make a list of the series that looks interesting to you. One of his most famous works is the Night at the Museum trilogy. You can watch it in one sitting, or you can also watch one part per day.
4. Rewatch your favorite Ricky Gervais programs.
Watch the TV program, episodes, or movies that you enjoy the most. Repetition allows your brain to retain information, words, and phrases that may help you improve your vocabulary. You may also
5. Watch animated movies or series.
Animated programs, such as The Ricky Gervais Show, are usually created for the general audience. It also has a more relaxed and true-to-life theme, and you can even relate to some parts and lines in the series! Thus, both the storyline and script are usually simple and easy to understand.
6. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
You do not have to stress yourself much about learning the English language. Keep in mind that you are also watching movies and TV for entertainment and relaxation after a long, exhausting day; don’t tire yourself even more! Remember, practice makes perfect. But it does not happen all at once. Give yourself some time, and enjoy your favorite movies!
Also, movies, TV, and YouTube provide a comprehensive tool for learning different languages such as English. Non-English speakers may find it convenient to understand and speak the language. Another benefit of these outlets is most of them are free to access. If you want to learn more words and improve your pronunciation and vocabulary, you may also look for other English films with Japanese subtitles or vice versa. You may access these on YouTube and other online streaming sites like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
Who is Ricky Gervais?
In 1961, Ricky Gervais was born as the youngest child of Franco-Ontarian father Lawrence Raymond “Jerry” Gervais and English mother Eva Sophia. His father moved to the United Kingdom while serving during the Second World War. Ricky went to Whitley Park Infants and Junior Schools for his primary education, then Ashmead Comprehensive School for his secondary education.
During his education, he took a gap year. He also worked as a gardener at the University of Reading while studying. Consequently, he took biology at the University College London (UCL) in 1980, but it did not take a while, and he changed to philosophy. Ricky was a remarkable student – he even received an upper second-class honors degree (“2:1”) in 1983 at the University of London. During his stay at UCL, he met Jane Fallon, who became his partner from 1982 until now. Jane is a best-selling English author of romantic comedy novels.
Ricky is an atheist. In December 2010, he wrote an opposite-the-editorial page for The Wall Street Journal, discussing atheism and defending his unbelief in God. Furthermore, Ricky is also an activist, advocate, and humanist. He took part as an honorary associate of the National Secular Society in the United Kingdom and an advocate of Humanists UK. Humanists UK is a charity organization that addresses and creates campaigns for human rights and state issues.
For almost four decades of his entertainment career, Ricky has always been dynamic and flexible in any field. He succeeds in the film, television, music, podcasts, books, and stand-up comedy industries. Most of his projects make noise on social media and are usually on top trending topics. Here are some fantastic trivia about Ricky’s personal life and career, as well as the awards and recognition that he received:
Interesting Facts about Ricky Gervais
1. Ricky did not come from a wealthy family. In fact, he even worked as a gardener at a university while studying. But his perseverance and talent took him this far. At the age of 60, he can still pursue his career in the industry during a pandemic.
2. Before entering the mainstream entertainment industry, Ricky worked as a DJ at London’s XFM radio station.
3. Ricky is highly passionate about animals. Because of this, he is reportedly a vegetarian. However, it is still unclear whether he is vegetarian or vegan for his everyday diet since he showed off his Christmas vegan dinner made by Jane, but he also expresses his obsession with cheese. But one thing we’re sure of – he doesn’t like meat.
4. He rejected major roles infamous, best-selling Hollywood movies such as The Da Vinci Code, Mission: Impossible III, Ocean’s Thirteen, and The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy before accepting the lead role in Ghost Town.
5. According to an interview, Ricky’s favorite comedian is Woody Allen. On the other hand, his favorite film is “This Is Spinal Tap.” Produced by American musicians and comedians, it is a documentary of Spinal Tap’s famous British heavy metal band.
6. Aside from his talent in making films, he can also play the guitar.
7. His dark comedy performances and cringe-worthy jokes made him the center of most disputes; thus, he is usually part of worldwide trending topics in social media.
8. He hosted the Golden Globe Awards five times.
9. He ranked 83rd on the Telegraph’s list of 100 Most Powerful People in British Culture in 2008. In 2010, he also got a position in The 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine.
Ricky Gervais and His Entertainment Fame
Ricky Gervais is an English comedian, writer, director, and producer. The name is no longer a stranger in modern media since he started his career in the 1980s and continues to make trending Internet topics out of his talent.
Ricky and Stephen Merchant wrote, co-created, and directed The Office, which Ash Atalla produced. This series is a mockumentary sitcom that premiered on BBC Two in the United Kingdom on July 9, 2001. Ricky has appeared in several television shows, but The Office is one of the most well-known and influential.
The Office’s first six-episode season premiered in 2001 to little fanfare and dismal ratings in the United Kingdom. Since its international broadcast on BBC Worldwide – including BBC America, BBC Canada, and BBC Prime – the program has become one of the most popular British comedies.
The popularity of the second season has earned Ricky the title of “most important person in TV comedy radio,” according to the Radio Times. In 2004, he was again nominated for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy. The Office has also been sold and shown in 80 countries worldwide, including The Comedy Network in Canada, ABC1 in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand, and a few other Asian nations, including Hong Kong’s satellite station Star World. In addition, the masterwork has been replicated in Brazil, France, Germany, Quebec, Sweden, and the United States for foreign audiences.
On July 21, 2005, the television series Extra premiered. In December 2007, the series broadcast a Christmas Special in the United Kingdom and the United States. This film was directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who also starred as Andy Millman in the sitcom. In addition, he earned the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2007 for his portrayal of Andy Millman.
Meanwhile, Rick Gervais’ “After Life” is a British black-comedy drama series he developed, wrote, and produced. Later, it was revealed that Charlie Hanson and Duncan Hayes would take on producer and executive producer roles, respectively. “After Life” aired on Netflix on March 8, 2019, and the second season premiered on April 24, 2020. Ricky portrayed Tony Johnson, a troubled and suicidal man whose life spiraled out of control after losing his wife due to breast cancer. Furthermore, Netflix and Ricky renewed their multi-project partnership for the third season of “After Life” in May 2020. Ricky said he likes everything about the show, including his role, the supporting cast, the setting and themes, and the dog.
Ricky appeared in many films, including Valiant, For Your Consideration, the Night at the Museum sequels, and Stardust, in which he played a minor role. In Ghost Town, he plays a dentist who sees spirits, which is his first leading role. His first leading role opened for the production of more projects after projects. He wrote and directed The Invention of Lying, a romantic comedy film released in 2009. He also plays the first human to tell a lie in a world full of lies in the film. In 2010, Ricky and Stephen Merchant collaborated on a film called Cemetery Junction, released in 2010.
In addition, he played the partner of Constantine, Dominic Badguy, in the Muppets Most Wanted film from 2014. Ricky is also one of the filmmakers of Special Correspondents, in which he also played Eric Bana’s assistant. Many of his films have been released, including David Brent: Life on the Road, released in 2016. Ricky Gervais wrote, directed, and produced this work, which is a mockumentary film. In addition, he played David Brent from the sitcom The Office in the film.
3. Music and Podcasts
Ricky Gervais made his musical debut in 1983 with Seona Dancing, a new wave pop combo he formed with his buddy Bill Macrae. Despite being both University College London graduates, they created the combo, with Ricky as the lead singer and Bill as the songwriter. “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart” were released as singles by the duo. They did not make it to the top of the UK singles chart, but “More to Lose” became famous in Asia.
He played in a live tour thirty years after his debut, portraying David Brent’s character in The Office. The tour included performances of Brent’s compositions Free Love Freeway and Equality Street. They also performed as Foregone Conclusion, a fictional band from the show. In 2016, Ricky released the David Brent Songbook. This songbook included 15 songs that David Brent and Foregone Conclusion recorded for Life on the Road CD.
Moreover, he is well-known for his podcasts, with his first episode airing in December 2005 and Guardian Unlimited offering free weekly podcasts. Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington, and Stephen Merchant all appeared on The Ricky Gervais Show.
From January through February 2006, their podcast routinely topped the global podcast rankings. It was also listed in the 2007 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the most downloaded podcast globally, with an average of 261,679 downloads per episode during its first month. There were two other series released between February and September 2006, each with six podcasts.
4. Stand-up Comedy
Ricky Gervais is a well-known comedian who began his stand-up career in the late 1990s. His first successful performance was at the Café Royal during the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2003, he returned to the stage and toured the United Kingdom with his stand-up show, Animals. He continued on tour the following year to promote his Politics performance. Many stand-up shows have taken place in recent years, including Fame (third trilogy, 2007) and Science (fourth trilogy, 2009). Rubbernecker stars Stephen Merchant, Robin Ince, and Jimmy Carr.
Furthermore, Ricky’s fifth UK stand-up performance tour, which began in 2017 and will conclude in 2018, will be titled Humanity. Every tour in the United Kingdom was videotaped and made available on DVD. Some of the trips are available on Netflix and are viewed by millions of people across the world.
Ricky’s art reached not just adults but also youth all across the world. Flanimals, a children’s book depicting gibberish animals and their activities, was published in 2004 with Rob Steen as the illustrator. Because the book was a best-seller, he followed up with a sequel, More Flanimals, in 2005. This storybook has 30 different types of unsettling animals that make up its fictitious environment. Another Flanimals sequel was released the following year, including Bif Uddlers, Flambols, Melons, and the Mulgi, among the animals.
Richard and Judy’s Christmas Book Reviews named his sequel the “Best Stocking Piller” storybook of 2006. Flanimals of the Deep was also named the “WH Smith Children’s Book of the Year” for 2007. Other sequels, such as Flanimals: The Day of the Bletchling and Flanimals: Pop Up, were released succeedingly.
6. Social Media
Ricky’s social media presence is highly noticeable, despite his age. He has Twitter and Instagram accounts, with @rickygervais handles for both pages. His Twitter account has more than 14 million followers, while his Instagram account has more than three million followers. He also has an official Facebook page that has around five million followers. He tweets and posts about his work and personal life almost every day, and he also loves interacting with his fans online.
Ricky is also a certified YouTuber! He created a series called “Learn Guitar with David Brent.” He posted covers of nine songs using an acoustic guitar. He also has a blog website that he updates personally; however, he posted his last blog in April 2019, and no other posts followed.
Remember, he loves animals dearly! Recently, he became part of the global trending topic about animal cruelty by most cosmetic products. Social media created a buzz when they called for global action against animal abuse through a short animated film called Save Ralph. Ricky voiced the interviewer in the film.
Can You Learn English with Ricky Gervais? Yes, You Can!
With Ricky Gervais’ worldwide popularity, achievements, and humor, it can be enjoyable and valuable for everyone to learn more about who he is and what he can do, especially those who like to learn English in a fun and easy way. Though his teaching style might differ from the conventional methods, it is still undeniable that one can learn things from him, not only from the English language but also from his virtues and aspirations in life.
By immersing oneself in Ricky Gervais’ content, whether it be his stand-up shows, sitcoms, or podcasts, learners can benefit from his witty wordplay, clever linguistic nuances, and cultural references. His comedic approach to language learning injects entertainment and levity into the process, making it more engaging and memorable.
Also, learn to explore diverse humor in language learning: While Ricky Gervais’ comedy may be your initial choice, don’t limit yourself. Discover humor from different sources, such as sitcoms, podcasts, or online humor platforms. This exposure will broaden your understanding of different comedic styles and help you become a more versatile and confident English speaker!