Subtitles are a great way to watch foreign films and TV shows and be able to understand them, and using them can help if you need a bit of help with your listening comprehension. There are a couple of other things you can do with them, besides the standard native language subtitle, though.
Make sure you’re hearing all the words correctly by using subtitles in the same language as the audio. It will also help if you miss a word here or there, and help towards improving your reading recognition, spelling, and comprehension. If you are a beginner, or the material is particularly complex, it will help to watch the film a few times using your native language first, and/or pause and review frequently.
Another option, if the film has it, is to listen to it dubbed in your language, with the subtitles in the original language. This will make sure you understand what is going on, but give you more exposure to the written language. If you are learning a non-alphabetised language, it will help with your recognition, too. Obviously, pausing a lot will help here, too.
You can always try watching your favourite shows dubbed or subtitled in your target language, but bear in mind that subtitles (as with many translations) may not be correct. If something seems a bit wrong to you, it very well might be. Don’t let this put you off though, as there are a lot of benefits to watching and understanding interesting material. Note down anything weird or interesting, and show it to your teacher or look it up later.
Have you benefited from watching foreign language material? How did you do it?