With the winter holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to curl up on the couch, watch movies, and relax. But this can also be a fun opportunity to embrace your newfound language skills. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Christmas and holiday-themed films to practice and learn English with.
The Santa Clause
This is a great pick for getting used to hearing English spoken with an American accent. You might also be surprised by some of the different words used in America and England: For example, in America, ‘Santa Claus’ is known to live in ‘The North Pole’. In England, ‘Father Christmas’ lives in ‘Lapland’.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey as ‘The Grinch’ is the perfect character to put your English language comprehension to the test. Using quotes from children’s books, Christmas carols and stories, you’re bound to pick up some festive words to add to your vocabulary. Cindy Lou Who is pretty cute too.
A Christmas Carol
Fancy a full British-English immersion? Based on Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol is perfect for English learners who want to get beyond basics. The story follows elderly miser Ebenezer Scrooge who, after visits by spirits of past, present, and future, transforms into a kinder, gentler man. The film features plenty of proper English terms and reminds us that reflection allows us to learn and grow.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Or fancy a new twist on this classic tale? Let the muppets take you on a journey through Victorian England. Now you know a little bit about this story, you’ll find it easy to follow along, even if you’re not sure about some of the words. If you need any more persuading to learn English from Kermit the talking frog? I’m not sure I can help you.
Elf has become a loveable family film for the holidays. Funnyman Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, an ungainly elf who is sent to New York in search of his true identity. Everything is new to Buddy – the city, humans, the language. Buddy teaches us that it’s ok to ask questions and learn with new words with delight.
It’s a Wonderful Life
A timeless holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life is considered one of the most loved films of American cinema. With plenty of moving dialogue, there are several opportunities to try on a few new phrases. Including some of the ones in this famous speech when the main character, George Bailey stands up for what he believes in. Plus, it’s a great time to listen to James Stewart’s unmistakable accent and voice.
Based on the famous song, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a lovable animal with an unusually radiant nose. Rudolph begins as an outsider because of his uniquely colorful nose, and after some trials and tribulations becomes the hero who saves Christmas! The film is filled with classic, catchy songs that you can sing along to that will help you practice your vocabulary and learn new festive words. Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town are other classic holiday stories filmed in this same stop-motion animation style.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
If you’re looking for another claymation classic, you can’t forget about The Nightmare Before Christmas. Enjoy Tim Burton’s whimsical tale about the different worlds where holidays live. Follow the “Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington as he steps out of his home in Halloween Town and finds himself magically surrounded by Christmas. You’ll have plenty of easy phrases to learn and with Danny Elfman’s beautifully arranged soundtrack, there are plenty of songs to sing along to. All in all, it’s a great story about self-discovery, embracing different cultures, and finding inspiration in your daily life.
A Christmas Story
This classic US-American Christmas tale follows the comedic escapades of Ralphie, a boy who wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. If you want a challenge to practice your English, try deciphering the words of Flick, Ralphie’s friend, when his tongue gets frozen to the flagpole.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend Christmas in New York City? This movie has everything a kid could want – unlimited funds, a suite in one of the nicest hotels in the world, endless supplies of junk food, and no adult supervision. Go on an adventure of a lifetime with Kevin McCallister.
Study English in the UK or US and find a holiday adventure of your own for next year.