Every day, all around the world people use YouTube to teach themselves new skills from the comfort of their own homes. It’s a fantastic platform for creating, sharing and learning pretty much any skill you can think of, for free! It’s highly accessible too, all you need is a good internet connection.
This is what makes it an invaluable platform for language learning; you can watch or virtually ‘sit-in’ on lessons at any time, you can pause, stop and rewatch videos as often as you need to.
There are tons of English language channels available on YouTube, I’ve picked out some of my favorite channels for each language level, including some fun channels especially for children!
Speak English With Mr. Duncan
Self-proclaimed English addict, Mr. Duncan is passionate about the English language. Through his YouTube channel – Speak English With Mr. Duncan – he teaches English to the world for free, three days a week, live from his home in England. You’ll get a lot out of his lessons; the videos are fun, easy to watch and focus more on practical language and how the language is spoken, rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of grammar. His entertaining lessons cover a variety of topics throughout the week, from nature, slang, news, fashion, and even survival instinct.
Not lessons as such, but Easy English remains one of the most useful English learning channels for beginners. Each video features real-life conversations and interactions with English speakers in real-life situations. People are interviewed on the street and asked simple questions about their day or their life. You’ll pick up correct pronunciation and get used to hearing the language spoken by different people.
BBC Learning English
The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is a British institution – you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to learn British English. Every day, a new lesson is published on the BBC Learning English channel, each one designed to help you learn English effectively using a variety of different formats.
There’s also a super informative feature called BBC News Review, where reporters discuss topical subjects and stories and show you how to use the language from the latest news items in your everyday English. The BBC Learning English website offers some fantastic resources for learners of all ages too, including children.
Jennifer is the kind of English teacher you wish you had; she’s patient, clear and very knowledgeable. She teaches American English and regularly publishes lessons and resources grouped into easy-to-use, comprehensive playlists on her channel – Jennifer ESL. Lessons cover all essential elements of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and American culture. You’ll also learn alongside her students, which gives lessons an intimate, classroom-feel.
You’ll advance quickly with EnglishClass101. There are hundreds of video lessons to choose from, each covering topics crucial to language learning. Lessons are generally fast-paced and better suited to learners with a good general grasp of the language.
On the GO with EF
The EF YouTube channel takes a slightly different, yet very entertaining approach to language learning, in that it takes you on a virtual holiday while you learn. EF Vloggers travel the world to show you some of the best cities and discuss languages and culture on the way. You’ll discover LA with Angelina, Cape Town with Maria, and Vancouver with Asia while learning the key phrases and vocabulary used in the videos.
VOA Learning English
This is a fantastic idea from international news and broadcaster, Voice of America. Their VOA Learning English YouTube channel encourages you to learn American English with captioned TV news reports, using simpler language and read at a much slower speed. You’ll learn about current affairs and become familiar with watching English news, all while improving your English skills.
If you’re looking for a way to refine your pronunciation and to speak natural English, Rachel’s English is for you. Rachel is a classically trained opera singer and an expert in English pronunciation. As she says, helping students find full conversational confidence is her passion – you’ll enjoy her lessons immensely!
Business English Pod
What happens if you’re required to speak English at work? Meetings and presentations often involve using language you wouldn’t typically use on the street. Head to Business English Pod, where lessons cover complex language situations like “How to disagree with ideas”, “How to make an offer” and topics such as finance, law, and the economy.
Language learning for children
British Council Learn English Kids
LearnEnglish Kids from the British Council takes a fun and informative approach to language learning for children. Videos come in a variety of formats; you’ll find simple “How to” videos, like “How to make popcorn” – all hosted by children – and animated nursery rhymes, songs, and stories, perfect for younger children. In fact, whatever your age, if you’re learning the language, listen and sing along to nursery rhymes in English, as they help to improve memory and recall.
Fun Kids English
Fun Kids English is a brilliantly engaging channel for children of all ages. Created by professional teachers, musicians, and published children’s authors, it’s jam-packed with educational animated English videos and catchy songs. With new videos posted every week, each one is designed to help children learn about the alphabet, phonics, animals, foods, colors, actions, transport, jobs and lots more!
Making use of a variety of materials can promote learning, so try factoring in at least one video a day alongside your usual language learning and you’ll soon notice an improvement to your English.