Do you ever find it hard to follow along with English videos? Many students find native speakers talk too fast or use too many complicated vocabulary words. It’s only normal to feel overwhelmed at the beginning, but what is a young student to do? If you understand this dilemma, we’ve got a great suggestion for you: English children’s shows!
Now, before you go running in the opposite direction, hear us out. Animated programs, cartoons, and children’s educational programming provide an easy way to improve your accent, learn new words, and get comfortable with the spoken language.
And hey, who said cartoons were only for kids, anyhow? In fact, sometimes the goofiness of a lighthearted children’s show proves downright refreshing and a breath of fresh air during language study.
Ready on to discover the benefits of programming for kids and find out how to use these shows to boost your English skills.
Why Watch English Children’s Shows?
Children learn to speak a language by listening to those around them. You won’t find a four-year-old with their nose buried in a thick language book, after all. Instead, a toddler pays attention to the people they hear speaking and one day, utters his or her first words.
In theory, things aren’t so different for you as an English student. Sure, you’re not a baby anymore, but acquiring a new language requires you to pay close attention to how native speakers interact with one another. And, just like a young child, you may not have the ability to formulate complicated phrases and ideas just yet.
Benefits of watching cartoons and children’s shows to learn English include:
- Children’s shows are easy to understand
- Most cartoons are short and action-packed
- You’ll be exposed to simple conversations and interactions
- Shows often feature plentiful repetition, making it easy to retain new vocabulary words
The question quickly becomes, why NOT watch English children’s shows to get a better grasp on the language?
How to Incorporate Cartoons into Your Learning Path
Before you jump head first into watching every children’s show you can get your hands on, it’s a good idea to come up with a strategy for getting the most out of your viewing habits. Some cartoons and children’s shows make for great learning tools, whereas others might be less useful to you.
First and foremost, find a show you really enjoy. If you only watch programming meant for infants, you may quickly find yourself bored to tears. There are plenty of clever children’s shows that are enjoyable for both kids and adults. Do a bit of research before you settle on just one.
Next, build on your skills as you go, just like you would do with anything else. Start with shows that teach elementary concepts and ideas and slowly progress as you become more comfortable with the language. You might even be able to find cartoons and shows that cover concepts you’ve learnt in the classroom, which can help solidify the ideas in your head.
It’s also a good idea to find cartoons and shows that feature lifelike dialogue. Many children enjoy watching these shows well into their teenage years, after all, and there are plenty of great options that focus on a main character and his or her friends group. Watching such programs will give you a better idea of how people interact in the real world.
Explore English Cartoons & Shows for Kids
Ready to start your journey using English children’s shows to learn? We’ve compiled a short list of popular cartoons you might want to explore on your own. These programs vary greatly in terms of subject matter and difficulty level, so you should be able to find something that fits your unique skill set and current language level. From the simplest cartoons to complicated shows and movies, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re new to the idea of English children’s shows, BabyFirst content offers a great place to start. BabyFirst creates a wide array of content for infants and toddlers. The company has its own educational channel for littles on in the U.S., but it also makes its videos available for viewers around the world on its YouTube channel.
Perfect when you’re just starting out, BabyFirst videos are super easy to follow and digest. In the compilation clip above, you’ll follow the characters as they explore the names of different colors in English.
Sesame Street is arguably one of the most popular children’s shows of all times. In fact, this clever show has been on the air for nearly 50 years! The show features a mix of people and puppets created by Jim Henson, of The Muppets fame. If you’re already familiar with characters like Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, you may notice their resemblance to the Muppets that appear exclusively on Sesame Street.
The premise of Sesame Street is simple: the show follows a group of people living on a city street called, you guessed it, Sesame Street! The characters all vary in age and each has their own unique backstory. The show is easy for anyone to follow but a bit more complex than some of the BabyFirst material.
This clip features one of the show’s main characters, Elmo, along with the singer, India Arie. The songstress sings a jazzed up version of the “alphabet song.”
Sesame Street often invites well-known celebrities to share the screen with their puppets. Among the many stars who’ve appeared on Sesame Street are personalities like Bruno Mars, Halle Berry, and the band members of One Direction. These skits often include the celebrity teaching a basic concept to the puppets and the viewers at home.
Little Baby Bum
The internet has given rise to a whole new assortment of talented content creators, including the team behind Little Baby Bum. This YouTube Channel creates animated videos featuring popular characters from classic nursery rhymes. The videos also include plenty of original characters and themes.
Surprisingly enough, this independent series has grown to become one of the most popular in YouTube’s history. In fact, Little Baby Bum has the unique distinction of having the first non-music video on YouTube to reach one billion views. A pretty impressive feat, no?
Most of the Little Baby Bum videos are similar to the one we’ve highlighted here and specifically tailored for young viewers. In this clip, a moving train covered in numbers slowly crawls by as voices in the background call out the numbers in succession.
If you’re well into your learning journey, Little Baby Bum isn’t necessarily one of the English children’s shows you need to put on your “must watch” list, but it’s still entertaining if you want a refresher course on the basics of the language.
Pixar Movies (Cars, Toy Story, Finding Nemo)
If you’re eager to explore the world of English language cartoons, there is no reason to limit yourself to exclusively children’s shows. Why not also watch animated movies created for kids to enjoy?
If you love to watch great movies, you’re likely already familiar with Disney, one of the world’s largest film studios. Pixar, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, is behind some of the studio’s most popular movies in recent years, including hits like Cars, Toy Story, and Monsters, Inc. One of the reasons these movies prove so popular is because they’re full of great jokes and one-liners that adults appreciate.
The trailer above for Finding Dory provides just a taste of all that Pixar has to offer. Finding Dory is the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo, and the film brings back together the main characters for another adventure across the ocean blue. Fun fact: Dory is voiced by the popular comedian, Ellen DeGeneres!
It’s worth noting that Pixar movies and other full-length animated features present a much bigger challenge that elementary English children’s shows. If you’re up for the challenge, watching these films can be a good stepping stone to more advanced subject matter.
If you find the content still proves challenging, why not first watch the movie in your native language? Then, with a clear idea of the story being told, you can go back in and watch the movie a second time, this time drawing immediate parallels in your head.
Looking for More Cartoons and Shows?
As you likely already know, YouTube is a treasure trove of great videos you can use to learn English. Naturally, there are plenty of cartoons and English children’s shows on the platform, too.
If you’re not already using our Woodpecker app, this multi-featured learning tool offers a great resource for watching classic cartoons. Our app makes it easy to find great YouTube clips, enjoy simultaneous subtitle streams, and keep a clear record of all of the new vocabulary you’ve mastered.
Can’t get enough children’s content? Download the app now for even more!