Learning a language isn’t a spectator sport.
Watching videos is a great supplement to your learning routine.
But you can’t watch your way to fluency—you need a little more interaction in your English studies.
Sure, all those hours you spend reading ESL textbooks and memorizing flashcards have been great for helping you improve your English skills. Now you need to add some excitement into your studies—and you can do that with fun English videos and helpful exercises.
The best part about being an ESL student is that there will never be a shortage of English stories, songs and fun video clips available online. So if you ever get bored with your current material and want something new, you can continue your learning experience thanks to sites like YouTube.
However, if you want to maximize your learning experience, simply watching English videos isn’t enough. You also need to challenge yourself and practice the material as you learn it.
And starting today, you can do just that by looking at this list of helpful English videos with exercises.
5 Sources for English Videos with Exercises to Really Get In on the Action
Anglo-Link is a British YouTube channel that specializes in teaching English grammar and pronunciation to ESL students of all levels. With nearly a million subscribers, Anglo-Link is one of the more popular YouTube channels out there. But what really sets them apart from some of the other channels is their practice videos, which are filled with exercises that quiz you on the material you’ve just learned.
Some of their more popular lessons and exercises include:
- English Verb Tense Lesson: a review of all the verb tenses you’ll find in the English language.
- English Tense Exercises: an interactive video with fill-in-the-blank exercises covering different verb tenses.
- Passive Voice Lesson: a short lesson that teaches about the passive voice, what it’s used for, and when to use it.
- Passive Voice Exercises: a practice video filled with exercises where you change sentences from the active voice into the passive voice.
Skills: Listening, speaking, grammar, reading and vocabulary
If you want to learn through interactive videos and engaging exercises, but want something a bit more comprehensive than YouTube videos, try FluentU.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "brought," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
And, if you love learning with authentic English content, don’t forget to subscribe to the FluentU English channel on YouTube. (It’s run by the same team that brings you language immersion with the FluentU app.)
The videos on the FluentU English channel will show you how to learn everyday English from real-world resources:
- Improve your English listening skills with television favorites
- Become a better storyteller in English with lessons from great public speakers
- Learn essential vocabulary from movies and TV shows
- Get current with trendy English words
Be sure to tap the notification bell so you won’t miss any new learning tips from FluentU English!
Skills: Speaking, listening and pronunciation
Rachel’s English is a popular YouTube channel designed to help ESL students practice pronunciation and speaking skills. All of the videos focus on American English and are great for anyone trying to improve their fluency and speak English naturally.
Since most of Rachel’s videos are filled with exercises, it’s easy to practice along as you watch. And another cool thing about Rachel’s English is how she often makes challenge videos, where she asks her viewers a question and has them respond by sending videos of their own. But if that’s not something you’re interested in doing, take a look at some of her English videos with exercises instead:
- English Conversation Exercise — Trip to Florida: In this video, Rachel looks at the difference between “classroom English,” which can sound robotic and formal, and conversational English. This is done by listening to the same conversation with both types of pronunciation and comparing the two.
- Pronunciation Exercise — Where I Live: Listen and repeat with Rachel as she reads a conversation and explains how to pronounce words like a native English speaker from the United States.
- Is Rachel Stressed? — Imitation Exercise: Two of the harder parts of mastering English pronunciation are stress and intonation, but this video does a great job explaining how and when to stress words. It’s filled with a variety of listen and repeat exercises, as well as intonation questions that you can answer along the way.
Rachel’s English is also home to countless other videos with exercises that you can do as you follow along. If you’re trying to improve your pronunciation and listening skills, I’d recommend spending some time looking at some of the other videos posted on her YouTube channel.
Skills: Reading and speaking
eLearningWorkroom is perfect for students who enjoy the traditional learning experience, with examples and detailed explanations that make you feel like you’re working with an actual teacher.
eLearningWorkroom has a wide range of interactive videos and exercises that help you improve your speaking, listening and reading skills. This makes the channel perfect for students who need to boost their reading comprehension for work, school or to prepare for standardized ESL tests like the TOEFL and IELTS.
Each video gives you some information about what to expect when taking the IELTS test, and then gives you sample questions for you to answer. Some popular exercise videos posted on this channel include:
- Let’s Practice IELTS — Reading: Here, you’ll learn a little bit about the reading portion of the IELTS and how to properly answer questions. Afterwards, you’re given paragraphs to read and then answer questions about. As this happens, the speaker in the video gives you clues and advice to help you find the correct answer to each reading.
- Let’s Practice IELTS — Speaking #1: In this exercise, you have to hold a basic conversation with the speaker in the video. You’ll be asked a number of interview questions about yourself, like your name, hobbies and interests. After that, you’re given a topic that you’re expected to speak about for a total of two minutes. Finally, you’ll have to answer a series of questions related to the topic you spoke about.
- Let’s Practice IELTS — Speaking #2: This video is set up in three parts just like the first speaking video, but with different questions.
Skills: Listening and vocabulary
Are you looking for something a little more fun and relaxed? If so, LearnEnglishESL might be just what you’ve been looking for. Here, you can sharpen your vocabulary and practice your listening skills while watching short video clips of English movies. And in the description of each video uploaded, you’ll find a script, vocabulary words and their definitions, as well as gap fill exercises to test your listening skills.
LearnEnglishESL hasn’t been updated in a while, so all of the exercises are taken from video clips of movies released a few years ago. With that said, the YouTube channel is great for anyone who’d like to take a short break from textbooks and flashcards.
Here are some of the more popular videos on the channel:
- Study English Vocabulary in Movies — “Pride & Prejudice”: Learn vocabulary and test your reading while watching clips based on this popular Jane Austen novel.
- Learn English Vocabulary with Movies — “Rear Window”: In this exercise, you’ll answer questions after watching a short clip of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie, “Rear Window.”
- Learn English Through Movies — “500 Days of Summer”: After watching this short video clip of a romance movie, review the vocabulary words and take the quiz below.
After looking around on the YouTube channel, you’ll see that most of the videos are only a couple of minutes long and have short exercises. However, the list of vocabulary words is quite long, and you can increase your practice by making a sentence with each word taught in the description.
The next time you look at your textbook and say, “Nope, not today,” try practicing with one of these English videos with exercises.
It’ll be a nice break from your regular study routine, and you might just learn something new.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.