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Get Moody! How to Learn American English Online with 13 Funny and Serious Resources

You’re waiting for the perfect moment.

Everyone’s eyes are on you.

Everybody is holding their breath.

You wait a moment longer before expertly sharing the punchline—the final line of your joke.

And what you expected happens—everyone erupts into laughter and there are smiles all around. Happiness fills the room and everyone looks like they’re having the time of their lives.

These moments—the ones where you can share a good joke—is one of the best feelings in the world!

Humor is like medicine for the soul. Laughter makes you feel good, but it’s also a fantastic way to boost your learning.

But how can you improve your American English with humor alone? What if you need specific guidance on aspects of American English?

Don’t worry because we (and the internet) have you covered. The best approach is to use a mixture of learning resources that use comedy and others that explicitly explain the unique features of American English.
 


 
Learn a foreign language with videos

How Is American English Unique?

You only need to turn on an American TV show or switch to an American radio channel to hear the unique qualities of American English. And for English learners, one of the biggest hurdles is learning the correct pronunciation of the American accent.

The pronunciation of a language comes in the form of different sounds and stresses placed on various parts of a word. American English has several sounds and stresses that stand out, including placing an emphasis on the letter “r” in words. And although the accent depends on the region, you’ll notice that the letter “t” has a softer sound that resembles the sound of the letter “d.”

By learning the many specific characteristics of American English, you can develop your pronunciation skills and advance towards fluency. In addition to pronunciation, American grammar, slang words and common phrases also differ.

Learning these concepts will improve your communication skills and help you understand the context of American English—the specific meanings attached to this version of the English language.

Why Use Humor to Learn American English?

Sure, you can learn these concepts in other ways, but why not laugh your way to fluency? Here are some reasons you should use humor to learn American English:

  • First of all, humor is a great way to lessen the stress of speaking English! Developing your ability to understand American English comedy is more for yourself than anything else.
  • Finding fun ways to learn will lift the pressure you may feel when learning a new language and allow you to enjoy learning a lot more.
  • Humor is also useful when starting conversations, a major step in any English learner’s journey. These moments can be very difficult for some students. Starting with a funny line or rehearsed joke can help the conversation start naturally and take it in an enjoyable direction.
  • Who doesn’t love to have a good laugh? Being around funny people makes you smile. You feel drawn to these people because they make it easy to listen, and they make you feel good! Making someone feel comfortable with humor is the perfect way to invite them to communicate with you.

How to Learn American English Online with Podcasts, Blogs, Emails and YouTube Videos

Ready to mix up your learning? We’ve got a great range of silly online resources for those times you feel like getting a bit silly.

We’ve also got a resource in each section that’s specifically for English language learners. These target specific aspects of American pronunciation for those occasions when you’re in a more serious learning mood.

Podcasts

Listening is the best way to learn American English pronunciation. You’re able to hear the difference in an American’s voice clearly including the different sounds and stresses in a variety of American English words.

Podcasts are the busy learner’s best friend because there’s such a big selection, and they’re so readily available. Listen as you stand in line at the coffee shop, travel on the bus or while you enjoy your lunch break. Podcasts are a great resource because they efficiently fill the gaps throughout your day.

The Dollop with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds

Level: Intermediate

Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds are two comedians who enjoy sharing unbelievable and often hilarious events from America’s history. This podcast is well researched and caters to the interested history student, as well as English learners looking to have a giggle.

The hosts are a great pair and do a great job at speaking in an educated yet funny way. The way they joke with each other makes the audience laugh hysterically and puts an interesting spin on the topics of conversation. It’s interesting to hear the strange and unbelievable events that have occurred in America’s past.

Why it’s helpful: 

The hosts speak slowly and clearly, which helps learners identify specific American English sounds, words or phrases.

The podcast’s topics are relevant to America, therefore providing listeners with background information about American life. This, with the layer of humor placed over the top, exposes learners to the ways American English is used to create funny jokes.

How Did This Get Made?

Level: Intermediate

Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas join a live crowd to review (and laugh about) the worst movies ever made. The trio mostly reviews American movies, discussing their storylines, themes, actors and actresses, as well as why the movie is so bad.

How Did This Get Made finds the funny in things that aren’t funny. Listeners get great insight into the American culture as the hosts explain how something can be so bad that it ends up being hilarious.

Why it’s helpful: 

If you like watching movies, this is the podcast for you (even if the movies don’t have great reviews)!

Watching the movie and then listening to the hosts discuss the storyline gives you an insight into the American way of life. You can then apply this knowledge to make sure your American English jokes and humor match the context of your situation.

American English Pronunciation

Level: Beginner

Each episode of the American English Pronunciation podcast focuses on a list of words you can practice out loud. The focus is on repeating the words to learn and practice the correct sounds and stresses in American English words.

This podcast gets to the point straight away, explaining important information for English learners. The process of saying each word out loud helps beginners learn the basics of American English pronunciation easily.

Why it’s helpful: 

Often when we take our learning into society we’re surrounded by fast-talking English speakers. This can cause problems since the English we’re trying to hear and translate is too fast.

American English Pronunciation fixes this problem. Each word is spoken slowly and clearly. The lessons focus on each specific sound used in American English, including vowel sounds, consonant sounds and the r-controlled sounds natural to American speakers.

The American English Pronunciation podcast also comes with a handy e-book to support your learning and their website offers informative articles to explain more about the content in the podcasts.

Blogs and Websites

Blogs and websites are great for improving your reading skills and grammar, as well as teaching you common slang words and phrases used in American English. They give you the opportunity to learn how the everyday American English language translates into writing.

These online resources, especially blogs, contain more personal information. They’re interesting and share topics that readers can relate to.

SRS Funny

Level: Beginner

SRS Funny is a social website that showcases the funniest content on the internet. Here you’ll find anything from images and quotes to jokes and short videos that readers have sent in. With the variety of authors, and a large amount of content on SRS Funny, there’s sure to be something to make every reader laugh.

Sometimes the shorter jokes are the funniest. SRS Funny is the perfect place to learn those one-line jokes that are clever, easy to remember and don’t require a whole lot of words.

Why it’s helpful:

Humorous American English doesn’t only have to be in the form of spoken or written words. An image or video can be extremely funny and often a better way to communicate the context behind a joke. This can make it easier for American English learners to understand.

Because the content is created by the readers themselves, English learners can really relate to the humor being shared. Most of the jokes are about everyday activities that most people experience.

If you’re a bit shy or nervous about starting a funny conversation using American English, try it online first! SRS Funny is an interactive website. Send them a simple joke, funny image or hilarious video and test out your humor before you use it in a face-to-face conversation.

Sandpaper Suit

Level: Advanced

American comedian Matt Ruby is the author of this blog. He’s also a comic strip creator, stand-up comedian and co-producer of the “Hot Soup” live comedy show in New York City. His website shares his funny ideas about the latest topics and trends in America.

Matt Ruby transforms any serious news event with his short and funny articles. He shows how you can still talk about the serious side of American society with a sense of humor.

Why it’s helpful:

Reading the Sandpaper Suit blog helps advanced English students learn American slang, an essential component of sounding like a native.

Matt Ruby is also a great role model for those who need to add a bit of light-hearted humor in their lives. He expresses his own faults and failures in a funny and harmless way. His writing is interesting and informative but most of all it teaches you how to not take your English learning too seriously!

Learn American English Online

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

Learn American English Online is a structured website that guides you through various levels of English learning. Each color-coded level focuses on a group of words. You have access to educational activities including lessons on practical uses for words and important grammar tips.

Paul Lawrence is the educator behind Learn American English Online and he’s passionate about helping American English learners. He believes the secret to learning the language successfully is understanding the logic of grammar and writing down everything you learn.

Why it’s helpful:

The site offers written information, audio podcasts, videos, quizzes, downloadable checklists and suggested reading resources to match anybody’s learning style. The way the lessons are presented on the website provides a clear pathway for your learning.

Paul Lawrence looks closely at American English grammar, a really important aspect when looking at the uniqueness of American English. This prepares students for maintaining a clear understanding, even as the language they learn gets more difficult.

Email Subscriptions

Daily, weekly or even monthly email subscriptions are a great way to practice your American English reading and comprehension skills.

If you’re someone who often postpones your language lessons, signing up for subscriptions and newsletters is the easiest way to keep your learning on track. Subscribing to these online resources means you don’t have to go out of your way to learn—the learning comes straight you!

Reading American English from your inbox on a regular basis gives you a routine to commit to and follow. Plus, if you receive your email first thing in the morning you feel great knowing you’ve completed your practice even before your day has begun.

Daily Water Cooler

Level: Intermediate

Subscribe to the Daily Water Cooler and you’ll receive both funny and serious content in your email inbox. Each email is divided into the sections on business, politics, sports and culture, and is set out in easy to read bullet points.

Whether it makes you laugh or think, the Daily Water Cooler newsletter will put new ideas in your head. It shares the most up-to-date information from all over the world, which includes facts, quotes and hilarious GIFs (a short video of a moving image).

Why it’s helpful:

The Daily Water Cooler subscription keeps your knowledge fresh. The reading, viewing and listening you do every time you open the daily email exposes you to American English that’s relevant today. It’s also a great way to see how American English is used in many different forms of media.

Pun of the Day

Level: Intermediate and advanced

A pun is a joke that plays on the different meanings of words in a funny way.

For example, “On land, crabs tend to use the sidewalk” is a pun. A “sidewalk” is the path or walkway that runs along the edge of the road. However, you can also use this word to describe how a crab walks (from side to side). The humor is created because both meanings of the word “sidewalk” are correct in this sentence.

Pun of the Day collects puns from people all over the world. When you sign up for the Pun of the Day subscription, you’ll receive the funniest pun of the day in your email inbox.

Why it’s helpful:

Puns seem simple but can be very difficult for English learners to understand. This is because you need a wide vocabulary and the ability to understand the different meanings of words.

Reading a pun a day will help you learn more about the various meanings of common words in the American English language. Doing so will not only increase your vocabulary but it will improve your pun skills too!

English and Culture

Level: Beginning and intermediate

English Culture offers a free subscription of their American English Pronunciation lessons. Several times a week, a lesson will be sent to your inbox. Each lesson provides clearly written explanations as well as a helpful video.

English Culture’s lessons cover a range of topics, including American English sounds, pronunciation, grammar and meaning. They do a great job teaching beginners the more difficult concepts, such as silent letters in words and commonly confused words. They offer detailed examples and focus on only a small group of words in each lesson.

Why it’s helpful:

The convenience of having important yet interesting topics sent to your inbox will help you stay on top of your learning schedule. Continuing with a daily or weekly routine like this will keep your new knowledge about American English pronunciation at the front of your mind—ensuring you’re ready to use it in your daily conversations.

YouTube

If you want to perfect your American English pronunciation, practice your comprehension and understand American idioms, YouTube is the place to be!

With five billion videos across its entire network, you won’t be lost looking for good content to help you advance your English skills.

As well as being educational, YouTube is a social place. Have fun sharing interesting videos with friends while you learn more about the American Language.

FluentU

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

FluentU is an online immersion platform that takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Videos are organized by difficulty (beginner to native), topic (arts and entertainment, health and lifestyle, etc.) and format (video blog, news, shows, etc.)—so you can easily browse and find something perfect for your level and interests.

Why it’s helpful:

Every word comes with an in-context definition, image, audio and multiple example sentences for easy learning and understanding. You can even click on a word to see how it’s used in other videos across the site. (Say goodbye to spending hours searching for good videos!)

Comedy Central

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

With numerous playlists to choose from, Comedy Central’s YouTube channel has videos on many topics. Watch anything from hilarious stand-up comedians, silly cartoons or funny video clips.

If you’re watching on your phone or device in public, be warned—you’ll laugh out loud! With such a wide variety of visual content on Comedy Central, you can find anything to make you giggle.

Why it’s helpful:

The more you watch and listen, the more you learn. The diversity of videos on Comedy Central displays the common traits of American humor. English learners can use this online resource to get a clear idea of what American society considers funny as well as committing correct American English pronunciation to memory.

College Humor

Level: Intermediate and advanced

College Humor is a collection of videos created by a group of talented American actors. The playlists are full of funny videos up to five minutes long. Check out this online resource for a quick mood booster or to share a funny moment with a friend.

The reason College Humor’s videos are so funny is because they’re about everyday scenarios. The actors do a great job of highlighting the funny moments in our daily lives and taking them to the extreme.

Why it’s helpful:

These delightfully funny videos are a great way to learn how to use American English slang correctly. See how you can transform an average situation in the typical American life into something hilarious.

College Humor videos are also great for learning American idioms and common phrases to use to give your friends a laugh. The biggest challenge will be trying not to laugh before you get the words out!

Pronunciation Pro

Level: Beginner

Pronunciation Pro releases a new video every Monday. Annie Ruden, the teacher in each lesson, takes you step by step through various issues many beginner learners may face when learning American English pronunciation.

Annie Ruden specifically caters to new learners with her simple explanations and clear voice. In addition to teaching the correct sounds and stresses in words, she also provides video lesson on tips for building your confidence to improve your speaking skills.

Why it’s helpful:

Pronunciation Pro not only explains what American English pronunciation sounds like but teaches you how to create these sounds. Use the video lessons on intonation, voiced and voiceless sounds and reducing your native accent to help your American accent develop.

 

The internet is an amazing place. Even though we should take our learning seriously, it should never be dull.

Using these online resources makes learning American English easier and much more exciting.
 

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