An old proverb goes something like this:
“Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will learn.”
Most videos do a marvelous job of showing you something memorable.
But only a few of them can actually involve you.
Vlogs (video blogs) are one example of the rare type of video that can make you a part of their world.
They are online diaries that are recorded as videos instead of written words. Most of them are recorded in a format where people talk directly to the camera. And they are perfect for learning English through real native speakers.
In this post, we will give you a list of vloggers (people who make vlogs) you can follow on YouTube right now, and help you decide which channel is most suitable for your learning needs.
Why Vlogs Are Amazing for English Learning
- They are not scripted: Vlogs are supposed to be casual and spontaneous. This makes them more real and gives the viewers a clearer idea of how native speakers generally talk.
- They are about daily life: Vlogs are not supposed to have complex plots. Vloggers generally just talk about what they did that day or that week. Sometimes they talk about the things that interest them. But every vlog relates to their everyday life somehow.
- Vlogs involve a lot of conversations: All vlogs are essentially YouTubers talking to their viewers about their daily lives. Sometimes they also feature their friends and show casual interactions between them. This helps learners hear natural conversations among native speakers.
- They are informal: Vloggers almost never use formal language in their videos. That means you will hear slang, casual expressions, common abbreviations and more.
- They are relatable: We all like to shop, have parties, eat, travel and just have fun with our friends. These are the things that vloggers talk about in their videos. This relatable (familiar; relevant to your own life) quality makes the videos both easier to understand and more interesting.
Learn English with Video Blogs! 14 Incredible Channels for Language Learners
For every vlog channel below, we have selected a video that is best suited for your English practice based on the content and its popularity. We recommend that you watch those videos to judge whether a channel is appropriate for you.
If you want to supplement your English vlog viewing with videos created just for English learners, you should know about FluentU. FluentU provides real-world English videos—including vlogs and YouTube clips, movie trailers, music videos, inspiring talks and more—that have been transformed into language learning experiences.
Each video comes with interactive captions. Just click any word for an instant definition and native pronunciation. The videos also have flashcards and exercises so you can remember new words after you are done watching. It is a fun way to build your vocabulary while absorbing English the way native speakers really use it.
FluentU’s videos are organized by genre and learning level, so it is always easy to find something that works for you. Check out the free trial to start exploring authentic, interactive English videos along with the vlogs below.
Ben Brown’s channel is all about traveling to different parts of the world. In his vlogs he documents either the natural beauty of the place or the unique culture of a region. His most famous videos are about his trip to the Arctic where he recorded huge icebergs, whales and villages.
Apart from his travel videos, he also makes “behind the scenes” videos where he records all the things he has to do to create content for his channel. Unlike many other YouTubers he has a whole crew who help him make professional videos.
Learners who like to travel or who like bikes will love this channel. This is also great for beginners since he speaks in short sentences in a slow pace and focuses more on the visual content of the video.
Best Video: “Welcome to the Ship!”
Colleen is another internet celebrity who is famous for her character “Miranda Sings.” She has a separate channel for this character and also had a Netflix series. But on Colleen Vlogs, she invites her viewers into her real life.
Although Miranda Sings is quite popular, that channel is not suitable for learners as the character speaks incorrect English (this is because her fans find it funny). But Colleen in reality speaks perfect English.
Her vlogs are mostly about her friends, her travels, her tours and sometimes about special occasions like her birthday or holiday parties. She has a Californian accent and her pace of speaking is ideal for beginner English learners.
Through his vlogs, Louis aims to “share the diverse and beautiful world we live in.” This channel is not your usual travel channel. Louis’ videos almost look like a documentary and he even hired his own plane to go around the world. Louis focuses exclusively on the culture of a place.
He is often with his friends and they have a lot of fun with one another. For English learners who are curious about the world as a whole, this channel is like a goldmine. He interviews interesting people everywhere he goes along with random people he meets while traveling.
Louis is from the U.K. and his channel is especially useful to learn the British accent. His videos also have a relaxed and easy pace, making them perfect for beginners. If you practice listening with his videos, try to remember, repeat or write down what he says while the music plays in between the dialogues.
Best Video: “Camel Surfing”
Jack started this channel by making travel vlogs, but soon he branched into different types of videos. Recently he has created a series about climate change and also makes videos about various issues like mental health. He also creates vlogs about music sessions with his friends who are amazing musicians.
This channel is great for learning British English as Jack is from Britain. His videos often have clear narration over the video, which makes it easier for learners to hear the words. This makes his videos good English listening material for beginners and intermediate learners.
Best Video: “Let’s Talk About Mental Health”
Zoe Sugg is a lifestyle and beauty blogger who has been making videos for about a decade. The internet knows her as Zoella and she focuses on fashion, shopping, makeup and parties. Learners can use her videos to update their vocabulary from the fashion and beauty world.
She has a strong British accent but it is easy to understand. Her vlogs focus on holidays, road trips with friends and important parties and festivals. She follows an internet trend called “Vlogmas” where YouTubers make daily videos until Christmas. This provides a steady stream of videos for you to watch while discovering English customs around the winter holidays.
She also makes detailed videos about Christmas shopping and gives in-depth descriptions about the objects.
Her videos are recommended for intermediate learners, although upper beginners will also benefit from her videos.
Best Video: “Five Go Exploring in Edinburgh”
Mayim is actually a TV celebrity who has recently moved online. She plays the character of Amy in “The Big Bang Theory.” She is also a neuroscientist and a mother.
Her vlogs focus on relationships, science, parenting, women’s issues, sex and other personal topics. Just like the vlogbrothers (discussed below), she prefers to talk directly to the camera in one position instead of taking the viewers to different places. She talks in a steady and slow pace and has a very clear voice.
Learners will love her videos and can use them for listening practice, vocabulary building, intonation and being aware of the issues that are important for native English speakers in general.
Beginners should pause the videos and look up the difficult words she sometimes uses. For instance, she talks about geek chic in the video below, which is all about how people who are obsessed with technical things and video games are made to look fashionable in the media. (Generally, geeks are seen as uncool or unpopular.)
Best Video: “Hurts to Be Different”
Roman’s channel focuses more on his family than his own adventures. His vlogs tend to record extremely personal moments. He famously announced his wife’s pregnancy online. He even recorded his daughter’s first surgery in his daily vlog. His dogs are also a great part of his show.
English listeners will find his videos genuine and authentic. He often focuses on relationships and has deep conversations with others. He also has fun with his dear ones. It is a great way to learn a more personal and informal kind of English. The channel is really great for intermediate learners. Since he takes a lot of time to explore one thing, his videos are slower in pace and easier to follow.
Best Video: “She Is Finally Here!”
This is a daily video journal of Charles and Allie Trippy, who are married. They have been making a video every day for over eight years and they have actually created a world record! They have been featured in the Guinness World Records.
Their videos are about what they do in a day. So learners have more than 3,000 videos to choose from. They make a lot of videos about daily objects like groceries, toys, gifts, items for their pets and so on. They also like to travel a lot but not to exotic locations.
It is great for listening practice and conversation practice since they speak individually in all their videos, unlike many vloggers who like to put in more music than dialogue. Their videos are ideal for intermediate learners.
Best Video: “Kitty on a Leash”
This channel is run by Davis Edwards, but people know him as “Hitch” on the internet. He has a very unusual job of making videos for a gaming company. In this channel he likes to record his fun and different life as a member of a gaming organization.
Learners who like gaming or aspire to be professional gamers would love his weekly vlogs about his daily life. His channel is very autobiographical, meaning that he focuses on the story of his life and everyone else who is close to him. For instance, he makes tour videos of every room in the house where he lives with other members of his organization.
His narrative style is extremely simple and conversational, making it useful for intermediate learners. Since he is a gamer, he often talks about the latest technologies, which might interest people who love electronic gadgets.
Best Video: “Hitch’s Room Tour”
“Do what you can’t,” Casey says in his introduction video.
And in a way that is exactly what he has been doing his whole life. Neistat is perhaps one of the most famous video bloggers on the internet. He produces videos that are known for their professional quality even though he has never learned filmmaking. According to estimates, Casey Neistat is a millionaire and he made his fortune almost entirely through his videos.
He produces some of the most entertaining videos of the internet. You can see him snowboard with the New York Police Department, review luxury airlines or even talk about his personal life. He also makes adventure movies and DIY (do-it-yourself) videos in which he creates gadgets.
His videos are all different. Some of them have almost no dialogue and others are all about him talking to the camera. So you might need to surf around to find one that works for language practice. Since his videos are always very fast-paced, they are recommended for intermediate to advanced learners.
Neistat was born in Connecticut and now lives in New York, so his accent has influences from the Northeast U.S.
Best Video: “Climbing Fire Escapes in NYC”
Often referred to as the most famous female vlogger on YouTube, Superwoman is another internet millionaire. She became famous overnight when her video about how Indian parents react to their children became popular. Since then she makes regular videos and has started a separate vlogging channel.
She plays various characters in her videos including her parents, her friends, other celebrities and so on. Both YouTube and real celebrities regularly appear on her show. She has even interviewed Bill Gates and Michelle Obama!
Her vlogs are always about her daily life. English students can learn a lot about daily routines, the different kinds of food people enjoy in North America and how people talk during dates. Since she records lots of videos and is also a singer, she often takes her viewers behind the scenes and talks about the process of doing these things.
A lot of learners from India might connect to her more since she is an Indian-Canadian. She often features traditional Indian foods, clothes and even rituals (like marriages). Her vlogs are best suited for intermediate to advanced learners as her speaking speed is fast.
Best Video: “The Time I Meet Selena Gomez”
Justin Escalona is a filmmaker who lives in Los Angeles along with his friends. Unlike Hitch’s videos he focuses more on his group than himself. His “Daily Docs” series is perfect for getting to know Justin and his whole group of friends. They often sit on a couch together and talk directly facing the camera. It feels like they are having a conversation with you and telling you about their day.
His videos are both beautiful and energetic. He takes his viewers to different places in the city where his whole group likes to have fun and spend most of their time. His videos can be helpful in vocabulary-building as most of his videos explore everything in a place. For example, he visited an arcade and filmed his friends playing almost every game.
Although the words they use are often simple, the speed of their conversation makes it suitable only for intermediate to advanced learners. Since Justin was raised in California, his videos are also useful for learning the Californian accent.
Best Video: “Daily Docs” Episode 1
vlogbrothers is one of the most famous vlogging channels on the internet. They have a whole community of fans who call themselves “nerd fighters.” This gives learners an opportunity to be a part of a group where they can make friends from all over the world and practice English conversation with them.
John and Hank Green run this channel. They have written books, hosted other shows and have also started a tour. In the vlogs they talk about anything, but mostly they talk about current events such as the rising hate in the world or climate change. Sometimes they also share personal things like New Year’s resolutions or just some jokes they like.
The format of the vlog is very convenient for English learners. Each video has only one brother speaking directly to the camera. There is no music, no shots of other places and no distractions. This allows the viewers to just focus on the words and practice their listening skills. However, since both the brothers speak fast, the channel is appropriate only for intermediate to advanced learners.
Best Video: “2017 Is the Best?”
This channel is run by the Wynn family, who describe themselves as “adventure junkies,” or people who love to travel, especially to unknown or dangerous places. They made these videos after they sold everything they owned and decided to travel all the time.
Along with their travel videos, they also make videos about their own stories and history. Over time, they have found other people who share their lifestyle and they also appear in these videos. They like to make other informational videos for people who want to live like they do. They have videos about how to use solar power, how to live in a van or a boat and how to use composting toilets.
Depending on which videos you watch, you can gain knowledge about technical English (like with their videos about solar panels) or you can discover different places and cultures through their travel videos. The vocabulary they use is often complex, so this channel is recommended for advanced learners only.
Best Video: “Chocolate Dreams”
Vloggers each have their own style and they often like to create their own style of speaking. For your English practice, it is always recommended that you follow different channels so that you get to know which parts of the video are unique to the vlogger and which parts of speech belong to general English.
Dhritiman Ray is a writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. He specializes in topics like education, psychology and lifestyle. To know more click here.
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