“Efficiency is intelligent laziness.”
This David Dunham quote offends many people.
We generally think “efficiency” involves working very hard, while “laziness” is the opposite of hard work.
But efficiency is all about saving time and effort. If you’re efficient, you can finish your work quickly and get back to relaxing, having fun and being lazy.
So how about a little intelligent laziness for your English learning?
When you learn English on YouTube, you can efficiently improve your English skills—as long as you have the right video lessons.
If you’re feeling especially lazy, no worries! We’ve collected all the best YouTube videos that’ll teach you how to speak English.
Use this article as a “cheat sheet” to quickly learn English conversation skills, important grammar concepts, correct word usage and more. You’ll even get guidance on how to sound like a natural, fluent English speaker faster.
How to Apply YouTube Learning in Real English Conversations
- Don’t think too much while speaking: Native speakers often use incorrect grammar or sentence structures. So if you’re a learner, making a few mistakes is okay. But if you think too much, it’ll block the flow of the conversation and that often makes you sound like a bad speaker.
Many of the YouTube videos below will help you speak smoothly and naturally, without overthinking—pay special attention to the video about “chunking.”
- Don’t try to imitate native speakers’ accents (at least in the beginning): If you’ve been learning English with YouTube, you’ve probably tried to repeat what you heard and imitate the pronunciation. That’s great! But don’t necessarily try it in real life.
Imitating a local accent can take months and even years of practice. If you speak in an accent that’s an imperfect copy of native speakers, some people might think you’re inauthentic or you’re making fun of them.
So, again, don’t overthink it. Speak with the accent that naturally comes to you while trying to pronounce words as accurately as possible.
- Don’t overuse slang: Slang words are a good way to create a casual atmosphere. But some learners use slang too much—again, that sounds a little inauthentic. A good rule is to notice how many slang words the person you’re talking to is using and follow their lead.
Some of the YouTube video lessons below will cover common English expressions and slang terms, and how to use them.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something: Questions are a good way to continue the conversation. It motivates the other person to speak more. And it also avoids any confusion. Admitting that you didn’t understand a word and asking them to repeat is quite common in conversations. The EnglishClass101 YouTube lesson below talks more about how to ask better questions.
Learn English YouTube: All the Best Videos to Learn How to Speak English Quickly
Learn English from all angles with the YouTube videos below. We’ve split them up into specific categories to help you choose the ones you need for studying or reviewing at any time. Below you’ll find English videos that include:
- English grammar lessons
- English pronunciation tutorials
- Spoken English and conversational English lessons
- YouTube lessons to learn English faster
Where to Learn English Grammar on YouTube
Five-minute Tutorial on English Articles (englishgrammarspot)
This quick lesson is best for beginners who are just starting to learn English. It teaches you everything you need to know to use English articles correctly.
The two main kinds of articles in English include definite and indefinite articles. “The” is the definite article in English. It’s used when you’re talking about a specific, defined thing.
The dog with the red collar stole my sandwich.
“A” and “an” are the indefinite articles in English. They’re used when talking about one of a general set of things.
A dog stole my sandwich, but I’m not sure which one.
The video also talks about the “zero article.” This is when English speakers don’t use an article where we normally expect it to be used. This is most common with seasons. For instance the phrase “winter is here” doesn’t use “the” before “winter.”
englishgrammarspot’s lesson is very simple to understand and takes very little time to explain all the important rules of using articles in English.
Zero Article Explanation and Examples (BBC Learning English)
Need a little more info on that tricky “zero article” we just mentioned? This video gives several rules for when you don’t need an article in English.
The tutor is very engaging to listen to and provides helpful examples as he goes.
Better yet, this YouTube video is one of thousands of English videos you can watch on FluentU. That means you can get way more learning out of it.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Every video on FluentU comes with interactive subtitles. Don’t understand a word? Just click it for an instant definition, memorable picture and useful sample sentences.
Plus, those English subtitles are provided by a team of professionals—so you don’t have to rely on YouTube’s auto-generated captions, which are so often inaccurate.
Once you’re done watching, FluentU provides flashcards and fun quizzes to make sure you remember everything you just learned.
Every FluentU video is organized by topic and level (Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Advanced 1, Advanced 2) so you can easily find the ones that work for you. And just like your YouTube app, you can take FluentU anywhere with the mobile apps for iOS and Android. Sign up for a free trial to watch the video above—and the full video library—with all the learning features.
Learn English with TED Talks: The Case for Working from Home (FluentU English)
FluentU isn’t just a language learning program, it’s also a YouTube channel.
The FluentU English YouTube channel uses real examples of English videos to teach English such as movie trailers, TV shows clips and inspiring speeches like TED Talks.
In fact, TED Talks are not only good for helping us to be better people, but they are a great way to see grammar being used in real speech.
This video from FluentU English has a speech by Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress. WordPress is an online program that helps people build websites on the internet. In the video, Matt explains how most WordPress employees all over the world work from home.
Matt also explains why he decided to do this at WordPress. He believes that there are talented workers everywhere, and working from home allows WordPress to hire employees from every country. He also believes that working from home allows workers to make choices for themselves that make them better workers.
After the TED Talk, the tutor in the video explains some of the vocabulary and grammar structures that Matt used in his speech.
For example, in this video, Matt says that WordPress is “coming up on over 800 employees.” The tutor explains that this is a slang phrase to mean that WordPress is approaching a total of 800 employees who work for the company. She also explains that this phrase is used with the verb “to be,” which needs to change to “are” after the word “we” when Matt says, “we are coming up on over 800 employees.”
The best part of FluentU English videos that the tutor gives the viewer an opportunity to get involved. Learners can practice their own pronunciation of a word or phrase by repeating after the speaker in the video.
Check out this video and many others including the best tips for learning and how to learn English with movies, TV shows and more by subscribing to FluentU English!
English Sentence Pattern Tutorial (Master English)
A sentence pattern is how you arrange the nouns and verbs in a sentence. This is very important, since a good sentence pattern makes your spoken and written English easier to understand.
It also helps you quickly frame a sentence with very little effort.
There are two major sentence patterns in English. The first is “subject, verb, object,” also called SVO.
John eats an apple.
“John” is the subject, “eats” is the verb and “an apple” is the object.
The other pattern is “subject, verb, complement.” The complement describes the subject.
John is frustrated.
“John” is the subject, “is” is the verb and “frustrated” is the complement.
The video above will explain both concepts in more depth with multiple examples.
12 English Tenses Explained in 15 Minutes (linguamaria)
Level: Beginner to intermediate
English has many tenses and it might be hard to keep track of them in the middle of a conversation. This video lesson provides a quick tense review for you. It also explains the logic behind these tenses by using a simple chart.
This lesson is pretty useful for learners who already know how to use tenses in English, but often forget the grammatical rules when having a conversation. Errors related to the use of different tenses are common for not only beginners but also intermediate learners.
You can use this video to quickly refresh your memory before a presentation or a social gathering where you know you’ll be speaking in English.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns Lesson (Oxford English Now)
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Countable and uncountable nouns are tricky topics for most English learners. This video can act as both a lesson to teach you the basic concepts and also as a resource for review later.
Uncountable nouns can never be plural. But learners often convert them into plural forms while speaking in English. Some examples of such nouns are “advice,” “flour” and “dust.” Notice how in English you never say “advices” or “flours.”
You also cannot use “a” or “an” with uncountable nouns in English. But with singular countable nouns, you always need to use “a” or “an” before them.
These rules are easy to follow while reading or writing, because you generally have time to think whether a word sounds right in a sentence or not. But since most conversations are fast-paced, errors with countable and uncountable nouns are more common.
It’s a good idea to use this in your grammar practice session, then review the lesson before an English conversation or even a written test.
Eight Common Grammar Mistakes (Learn English with Rebecca)
As the name of the lesson suggests, in this video the English tutor Rebecca helps you correct the most common grammatical errors made by beginner English learners.
Rebecca first presents eight grammatically incorrect sentences and gives you time to identify the mistakes. She then points out the exact mistake and also tells you how to correct it.
This is a practical way to not only identify errors but also to review some basic grammatical rules that you might have forgotten.
For instance, learners often say “today morning” instead of “this morning” while talking about their day. Learners also confuse the adjective and noun form of certain words quite often.
This lesson is beneficial for all learners who just want a quick review of basic English grammar for everyday use.
Where to Learn English Pronunciation on YouTube
English Pronunciation Training with IPA (mmmEnglish)
Level: Beginner to intermediate
One of the most challenging aspects of learning English is mastering pronunciation. In many other languages, one letter represents only one sound. But in English, the letters represent different sounds based on the words they’re used in.
This video lesson simplifies English pronunciation by using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The IPA is used by people who study languages. Each letter in the IPA represents only one sound, so it can be used to describe the pronunciation of words in any language.
In this YouTube lesson, the teacher Emma shows you how to pronounce some of the most common and tricky words in English. Emma’s use of the IPA will help you increase the accuracy of your English pronunciation, since you’ll be able to identify the exact sound used in a specific word (even if its English spelling seems totally different!).
Since the IPA is also used in dictionaries and other language learning tools, this lesson can potentially help you understand more advanced words on your own.
Rising and Falling Intonation Lesson (English Pronunciation Roadmap)
Intonation is often neglected in many English learning courses, although the right intonation is often more important than the right pronunciation.
This video quickly teaches you some basics of intonation—it specifically focuses on the rising and falling intonation used in British English. The tutor gives you practical tips and examples.
He explains how intonation connects to the meaning of your words and sentences. For instance, an important thing that he notes is that in a list, the things in the beginning are usually spoken with a rising intonation and the items at the end are accompanied with a falling intonation. In this way, an English speaker can signal when a list of items ends.
This is especially helpful for everyday English speaking, since things like grocery lists or even arguments are presented in the form of lists.
He also helps you identify when the intonation falls and rises by using his own voice.
American Intonation Lesson (Accent’s Way English with Hadar Shemesh)
Level: Intermediate to advanced
As with pronunciation and slang, different regions have their own patterns of English intonation. This video talks about the American pattern.
The tutor explains the basic concepts of intonation like rhythm or stress while showing you what she means by changing her voice.
Although the topic itself is relevant to all learners, the vocabulary used in the video makes it difficult for beginners to understand this lesson.
Learners should focus more on the examples rather than the concepts since intonation is learned by doing. It’s also a good idea to repeat after the tutor speaks a sentence and try to mimic her intonation.
The tutor also makes sure that she speaks slowly and exaggerates her intonation pattern so that the learners are able to clearly copy her way of speaking.
YouTube Lessons That Teach How to Speak English Naturally in Conversations
Five Words to Stop Using in Conversations (Go Natural English)
One of the top reasons to learn English on YouTube is that you’ll get a better sense of how native speakers really converse.
There are certain words that English students learn in classrooms or textbooks—but are almost never actually used by native speakers in real life. There are also some words that native speakers only use in certain contexts.
In this lesson, the English tutor Gabby tells you about five such words that you’re probably using incorrectly. Grammatically, all the words she mentions are used correctly. But they make learners stand out because native speakers wouldn’t use them the same way.
For instance, one important thing that she mentions is that in the U.S., most students don’t call their tutors “teacher” but instead use their names. In many other countries, students are expected to never use the name of their teachers since it’s considered disrespectful.
These language and culture tips are extremely helpful precisely because they’re almost never mentioned in textbooks.
Strategies for More Fluent Sounding Conversation (EnglishClass101)
Level: Intermediate to advanced
“Strategy” means a plan to act in a certain way to achieve a specific goal. This video tells you small things you can do to have better conversations with native English speakers.
This lesson isn’t about grammar or any other technical aspect of English. Instead, it gives you the perspective of native English speakers about how English learners can make conversations more interesting.
They start with basic greetings and their advice is to avoid the usual way of addressing someone. The standard sentences like “Hi, how are you?” often gets predictable responses like, “I am fine.” This stops the conversation pretty early since after that most people don’t have much to say.
The video is a good way to learn basic social skills. It’s also a rare video where native speakers are honest about what goes on in their mind when they have conversations with English learners.
Plus, the dialogue between the tutors is also a good example of a casual conversation.
If you like this relaxed, culturally-relevant teaching style, there are a lot more video lessons for you to explore at EnglishClass101. The program’s goal is to teach you English in an interesting way, with lessons you actually enjoy watching and listening to. The lessons come with lots of supplementary learning materials like vocabulary lists and PDF notes.
Five Useful English Expressions (Papa Teach Me)
Level: Beginner to intermediate
English expressions and idioms are another fun way to make your English conversation more interesting and blend in with native speakers. Idioms are common words or phrases that have a very specific cultural meaning.
This lesson teaches you five such idioms which you can use in most casual English conversations. The tutor also helps you understand how native speakers use the expressions in their daily conversations.
Be aware that these expressions come from British English (and due to the tutor’s accent you’ll also learn British pronunciation). However, all except for the first one are commonly used in the U.S. as well.
He gives special attention to contractions. For example, in the expression “I suppose so” the “I” is usually omitted by the speakers and the beginning part of the word “suppose” is spoken quite quickly.
Since most of these expressions are also answers to questions commonly asked, learners will find these five idioms quite useful during their conversations.
List of 20 English Slang Contractions (Learn English with ESL Team)
Many English slang words are very hard to understand, like the British slang word “cheeky” (used to describe someone who’s rude or disrespectful). But most commonly used slang words are just contractions of longer phrases. (Contractions are shorter forms of a word or multiple words.)
This lesson explains 20 such slang words. You might even recognize some of them because they’re very commonly used online.
Some examples are “wanna” (contraction of “want to”) or “dunno” (contraction of “don’t know,” which is itself a contraction of “do not know”).
Understanding this slang will help you sound more natural and casual.
YouTube Lessons to Learn English Fast
Simple Explanation of Chunking for Spoken English (Pronunciation Pro)
“Chunking” is yet another method that makes you sound closer to a fluent English speaker. Chunking means dividing your sentences into pieces and separating them with either a pause or change in tone. This helps speakers organize their thoughts and words. It’s also used to put stress on important parts of the sentence.
This short video explains what chunking is, why it’s important and how learners can start using it to improve their English speaking skills.
The tutor uses both text and her own voice to explain how chunking works. She also gives learners some practice sentences that they can use to practically understand how they can divide a sentence into chunks.
Apart from making your sentences more understandable, chunking can also be used to make your speaking voice more interesting.
Methods to Start Thinking in English Now (Go Natural English)
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Even though many learners are able to master the technical aspects of the English language, they still find it hard to actually think in English. Most learners translate English sentences into their native language first while conversing with others.
This not only slows down the flow of the conversation, but can also increase errors.
This video lesson gives you nine tips to overcome this habit. Some tips are especially helpful but require some familiarity with English conversations. For instance, the third tip—guessing what the other person is going to say—needs learners to know the common pattern of English responses.
Other tips should be used by most learners. This includes the fifth tip: avoiding bilingual dictionaries. Using an English-only dictionary will force you to see the meaning of words in English and will help you think naturally in English.
Most of these tips don’t require much practice. But it’s best to use all these strategies regularly so that English thinking becomes a habit.
Secrets to Understand Fast-talking Americans
One of the most common problems learners face in English conversations is almost never talked about. The speed of most native speakers makes it quite hard for learners to understand them at all. This problem is only solved after the learner has a good amount of English listening practice, but that can take months or even years.
This video gives you some simple tips that can help you have conversations with native speakers much more quickly. The tutors talks about six secret strategies learners can use so that they can start understanding native speakers much faster than the usual.
Some of her tips are useful for every learner, no matter what your learning level is. For instance, she talks about the usual “reductions” Americans use while talking—like shortening of the phrase “want to” to “wanna.”
These common reductions are understood instantly by people who’ve been speaking English for quite some time. But learners find it quite confusing, especially when native speakers talk in their usual pace.
Her tips are short and simple, but you’ll still need to put in some amount of practice to improve your overall listening comprehension.
Ready for a little intelligent laziness? With these videos you can learn English on YouTube quickly, efficiently and naturally.
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