5 Classic Christmas movies to help your kids learn English skip to Main Content

Home » English Learning » 5 Classic Christmas movies to help your kids learn English

5 Classic Christmas Movies To Help Your Kids Learn English

5 Classic Christmas movies to help your kids learn English

As far as holiday activities are concerned, cozying up and watching classic Christmas movies is pretty hard to beat! It’s also the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids to English. 

Why not give them the gift of free lessons by simply watching your Christmas favorites in English? Either with or without the subtitles, watching movies in their original language is a great way to improve listening, vocabulary, and pronunciation skills in young learners.

Also, remember that you can watch these movies over and over through the years. Every time the holidays come around, your kids will return to these films and gradually understand a little more than they did the year before. 

1. The Grinch 

The Grinch is an animated retelling of the Jim Carrey movie and both versions closely follow the 1950s Dr Seuss children’s rhyme. The Grinch, a green furry creature with a heart “two sizes too small” hates everything, but especially Christmas, so he decides to steal all the gifts from the people in his town. But, like all villains in classic Christmas movies, The Grinch learns the true meaning of Christmas by the end of the story. 

For young learners, this movie is a really entertaining way to introduce them to American accents and Christmas themes in English.

Recommended ages: 5+

An activity to practice English

Search the original story of The Grinch online or borrow the book from a library and practice reading the story aloud. The rhyming and intonation are great for improving pronunciation. 

2. Home Alone

The family Christmas movie, Home Alone, made Macauley Culkin the most famous child actor in the world in the ‘90s. He plays Kevin, the youngest of a family so big that his parents don’t realize they’ve left him behind when they fly to Paris for Christmas vacation. When two burglars try to break into his house, Kevin has lots of hilarious ways to stop them. 

A lot of the comedy is visual so it’s a great way to learn English because the language isn’t too complicated.

Recommended ages: 7+

An activity to practice English

Play Christmas bingo. Make a list of Christmas vocabulary, for example, Christmas tree, decorations, gift, or snow and then award points to the child who spots the item first. 

If your children’s level is high, get them to come up with the list themselves. For very young children or lower levels, draw pictures of the words instead. 

3. Frozen

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story of The Snow Queen, Disney’s Frozen might not be strictly a classic Christmas movie. But it does have snow and a reindeer and if you really want the full Christmas experience there’s always the short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.

In the story, Elsa (great name for an app and a queen!) becomes Queen of Arendelle but she has been hiding a secret power to turn things to ice. When she can’t control her magic, she runs away, turning summer into winter all over the kingdom. But her brave sister Anna sets off to find Elsa and bring her home with the help of Olaf the snowman and Kristoff the ice-cutter. The movie has really memorable songs which help children learn new phrases and vocabulary.

Recommended ages: 5+

An activity to practice English

You don’t need to think of an activity to practice English with Frozen. Your children will be singing “Let it go! Let it go!” and so will you, but you could find the lyrics online and print them off if you want to make it easier. 

4. The Christmas Chronicles

New but already classics, Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles and The Christmas Chronicles 2 are the perfect family Christmas movies. In the first movie, brother and sister, Teddy and Kate, hide in Santa’s sleigh, making it crash and losing all the Christmas gifts. Now they have to help Santa save Christmas. 

The sequel is similar but, even better, because we repeat the classic “rescue Christmas” story but, this time, with Mrs. Claus, elves, and Santa’s village in the North Pole. 

Between these two movies, you have just about every item of Christmas vocabulary so it’s perfect for children to practice English.

Recommended ages: 6+ but it’s also ideal for older children as the main characters are teenagers.

An activity to practice English

Get your children to make up a plan for how to catch Santa and hitch a ride in the sleigh like Teddy and Kate in the first movie. 

Or, for the second movie, plan the menu for Mrs. Claus’ dinner where all the healthy foods look and taste like desserts.

5. The Muppet Christmas Carol

A lot of our images of a “classic” English Christmas come from the Victorian times which is when Charles Dickens wrote his famous short story, A Christmas Carol, in 1843. In the story, miserable, greedy Ebeneezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas when three spirits visit him on Christmas Eve. 

There are so many great versions of A Christmas Carol but the best one for children to practice English is the The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine as Ebeneezer Scrooge, and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchitt. 

The Muppets add humor and fun, even to the darker parts of the story. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Muppet movie without songs which, luckily for you, help children remember new words.

Recommended ages: 5+

An activity to practice English

Get your children acting out short scenes from the movie, like when Kermit asks Scrooge for more coal for the fire. They’ll love copying the way Scrooge shouts, “How would the bookkeepers like to be suddenly … UNEMPLOYED?”

Classic Christmas movies make learning English fun

The Christmas school holidays are meant to be a time for the whole family to relax and enjoy time together so don’t work too hard to turn every movie into an English lesson! 

But, at the same time, you don’t want to completely forget about English for two weeks so watching classic Christmas movies in English is the perfect solution.

Looking for other fun ways to practice English over the holidays?

Why not try ELSA Pro? ELSA is your virtual personal English coach—powered by AI to help you improve your English speaking skills. The Pro version of ELSA has 3000+ lessons, a daily customized lesson plan and helps you track your progress and achievements. What better Christmas present than a lifetime ELSA Pro subscription?  

For a fun way to encourage you to keep going with your English, check out this blog post on how learning English is just like baking a cake.  

Leave a Reply

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: