There are so many Christmas movies out there, but a few are on the top of the list for learning American English. Find out why we picked these movies for improving your English.
Are you a Christmas movie fan? Rotten Tomatoes put together their list of the top 62 Christmas movies.
All of those movies are excellent choices. I could watch many of them over and over again each Christmas break.
But there are only a few that are excellent to watch because they can help you improve your English.
So I just had to put together a list of the top five holiday movies that are perfect for improving your English.
5. Christmas Waltz
So far the best Hallmark movie I've seen yet is Christmas Waltz on Hallmark Channel. It's about a woman who gets dumped by her fiance but decides to take dance lessons anyway that she had bought for her wedding.
Of course, since it's a holiday movie, you know the dance teacher and the woman will fall in love. But there are also a couple of side stories that make this movie interesting. And if you're a dance fan, then you'll love the choreography.
In most Hallmark movies, the actors typically have a standard American accent, making it easier to understand when you watch them. They don't tend to use a lot of slang, so these are good movies for English learners at the pre-intermediate to intermediate level.
4. Edward Scissorhands
This movie may not seem like a traditional Christmas movie. And it's definitely not, since it's a Tim Burton movie.
However, it is set at Christmas time and there are some elements of a Christmas tale, with an old woman recounting the tale of her one true love long ago.
I rewatched this movie last year and appreciated the story all the more. You truly root for poor Edward Scissorhands as he tries to adjust to life in suburban America. I also noticed all the details on the set, from the pastel colors of the houses, and Edward's intricate costumes.
The actors have good examples of California accents. Especially Winona Ryder, who is though is originally from the Midwest, spent a lot of time in San Francisco. She uses uptalk and vocal fry, both traits of a typical California way of speaking.
This has to be one of the funniest Christmas movies out there. Will Ferrell, who plays Buddy, makes every movie he's in funny.
Buddy a tall human living among Santa's elves. Then He goes to New York City to meet his biological father. You can just imagine the craziness that ensues.
Several of the actors in this movie, including the father played by James Caan and the Santa Claus in the department store, have New York accents. It's really funny to hear Santa as a New Yorker.
Buddy doesn't know what to make of that since he actually knows the real Santa Claus.
The YouTube channel Learn English with TV breaks down a fun English lesson to catch the slang and pronunciation from the scene where Buddy meets the department store Santa in the movie.
2. The Holiday
This is a cute rom-com (romantic comedy) that gets better each time I watch it. Maybe the appeal of exchanging homes for a two-week vacation sounds lovelier and lovelier as I get older.
This movie is great for comparing the American accent with the British one.
It's funny seeing Cameron Diaz's character learn some new vocabulary while she's in England. Though Kate Winslet's character doesn't seem to have as much trouble adjusting to life in LA.
1. It's A Wonderful Life
This is on most people's number one spot for Christmas movies. Directed by the legendary Frank Capra, It's a Wonderful Life was made in 1946 yet somehow the story is still timeless.
The main character, played by Jimmy Stewart, has come down on his luck financially and wishes he was no longer living. An angel comes down and shows him what life would be like without him. The ending is just beautifully done.
Jimmy Stewart has an accent that was popular at the time called the Transatlantic Accent. It was popular among the stage and radio actors, as well as the upper class, at that time. Katherine Hepburn is another prime example of someone who spoke with this accent.
This is not a natural accent but instead an acquired one. Actors worked with voice coaches to get this accent. It was most popular in the 1930s and 1940s.
If you've seen these movies already, did they help you improve your English?
If you need pronunciation lessons to help you sound more like an American English speaker, let me know. We have group classes and private lessons to fit your schedule in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Message me at email@example.com or WhatsApp or call at 619-483-5874.
Jackie Donaldson is the owner and director of Amidon Studios Language Studies. She started Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru for six years. She's taught students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, baking, and exploring the globe.