English English Blog 3: Learn English with Christmas Movies!


  1. What are you watching this Christmas?

  2. Example 1: Home Alone 1 & Home Alone 2

  3. Die Hard

  4. Elf

  5. Gremlins

  6. Love Actually

  7. Final Word

  8. Word Definitions (All the words in bold in this article are defined here)

What are you watching this Christmas?

Christmas is a great time of year to practise English because there are so many English movies you could be watching! English speakers around the world love to put on their favourite Christmas movie, even if they've seen it a million times before! Let's look at a few movies you could be watching:

Example 1: Home Alone 1 (1990) & Home Alone 2 (1992)

Home alone is a story about a young boy who his left behind in his big home when his family goes on holiday over Christmas. The boy, called Kevin, has a good time until two burglars try to break into his house. He has to make some elaborate traps to stop them from breaking in and has to somehow stay safe until his family gets home. The second movie follows a similar idea, but he is stuck in New York and the same two burglars from the first movie are out for revenge! Home Alone is a great, heart-warming comedy that has lots of lovely movements as well as many funny scenes. In the second movie, you might even catch a cameo from Donald Trump...

Example 2: Die Hard (1988)

If you prefer a bit more action, you may have already heard of the Die Hard series. Its the movie of a cop, based in New York, who has to try and rescue his wife who is taken hostage during an office Christmas party by German terrorists. There is a lot of shooting and explosions, and this movie, in particular, is considered an action classic.

Example 3: Elf

Elf is another Christmas comedy, but it is my personal favourite on this list. This story follows an Elf, called Buddy, who grew up in Santa's Workshop, who must go to New York to find his real human father (yes I know, there are lot's of Christmas movies in New York... I'm not sure why). He must also learn how to be more like a human along the way to fit in with everyone else. Buddy is played by Will Ferrell, one of my favourite American comedy actors who was also in movies like Anchorman, Step Brothers and Zoolander, all great movies if you want to watch something funny.

Example 4: Gremlins

Gremlins is a bit of an exception on this list, as it is more of a fantasy than many of the others. After a father brings his son an exotic pet from China for his Christmas gift, his son must be very careful as the pet has some very important rules. If the rules are broken, then something terrible could happen. Of course, all of the rules are broken and some point in the story, and the boy and his family and friends must deal with a number of little evil gremlins. I love this movie as it is a great show of how moviemakers used puppets before CGI.

Example 5: Love Actually

Love Actually is the story of 8 couples who are all having problems with their relationships or with their love lives in the run-up to Christmas. The characters include a rock and roll star trying to make a Christmas classic song, a man who is in love with a recently married woman, and the Prime Minister of the UK who falls in love with one of his members of staff. It is a typical British Christmas movie and has many famous actors that you might recognise such as Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Kiera Knightly and Rowan Atkinson.

Final Word

The best thing about English Christmas movies is that they often follow a similar storyline. They are about families dealing with problems or funny adventures that have happy endings, which means they are often easier to understand as you can usually guess what is going to happen.

Try watching an English Christmas movie this year, and who knows, maybe you will be watching it every year from then on too :)

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See you next time :)

- Ross

Word Definitions

Burglars - People who go into peoples house to steal their things.

To break in - To get into someone's house by breaking their door or windows.

Elaborate - Something that took a long time to plan and make.

Trap - A device used to capture or hurt people, but it is normally put somewhere secretly so they don't know.

Revenge - To do something to someone because they did something to you.

Heart-warming - Something that makes you feel good just by watching it.

Cameo - When a celebrity or famous person appears in a movie or TV show, usually just for one episode.

To have heard of something - To know about something because you read about it or someone told you about it.

Rescue - To help someone escape a dangerous situation.

Hostage - Someone who is taken by someone else, usually to try and get money from the police.

In particular - Something special among other things.

Classic - Something that is seen as amazing/perfect in that particular genre.

To fit in - To be accepted by everyone as you are a normal person.

Exception - Something that is different from other things.

Fantasy - Stories that are about unreal subjects like magic or monsters.

Exotic - Something from a foreign country that is very different from what you have in your country.

Puppets - Little figures used in movies and performances, usually hand made.

CGI (Computer-generated images) - Images in a movie that are made by a computer.

The Run-up to - The time up until something.