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The Best Cartoons for Learning English
Cartoons and movies
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10.01.2022
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The Best Cartoons for Learning English

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Knowing foreign languages well, including English, is essential for success these days. Nowadays, we work and learn globally. We also use foreign science, technology, culture, and entertainment every day, so English is more useful than ever. 

Thanks to learning English from an early age, even a young child can enjoy English-language works of culture and art, make friends with their peers from another country, or simply look at the world from a wider perspective.

Unfortunately, many children find learning, including learning foreign languages, tedious and difficult. To avoid this, it is worth choosing the right learning methods and matching them to the child’s interests and level of proficiency, and trying to make teaching English fun. 

One of the best ways to learn English from an early age is to watch cartoons in English, supporting the learning process. Learning English from famous English cartoons will be enjoyable and fun for your child. In addition, your kid will pick up many useful words while you watch the animated shows together, and will be able to use them in everyday situations.

Oh, and by the way, did you know that the most popular cartoon in the world is Tom and Jerry? This classic animated series has been delighting us for over 50 years, around the world. Perhaps, the worldwide success of this cartoon is its universal language, because most of the time, the characters don’t speak, instead, their actions speak for themselves, so viewers know precisely what’s going on screen. 

But today, we’re here to help you discover the best cartoons for learning English. Start watching them with your child today! Learning English with cartoons will make it exciting and effortless for your kid. 

Why cartoons help you learn English?

Many parents say that watching TV is unhealthy for their children and has no value. They couldn’t be more wrong! Of course, leaving your child alone in front of the TV for the whole day and giving them uncontrolled access to every program is not the best choice.

However, there is nothing wrong with watching TV with your child and choosing together valuable English cartoons or shows that teach as well as entertain. Help your kid learn English vocabulary and grammar, as well as immerse themselves in English pronunciation, without stress or long hours of memorizing. 

Select some English cartoons for children, which will make learning English a fun and exciting experience. Combine what’s pleasurable with what’s beneficial. Pick your favorite cartoon for learning English and go with the flow!

How is learning English from cartoons beneficial to your child?

Why learning English from cartoons is good for beginners, but also intermediate English learners, you may ask? Watching a cartoon in English with your child brings a host of benefits. Here are some arguments supporting the advantages of learning English through cartoons.

  • Captivating and Engaging Content. Cartoons are designed to capture children’s attention and spark their imagination. By watching English cartoons, children are more likely to remain engaged and interested in the language learning process. The colorful visuals, entertaining storylines, and relatable characters make learning English enjoyable and less intimidating.
  • Immersion in Natural Conversational English. Cartoons provide exposure to authentic, natural English conversations. Children can learn how native speakers express themselves, use idiomatic expressions, and engage in everyday interactions. This exposure helps them develop a sense of the language’s rhythm, intonation, and colloquialisms.
  • Cultural Awareness and Contextual Understanding. English cartoons often incorporate cultural references and social situations that provide children with a glimpse into English-speaking cultures. They learn about customs, traditions, and different ways of life, fostering cultural awareness and a broader understanding of the English language.
  • Visual Learning and Comprehension. Cartoons offer a visual medium that supports comprehension and aids in understanding the meaning of words and phrases. Through visual cues, facial expressions, and gestures, children can grasp the context and meaning of language even if they don’t understand every word. This visual reinforcement enhances their overall comprehension skills.
  • Repetition and Reinforcement. Cartoons often repeat key vocabulary, phrases, and sentence structures throughout episodes. This repetition helps reinforce language learning and allows children to internalize new words and expressions. By hearing the same language patterns repeatedly, they become more familiar with the sounds and structures of English.
  • Encourages Active Participation. Watching cartoons together with your child promotes active participation and interaction. Encourage your child to repeat phrases, answer questions about the story, and engage in discussions about the characters and events. This active engagement enhances language retention and builds confidence in using English.
  • Flexibility and Convenience. English cartoons can be accessed easily from various sources, such as streaming platforms or DVDs. They offer flexibility in terms of time and location, allowing children to watch them at their own pace and convenience. This accessibility ensures consistent exposure to the English language, leading to gradual improvement over time.
  • Learning English from cartoons can also significantly improve grammar skills. Cartoons often feature well-structured and grammatically correct dialogues spoken by the characters. By regularly listening to and internalizing these grammatical structures, children can develop a natural sense of English grammar. They become familiar with sentence patterns, verb tenses, word order, and the correct use of articles, prepositions, and pronouns.

How to choose appropriate animation videos and cartoons for your kid?

The right choice of videos in English for children plays an important role. Channels such as YouTube, for example, allow you to have access to a vast amount of videos, most of which are in English. The quick analysis allows distinguishing the following types:

  • Authentic videos (English movies for kids, cartoons for learning English, video blogs, amateur video stories by native speakers)
  • Educational authentic video i.e. video stories created, for example, for teaching English-speaking children (native speakers). These are informative videos on a variety of topics and fields of science. For example, videos about natural phenomena, historical events, geographical discoveries, space exploration, biographies of famous people, etc.
  • English educational movies for language learners (educational videos that introduce various aspects of the language, cartoons to learn English, educational videos that aim to teach English).

Thus, videos in English can be divided into 2 large groups:

  • Special-purpose videos. These are, for example, video lessons or educational video films for the formation or development of auditory-pronouncing or lexical-grammatical skills.
  • Motivating videos. These are motivational videos to help children make sure they have already achieved success in learning English. They understand what the video series is about, they like it, so it encourages them to move on. Such videos are intended for discussion and so should have a communicative purpose.

When choosing a cartoon or movie in English for teaching children, 3 factors should be taken into account:

  • The age of the child.
  • The purpose of watching the video.
  • The level of language proficiency.

The best cartoons for children learning English

Below you can find some of the most interesting and engaging animated TV series and English cartoons for beginners, as well as intermediate students, which we believe are the best for learning and improving English. Discover together which English cartoon you like the most. Maybe your child could quite soon have a new, favorite English-speaking character from a cartoon and will start talking about them enthusiastically in English… So, what is the best cartoon to learn English? Let’s find out! 

To make it even easier for the parents, we divided famous cartoons into specific age groups. This way parents of toddlers, pre-schoolers and school children can find the most suitable popular cartoons for their kids. 

Best animated series for toddlers

1. Peppa Pig

The adventures of Peppa Pig and her funny family are eagerly followed by children all over the world, and this English cartoon is extremely popular everywhere. This British production first aired in 2004 and since then has had as many as 379 episodes. 

The cartoon is aimed mainly at preschool children who are just starting their adventure with English. The episodes are only 5 minutes long — short enough for preschoolers to focus all their attention on them. In addition, Peppa’s adventures in the cartoon are straightforward and easy to understand. 

The characters use the simplest and most common English vocabulary. They speak pure English, without any slang, and at a pace slow enough for a child to understand. Great English cartoon for beginner preschool students! 

2. Sesame Street

First broadcasted in 1969, this is a real classic among cartoons for learning English. The main goal of this American production, which has as many as 4,300 episodes, is education through play; adapted to the level of both older and younger children. 

The adventures of the funny characters living on Sesame Street are easy to follow, and your child will have no problem keeping up with the uncomplicated story in English. 

Besides, it doesn’t take long to convince anyone to like characters such as Elmo, Kermit, or Cookie Monster. We’re sure that learning English together with the Sesame Street characters will be great fun for your child and will help them to make rapid progress with the language. A must-see English cartoon for younger and older kids – even for their parents for sentimental reasons! 

Best cartoon series for preschoolers

1. Martha Speaks

Martha Speaks, as the name suggests, is an English cartoon for children that aims to encourage them to actively watch and pronounce newly learned English words. The cartoon tells the story of a dog who has learned to speak after eating the alphabet soup. 

This famous English cartoon is especially recommended for very young children, as each episode focuses on new phrases that are repeated several times during the episode in different contexts. This makes it easier for children to remember them and pronounce them correctly at the end of the episode. 

Martha Speaks is an extremely smart English cartoon for preschool children who want to learn new English words which they can use later in their everyday lives. It’s the best English cartoon pick for children, who already had some contact with English in preschool.

Are you a parent and want to share your experience?

Reach out to tell your story.

2. Arthur

This Canadian-American animated series for children about the adventures of Arthur is another excellent option for learning English from TV series for children. The cartoon in English first aired in 1996, and has so far run for 246 episodes. 

The main character, Arthur, lives with his parents and sister in a city of happy animals and attends school just like other animals. However, instead of going home after school, Arthur and his friends constantly go on detective expeditions to find answers to important questions. 

This English cartoon for children not only helps in learning English but also touches on many essential life issues such as personalities, interests, and illnesses. This is a very interesting English cartoon for children who are slightly older and want to expand their worldview a bit.

3. Doki 

This is an excellent cartoon for learning English due to its educational and entertaining nature. The show follows a group of adventurous friends who embark on exciting journeys around the world, exploring different cultures, solving problems, and learning new things along the way. The main characters include Doki, a curious dog, and his friends Gabi, Anabella, Fico, Oto, and Mundi. Each character brings their unique personality and interests, creating a diverse and engaging group dynamic.

Through their adventures, children not only expand their English vocabulary but also gain knowledge about geography, science, history, and other subjects. The show promotes critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and cultural awareness, all while providing an immersive English learning experience.

Enjoy watching this exciting and educational cartoon that will enhance your child’s English skills while fostering their curiosity about the world around them.

4. Dora the Explorer

“Dora the Explorer” is an exceptional cartoon for learning English, renowned for its interactive and educational approach.

The show follows the young and adventurous Dora, who embarks on exciting quests with her talking backpack and monkey friend Boots. Throughout her adventures, Dora encourages children to join her in solving puzzles, overcoming obstacles, and learning new words and phrases in English.

This cartoon emphasizes interactive engagement by prompting viewers to respond to questions and participate in Dora’s adventures, fostering active language learning. Alongside Dora and Boots, the main characters include Swiper the fox and a wide range of animal friends, all contributing to the lively and engaging storyline. 

This fun cartoon not only introduces children to essential English vocabulary and conversational phrases but also promotes problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, and cultural diversity. Through its captivating and interactive nature, the cartoon offers an immersive English learning experience for young learners.

Best cartoons of all time for school kids

1. The Magic School Bus

What child would not like to get on a magical school bus during lessons in school or preschool and get to know the world from a completely new perspective? The Magic School Bus offers such a possibility. This is one of the best English cartoons for primary school that was ever created! 

This American-Canadian TV show was first broadcast in 1994. The main characters are Miss Frizzle and her class, who go on exciting trips deep inside the human body, into the Earth’s interior, into the infinity of space, or inside electrical cables during lessons. And that’s just the beginning! 

By watching this English cartoon, your child can safely participate in these amazing adventures and learn a lot about how the world around them works with the use of English vocabulary. The story describes the world as it is in English in a very factual way and allows children to learn more advanced vocabulary, which they can later use in different situations. It’s a great cartoon for learning English that will make your child curious about the surrounding world! 

2. Phineas and Ferb 

The show revolves around the two stepbrothers, Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher, who embark on extraordinary adventures during their summer vacation. Their goal is to make every day an unforgettable experience by constructing elaborate inventions and tackling exciting projects. Alongside them are their older sister Candace, who is often trying to expose their adventures to their mom, their pet platypus Perry (also known as Agent P), who leads a double life as a secret agent, and a colorful cast of supporting characters.

The dialogue in “Phineas and Ferb” is witty, filled with wordplay, and showcases a wide range of vocabulary and expressions. The characters’ interactions and clever banter provide an entertaining way for children to learn and practice English in a playful context. Moreover, the show often incorporates musical numbers, catchy songs, and recurring catchphrases, which contribute to vocabulary retention and reinforce language patterns.

Through the imaginative and humorous plots, children can enhance their comprehension skills, expand their vocabulary, and develop their understanding of idiomatic expressions and cultural references. The show also encourages creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking, as Phineas and Ferb constantly find innovative solutions to the challenges they encounter.

FAQ – Parents ask, we answer!

Here are answers to popular questions that many parents ask about cartoons, that can help their kids in the language learning process. 

Q1: How effective are cartoons in improving English skills? 

Cartoons can be highly effective in improving English skills for children learning the language. They offer a combination of visual aids, contextual cues, and engaging content that can make language learning more enjoyable and accessible. Cartoons provide exposure to natural conversational English, vocabulary, and sentence structures, which can enhance listening, speaking, and comprehension skills.

Q2: What are some recommended cartoons for English language learners?

Some recommended cartoons for English language learners include:

  • “Peppa Pig”: This popular animated series features simple dialogue, everyday situations, and clear pronunciation, making it ideal for beginners.
  • “Dora the Explorer”: This interactive show incorporates educational elements and encourages participation, helping children with vocabulary and basic phrases.
  • “Sesame Street”: With its diverse cast of characters, lively songs, and educational themes, this long-running show aids in language development and social skills.

Q3: Should I watch cartoons with or without subtitles to improve my English?

Watching cartoons with subtitles can be beneficial for improving English skills. Initially, using subtitles in your native language can help children understand the storyline and dialogue. As they progress, switching to English subtitles can reinforce reading comprehension and reinforce the connection between spoken and written English.

Q4: How often should I watch cartoons to see a noticeable improvement in my English skills?

The frequency of watching cartoons to see noticeable improvement in English skills can vary depending on the child’s age, language proficiency, and overall exposure to English. However, regular exposure is key. Aim for at least a few episodes per week to maintain consistent engagement and reinforcement of language learning.

Q5: Can watching cartoons help with pronunciation and accent improvement?

Yes, watching cartoons can help with pronunciation and accent improvement. Children can imitate the characters’ speech patterns, intonation, and pronunciation. Regular exposure to English through cartoons can help develop their oral skills and improve their overall accent.

Q6: How can I use cartoons to expand my vocabulary in English?

To expand vocabulary while watching cartoons, parents can encourage their children to pay attention to new words and phrases. After watching an episode, parents can discuss and explain the meaning of unfamiliar words, write them down in a notebook, and encourage their children to use them in daily conversations.

Q7: What are some strategies for actively learning English while watching cartoons?

Strategies for actively learning English while watching cartoons include:

  • Encouraging children to repeat and imitate phrases they hear in the cartoon.
  • Asking questions about the story or characters to promote listening comprehension.
  • Pausing the cartoon at certain points to discuss what is happening and predict what might happen next.
  • Using the cartoon as a springboard for related activities such as drawing, writing, or role-playing.

Q8: Are there any specific types of cartoons that are better suited for certain English language skills, such as listening or reading comprehension?

Certain types of cartoons can be better suited for specific English skills. For listening comprehension, choose cartoons with clear and slow-paced dialogue, where characters express themselves in a natural and conversational manner. For reading comprehension, select cartoons that incorporate subtitles or captions to reinforce the connection between spoken and written English. It’s also beneficial to choose cartoons that introduce different genres and topics to expand overall language skills.

So dear parents, which English cartoons are your kid’s favorite? Let us know in the comments section below. Do you use cartoons to learn English at home? What benefits do English cartoons for learning English have for your child? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion! We’re always happy to hear from you! 

If cartoons for kids learning English are something you want to explore more, sign up for a free trial lesson at Novakid. Check out the endless possibilities that come with narrative-based English lessons with native-speaker teachers! 

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