Finding videos with captions for listening practice

A question on an English language forum got me thinking about ways to improve listening practice.  One of the best ways to improve is to watch videos or listen to audio that you also have the text available for.  Here are a few ideas for where to find them:

  • YouTube - A couple months ago, Google announced that they'd started turning on automatic captions for YouTube videos. Of course, that means that the captions are going to be done by machine, and therefore won't be perfect. But it's still better than nothing. Most videos still don't have captions, but you search for only videos with captions (see below). 
  • - This is a specific show that I watch and listen to. The host, Andrew Warner, interviews successful entrepreneurs, mostly from the online startup world. If that's a topic that interests you, the interviews are excellent and there are transcripts available with each show.
  • - This site iis devoted to providing subtitles for videos in different languages. Videos are on a variety of topics, but they're also in a variety of languages, so you'll have to search through them to find the ones that are in English.
  • - These TED talks are super interesting talks about a variety of issues and have subtitles available under the video.
  • DVDs - A lot of DVDs will have English subtitles. Every DVD is different, but look for "Language Options" or "Subtitles" on the menus at the beginning of the DVD.
  • TV - On a TV, look for a button or option that says "CC" - this stands for "closed captioning". 

These are a few, but I know there must be many more sources out there for good video content with transcripts or captions. If you know of any, please post them in the comments!


Searching YouTube for videos with captions:



  1. Go to YouTube and type in a word to search for:

  2. Click on the "Search Options" drop-down menu:

  3. Click on "Closed captions" from the "Features" column on the far right:

Now all of the video results that YouTube shows you will have subtitles. Some might have subtitles in other languages, but you can easily skip those.

  Print this Article

Learn English faster! Get PhraseMix Premium