English is the international language and speaking it can open many doors, both in social life and in the business world. Yet enrolling in a private school or hiring a private teacher can be very expensive and time-consuming. Thankfully, it is possible to learn English online. And without paying a penny! All you need is a working internet connection and the right amount of motivation. Online language courses are delivered on a number of platforms. In our opinion, the most effective ones are websites, YouTube channels, and podcasts. Here are some great online courses to learn English for free.
There are many websites that offer free English teaching material to online students. Here are some of the best ones:
PerfectlySpoken.com – This is a great online resource for those who want to learn or improve their English. It offers 3 different plans, one of which is entirely free. When you sign up for the free plan, you‘ll have access to 1) an English test to assess your current level of English 2) elementary to advanced English courses 3) 60 video lessons per course. The website is very user-friendly and signing up only takes one minute.
ESOL Courses – A very simple yet incredibly resourceful website. It offers specific teaching material for beginners and for elementary, pre-elementary, intermediate, and advanced students. Contents range from grammar to vocabulary to listening exercises to reading and writing tasks. You can either take this course class after class or aim straight at the areas on which you need to work the most.
english-at-home.com – This website is very simple and user-friendly. In addition to having functional learning sections (speaking, vocabulary, and grammar) it also offers a week-by-week study program. It’s literally like going to class, except you can do it from the comfort of your home. It takes 18 weeks to complete the entire study program and if you follow it with enough discipline, you‘ll see a massive improvement in your English skills.
Massive Open Online English Course – MOOEC is an initiative of IES, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to international education. It offers several online resources for English learners. Its main 5 categories are: 1) Reading 2) Writing 3) Listening 4) Speaking 5) Short Courses. It offers both general language courses and modules aimed at improving your English knowledge and vocabulary in specific areas. You need to sign up with your email, but access to learning material is entirely free.
The use of YouTube for learning purposes has increased a lot in the last years. Many people now use YouTube to watch tutorials and lessons on various topics. Here are some of the best YouTube channels for learning English:
EnglishClass101.com– This channel has over3,5 million subscribers and offers a huge number of free videos for English learners. Not only does it cover all the main areas of language learning and has targeted lessons for American and British English but is also offers live videos (with a chat on which students can interact with each other). Almost all videos contain lessons from the same, extremely competent teacher. It really feels like attending private classes, except it is free and you don’t have to take the bus to get there.
Oxford Online English – This YouTube Channel is managed by an online English school. In the past 5 years, it has uploaded over 150 free videos for English learners. It is very useful for people who want to improve their knowledge of English in specific vocabulary, grammar, writing, and pronunciation areas. For example, you might want to improve your English telephone vocabulary or you are looking for a lesson on how to use articles or you want to learn how to write a proper essay in English. All videos include lessons from real teachers and are between 7 and 20 minutes long.
BBC Learning English – The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is the UK’s largest broadcaster, and it also has a YouTube channel for English language learners. We suggest that you start by visiting the “Playlists” section. There you’ll find the following categories: “Our picks for you“, “Improve your vocabulary”, “Improve your grammar”, “Improve your Pronunciation“, “Learn English with the News“, “Help with Exams“, “Learn English through Drama”. The channel is updated daily and is a great, free resource for English learners at all levels.
Learn English with Let’s Talk – Another great channel with more than 4 million subscribers, 8 certified teachers, and over 1000 free lessons. It is a great source if you are looking for a way to improve your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation skills or if you are preparing for IELTS exams. You can choose from over 80 playlists (such as “Spoken English Lessons” or “New English Phrases and Expressions” or “Accent Training Course”), each one with several free videos.
English Language Podcasts are regularly-updated audio series that contain a number of episodes. Most of them can be downloaded from the podcast’s website or from platforms like iTunes or Stitcher (in case you’re often “on the road” and want to learn English with your smartphone and earphones). Here are some of the best podcasts for learning English:
BBC Podcasts – The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) offers various podcasts to English learners. The greatest thing about BBC Podcasts is the fact that they are updated daily (sometimes even hourly), which allows you to improve your English naturally, day after day. Some of the most popular BBC podcasts are “Learning English News Review”, “6 Minute English”, “BBC Learning English Drama” and “The English with Speak”.
podcastsinenglish.com – This podcast series is structured like a typical English language course. The main course is composed of 3 levels (Level 1 for elementary and pre-intermediate students; Level 2 for intermediate students; Level 3 for upper intermediate students and above). It also offers podcasts aimed at improving your pronunciation and your Business English. Every episode is quite short (3 or 4 minutes), which can be very helpful for those who don’t have a lot of time and want to study English during the break between two activities.
English Across the Pond – Created by both a British and an American teacher, this podcast series is updated weekly and has over 180 episodes. Over the years it has reached more than half a million downloads. Each episode deals with a particular aspect of everyday life, allowing you to improve your English skills in various situations. The two teachers often converse with each other about various topics, which allows you to immerse yourself in daily, real-life conversations.
Voice of America Podcasts – Voice of America is the largest U.S. international broadcaster. It also offers several podcasts for English language learners. Some of its podcast series (like “Let’s learn English”, “Everyday Grammar TV podcast” or “English in a minute” ) help you improve your English with audio lessons on basic aspects of the language, while other podcast series (like “American stories”, “Science and Technology” or “English @ the Movies”) take a more indirect approach.
Find the Right Combination!
As somebody who has studied 3 different foreign languages and who has often used free online sources in his learning journey, I have found that the most effective approach is to combine various learning tools.
For example, you could listen to a short news podcast in the morning, take a basic online course in the afternoon and watch short videos form an English-teaching YouTube channel in the evening.
Everybody is different, has different learning methods, and has different learning needs. So the best thing to do is to try out some of the tools we’ve listed and found the right combination for you.
Good look on your English language learning journey! Check also other articles in the language learning category.
Should you have any questions or ideas or suggestions, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.
20 thoughts on “Learn English for Free – Online Courses”
Wow😍 this are awesome courses you’ve got here. I’ve been researching for courses online that has little or no charges at all to learn.
I think “MOOEC” will be suitable for me as it features the resources I actually need to improve my English speaking. Thanks for sharing, it’s helpful for me!
That’s a very good choice, Lizzychris. MOOEC is a great website with plenty of online resources for English learners at all levels.
Hello there,thanks for sharing this awesome article I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me…for me,I never grew up with the knowledge of English as all I did to communicate was speak my local knowledge but after taking some course online with A very popular website everything changed today I can speak and type very good English…after reading this awesome article I must say it similar to where I learned….thanks a lot for sharing.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Feji ben!
This is a very useful page and resource that you have compiled. You are absolutely right, English is a very important intern****al language that is important for anybody who needs to work in such a context. The pages and options that you have highlighted are a terrific resource, particularly for those with limited resources. Here in Chile, English is not widely spoken but many want to learn, so I shall share your page. I`m impressed you can speak 3 languages.
Thanks for the comment, Trevor. Languages open many doors, especially widely-spoken languages like English, Spanish, and French. It’s great to hear that you will share this page in Chile.
This is amazing. I’m one of those who needs to improve their English skills and getting it freely is awesome.
I once gave it a thought on the steps I could take to improve my English skills and you have actually shown me good steps to follow.
Listening to a morning podcast, afternoon basic courses and watching English YouTube channel in the evening would be a faster way to this skill improvement. I love this! Thanks!
It’s great that you found this article useful, Kenechi!
I find your article on free resources for online English study very interesting. I taught English overseas for a year, and found that sometimes the students were so nervous in class that they would completely freeze and refuse to talk.
On the one hand, I think that these resources could be a very good starting point for English learners just starting out. On the other, I think they would need to eventually start working with an English instructor to get practice actually speaking.
I taught English in Japan, and my students were often extremely shy. They understood English grammar all too well because they have to study it in what we would consider middle school and high school. But they could not speak. Their accents were so thick that I could hardly understand what they were saying half the time.
The main point of attending my classes was for them to improve their pronunciation, and shake off their fear of using English in real life situations.
Are you actually suggesting that students should study alone in isolation indefinitely?
I might suggest a follow up article where some affordable online schools are recommended. Should these students have a desire to pursue their English learning further, they will have some options.
Very interesting article. I think a lot of people will find it very useful.
Thanks for the comment, Michael. Yes, we definitely plan to publish future articles on the best paid online English courses available today. In this article, we have just summarized the best options for those who are currently looking for free resources before they decide whether to join a paid class.
This is like this article is written for me, especially because of my want and desire to improve my English skills for my website improvement purpose.
I have to bookmark your website to be able to comeback to it wery easily and often.
I liked your your proposed approach to combine the three learning tools that are: listerning to news podcast in the morning, take online course in the afternoon and watch English teaching short videos in the evening. Be assured tha I’ll follow your advice.
Thank you for your article
Hi, Bathwag. It’s great that you found this article useful and thank you for sharing a comment!
Thank you for your post. It is useful for me. I am thinking about improving my spoken English, but never take time to do the research and to find the appropriate program for myself.
Here comes your article, which contains extensive information for anyone who would like to improve his/her English. I just had a quick check of perfectlyspokendotcom. It is so nice program and what is more amazing to me it that it is free to sign up. I will spend more time on this and pick one program for myself.
It is kind of you sharing such useful information with us, which saves me a lot of time and energy.
Hi, Anthony. We’re glad this article helped you find the right English course for you. Good luck with your learning!
This article is just coming at the right time. i have friend who want to ensure that he has a fluent english. this can come in handy for him.
maybe i should check out english-at-home, i would like to know if these platforms offer it for free or there are charges. what is the cost? i would like to know
Hi Kirkman, all of these platforms offer at least a part of their teachings for free. They all have enough free resources language learners can use to improve their skills.
Youtube a has always been a reliable source of learning and sometimes i go there when i want to learn some new ways to do things. learning english on you tube is very possible and i think that it might be the easiest form as there will be practical sessions as you play the video and learn.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Smoochi.
I am a native English speaker, so not in need of such a course for myself. However, I have friends in other countries and live in a part of the USA with many people just learning English. This post speaks directly to them!
In fact, within the adoption community, there are older children adopted from non-English speaking countries who could greatly benefit from using the sites you mentioned. I wish they were available when we adopted from Russia 15 years ago. It would have made such a difference to our girls, adopted at age 12 and 14.
I’ll be passing this on to my international friends and also to those I know in the international adoption community. Thanks for a very needed post!
Thanks for sharing this article, Diane!