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Are you looking for the best online English courses to help improve your language skills? Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner, plenty of great options are available.
Even if you are a busy working professional or student, you can still find some time to learn English online with these flexible and convenient courses.
In this article, we’ll review some of the best online English courses and discuss the benefits of each. Here are my top 3 recommendations:
English Class 101
- Short lessons
- Teacher support
- Audio, video, word banks, libraries, etc.
- Fun and relevant
- Recognized courses
- Certification provided
- Top instructors and institutions worldwide
How to Choose an Online English Course
One of the best ways to learn English is by taking an online course. There are many advantages to this approach, including the ability to learn at your own pace and the convenience of being able to access your lessons from anywhere in the world.
When deciding on an online English course, consider the following:
- The course material: Make sure the course covers the topics you’re interested in and is appropriate for your level of English.
- The learning format: Some courses are more structured than others, with set lessons and assignments. Others provide more flexibility, allowing you to learn at your own pace. Consider which type of format would work better for you.
- The price: Online courses can vary widely in price. Some are free, while others can be pretty expensive. Consider your budget when choosing a course.
Best Online English Courses
- English Class 101: Best for All Learner Levels
- Rocket Languages: Best for Beginner to Intermediate Learners
- Udemy: Best for Casual and Motivated Learners
- Coursera: Best for Qualified Instructors
- Alison: Best for Short, Concise Courses
- EdX: Best for University-Style Courses
- USA Learns: Best for US Citizenship
- Elsa Speak: Best AI English Coach
- iTalki: Best for Finding Online Instructors
- Lingoda: Best for Structured Live Classes
English Class 101 is a website that has been built for people looking to improve their English skills. There are over 1000 lessons available on the website, which are split into different levels depending on your proficiency.
All English learners can find a level to suit them, as its courses range from complete beginner (A1) to advanced (C2). The website has a placement test so that you can find the right level for you.
The site helps English language learners with thousands of audio and video lessons, vocabulary learning tools, flashcards, lesson notes, and discussions, which provides a holistic approach to learning.
English Class 101 simplifies the learning approach to English with its line-by-line breakdown and slowed-down audio.
You can even get one-on-one support from your very own teacher! Your personal teacher will provide feedback, corrections, and answers via messenger. They will also make sure you follow your individual plan and update you on your weekly assignments.
English Class 101 Courses Pros and Cons
|1-on-1 Interaction with your personal teacher
|A basic level of English is required as it is the only language
|Assessment tests so you know what to study
|You need the PremiumPLUS subscription to get feedback and assistance from a teacher
|Study plan with unlimited flexibility
|Study courses free
|High course quality with top instructors
|Suggested pace, completion time, and flexible schedule
|60-day refund policy
Rocket Languages has over 10 million happy students worldwide and offers courses in 14 different languages, including English and Ingles (Spanish version).
The Rocket Languages method is designed to immerse you in the language so you can start speaking from day one.
The system has voice recognition to identify words that you are mispronouncing. They use algorithms to identify your weak areas so that they can challenge you on that.
They only seem to have a course for beginner to intermediate-level students at the moment. While they don’t have as many English courses as other platforms, they offer a comprehensive and interactive course that will help you quickly improve your English conversation and grammar skills.
Rocket Languages have an average 4.8-star review for its English courses. The Ingles version may be the best online English course for Spanish speakers, with a 4.9-star rating. They have had over 2 million people take their courses worldwide.
Rocket Language English Courses Pros and Cons
|Suitable for beginner to intermediate students
|No opportunity to speak spontaneously
|Activities and lessons designed for all learning styles
|Doesn’t have any course for intermediate to advanced speakers of English
|Monthly and lifetime payment plans are available
|Active discussion forum
|Easily accessible on mobile
|Lifetime access with constant updates and improvements
|60-day refund policy
Udemy is a popular online course platform that offers courses on almost any subject, including English.
The courses on Udemy vary in length, price, and style, so you can find one that suits your needs.
Many of the courses are taught by native speakers, which can be helpful for learning proper pronunciation.
All the courses on Udemy will vary in quality because different teacher trainers produce them. Fortunately, it’s easy to pick out the good ones as you can search by popularity and review ratings prior to purchase.
What I like about Udemy is the filtering option. You can quickly sort by level (beginner, intermediate, expert) and features you want to include, such as quizzes, subtitles, and practice tests.
The typical price range of a Udemy course is between $11.99 and $199.99. Luckily, all courses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you are unhappy, you can request your money back without any hassle.
Udemy English Courses Pros and Cons
|The quality of content may vary
|The prices of courses can add up
|Certificate of completion (for some courses)
|30-day money-back guarantee
Top Online English Language Courses on Udemy
There are so many courses on Udemy that it might seem overwhelming to choose the best one for you. The best course really depends on your learner’s needs and goals.
This English communication course suits learners who want to have natural conversations with native English speakers, whether you need to communicate at work or university.
This course helps you think in English and speak easily without translating.
This course is all about working smarter, not harder. It was taken by forty thousand students and has received a wonderful 4.6-star rating.
This course was developed by a native English speaker to help you master your English vocabulary.
The course will help you sound more native-like with carefully selected target words to take your English to the next level. You will be able to speak English more creatively by taking this course,
It is also perfect for anyone taking the IELTS, TOEFL, or TOEIC tests.
This course has been taken by forty thousand students and has received a fantastic 4.6-star rating.
Coursera is an online learning platform that offers courses from top universities and colleges. Many of the courses became free during the pandemic, but some come with a fee. If you want to do the assignments and gain certification of completion, you usually have to pay a fee.
The Coursera courses are more structured and professional than those on Udemy, as they are produced by universities rather than private individuals. This means that the quality of the courses is relatively high. Coursera even offers specializations and degrees in addition to courses.
Coursera may require you to complete some reading material, watch videos, and do hands-on projects in your chosen course.
Prices at Coursera typically range between $29-$99 per course. This is backed by a guarantee. They also have annual subscriptions, so you can access unlimited courses for a $339 fee.
Coursera English Courses Pros and Cons
|Study courses free
|The certificates are usually not free
|High course quality with top instructors
|It may be incompatible on browsers other than Chrome
|Suggested pace, completion time and flexible schedule
|Interface and mobile learning app could be more user friendly
|Accredited certificates upon course completion
|Deadline to pass the course
|14-day refund policy
Top Online English Language Courses on Coursera
Here are some of the most popular courses on Coursera at present:
English for Career Development was created by the University of Pennsylvania and funded by an educational department in the US.
This course has been taken by over 1.7 million students and boasts a 4.8-star rating.
You can expect to improve your communication and writing skills with this 40-hour course.
Improve your English Communication Skills is a specialized course that takes much longer to complete. This beginner-friendly online English course was developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Expect to work on different areas of business communication. There are four courses in the specialization:
- writing professional emails,
- speaking English professionally in person, online, and on the phone
- Building your professional e-Portfolio in English
- Polish your communication skills, including pronunciation and accuracy
This course can be completed in five months with a three-hour workload per week.
Alison is a free online learning platform that offers many English language courses. You can complete an unlimited number of language courses for free.
Each course is sorted into six categories: beginner, elementary, intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced, and proficient. If the course has a three-digit number in its name, for example, ‘231’, it was specifically designed to align with CEFR standards.
Alison has a “test your English” feature so they can recommend a course to suit your level of English. They have courses in literature, writing, career, travel, and many others that can take your skills to the next level.
Alison English Courses Pros and Cons
|CPD Accredited Courses
|Course certificates are not free (starting at $21)
|Free to join and study
|Distracting ads without paying the subscription
|Most courses are short (1.5-3 hours)
|Clearly defined learning outcomes before signing up
|Courses are divided into different categories
Top Online English Language Courses on Alison
Here are some of the most popular courses on Alison at present:
Learn about the present tense with the elementary course Conversations in the Present. Learn how to ask and answer simple questions, use the verb “to be,” and talk about everyday actions in the present.
This course was completed by over 83,000 students, and it contains 1.5-3 hours of content.
Tourism is a robust industry, and there is a critical need for English language skills in the hotel reception and front desk. This course teaches how to answer general hotel queries, make hotel reservations, check guests in and out and examine customer complaints.
This course was completed by more than 76000 students to date and contained 1.5-3 hours of content.
If you are a beginner learner, this course will give you the foundation to speak English by providing you with essential grammar, vocabulary, and many tips and tricks when getting started speaking in English.
This course teaches how to start a conversation, singular and plural words, introductory phrases, pronouns, and the verb ‘to be.
With over 150,000 enrollments, you can be sure this course is a good one!
A guide to the most important aspects of English grammar so that you can form sentences effectively in English.
This course will show you how to use the past and present tenses and teach you about correct punctuation and the parts of speech.
This 6-10 hour course has received over 237,000 enrollments to date.
USA Learns is a free website that helps adults learn English. It was developed by the US Department of Education and has been available since 2007.
The courses at USA Learn are a little outdated, but they still contain many activities and videos to improve your English at a beginner to intermediate level.
Are you looking for US citizenship? USA Learns can help you by offering you the language and information you need to become a citizen.
USA Learns English Courses Pros and Cons
|It is free
|Website is a little outdated
|One-of-a-kind USA Learns Citizenship Course
|A limited number of situations covered
|Flexible to complete at any time
|Practice your writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills
This app is designed to help you improve your English speaking skills by providing you with a personal AI English coach.
Elsa Speak uses voice recognition technology to help you with your pronunciation and also provides feedback on your intonation, fluency, and clarity.
You can practice your conversation skills with the app’s interactive bite-sized lessons and games. Learn from a wide variety of topics, including school, travel, and business. Receive instant feedback on your pronunciation.
The app is free to download, and a 7-day free trial is available. There is an annual subscription of $6.25 to unlock all the features. Or you can stick to a monthly subscription for $11.99 per month.
This app has amassed an excellent rating of 4.7 stars on the App Store and Google Play Store with over 460K ratings!
Elsa English Coach Pros and Cons
|Use this app anytime, anywhere.
|It can be difficult to track progress
|Improves English speaking confidence, according to research on the app
|Elsa doesn’t always understand what is said
|Receive daily customized lessons
|No British English accent
|A better understanding of the pronunciation and spelling of words
|Only need a few minutes each day to improve your skills
See our detailed Elsa Speak review (with discounts).
If you think an online English course may seem too overwhelming for you, why not try to break your language learning down into bite-sized pieces with a private tutor from iTalki?
You can have one-on-one classes and choose whichever teacher you think best suits your needs!
Each teacher has their own pricing, courses, and specializations. You can be sure to find teachers to suit your needs, whether you want exam prep, conversation practice, or business English mastery.
One of the great things about using iTalki is that you can learn at your own pace and tailor each session to focus on your specific needs. You can also find a tutor that suits your budget.
Private classes with a tutor start from as little as $5 USD per hour.
iTalki has over 11,000 excellent reviews on Trustpilot with an exceptional 4.7-star average rating.
iTalki English Courses Pros and Cons
|Suits every budget
|The teachers may not all be qualified
|Connect with a teacher who can provide instant correction and support on your English language learning journey
|You have to book the class at least 24 hours in advance
|Great video and chat platform
|Filter to search by location, lesson type, price, etc.
|Easy to use the website and mobile app
|Be part of the iTalki community and forum
Lingoda is an interesting language-learning platform that deserves mention. Lingoda is an online language school that offers English and Business English courses and classes in other languages, such as German, French, and Spanish.
Lingoda offers high-quality lesson materials based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) approach to learning, an international language learning standard.
With Lingoda, you can receive up to 100% cash back on the online classes you take, and the highly-intensive Sprint and Marathon courses are said to provide a major boost to your language learning skills in a short period time.
Lingoda English Courses Pros and Cons
|Live classes with native teachers
|It can several months to receive cashback deal
|Discounted or reasonably priced classes
|Many different teachers with various accents
|Receive up to 100% cashback for attending your online classes
|Internationally-recognized CEFR approach to learning
|Personal feedback from teacher
|Easy to use the website and mobile app
|7-day free trial
Benefits of Learning English Online
There are many benefits to learning English online, including the following:
Access to a Wealth of Resources
When you learn online, you have access to a wealth of resources that can help you improve your language skills. This includes online dictionaries, grammar guides, and forums where you can practice with other English learners.
One of the advantages of learning online is the greater flexibility it offers. You can often choose when and where you want to study, allowing you to fit your English lessons into your busy schedule.
Improved Learning Outcomes
Studies have shown that students who learn online often have better learning outcomes than those who learn in a traditional classroom setting. This is likely due to the increased interaction and engagement that online learning provides.
Whether you want to improve your English for work, travel, or simply for the love of learning, there are many great online courses to choose from. The courses listed above are just a few of the best options available, so be sure to explore all of your options before making a decision.
Do you have any experience with these online English courses? Let us know in the comments below!
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.