16 Best Free (and Partially Free) Online English Courses to Take in 2022 | FluentU English

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16 Best Free (and Partially Free) Online English Courses to Take in 2022

If you’re looking for the right online English course to take, but aren’t sure where to start looking—or you’re not sure how to choose—this is the post for you.

Below you will find a list of the 16 best online English courses with additional information to help you decide which one could fit your learning style and schedule best.


online english courses

Summary: A variety of college-level courses taught by real professors

EdX is one of the biggest MOOC (massive open online course) websites out there. It was created by Harvard and MIT, two very famous and expensive universities in America. You can find a lot of college-level courses here, created and taught by actual professors from top universities.

You can actually earn college credits on edX, through Arizona State University. It’s not free, but it’s cheaper than being in an actual college. Some of the courses have certificates you can get for completing them. Most of these cost some money, so make sure you check the details before you sign up!

Like most other MOOCs, classes here are similar to college courses and some take a few weeks to complete. A certain number of hours is needed each week to learn all the material. You can learn along with the class, or read through a course after it’s complete (though you won’t get to talk to others about it if you choose to do that!).

The program is free but does not include course exams and certificates. The regular price is $279.99 per year for unlimited courses and certificates, but sometimes goes on sale for $189.99.

Summary: Video-based lessons and multimedia flashcards with material that adapts to your learning

FluentU is a language learning program that uses videos to teach English by showing you how native speakers use it. It technically isn’t a free course, but you can try it out with a free trial.

The videos on FluentU include short videos lessons as well as authentic clips like commercials, music videos and scenes from popular TV shows. With content made by and for native speakers from around the English-speaking world, you get exposure to the way the language sounds in natural situations.

All the videos have interactive subtitles that let you click on words you don’t know to learn more. This way, you understand more of what you’re hearing.

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The program’s built-in video dictionary lets you see definitions, example sentences, a pronunciation guide and a list of other videos that use the word.

You can add any word you see to custom flashcard decks to review later, or practice with pre-made flashcard decks with themes like “basic adjectives” or “vegetables.” You can also review phrases and slang terms, which textbooks and other courses often leave out.

fluentu english quiz

FluentU also lets you review what you’ve learned with personalized quizzes, which change as you learn and focus on what you most need to improve. On the FluentU iOS or Android app, you can also practice pronunciation during these quizzes with speaking-based questions.

The program requires a monthly subscription but I’m including it for the free trial, which gives you full access to the entire program (and all 10 of its languages) for a period of time.

online english courses

Summary: Well-established site with free online courses and certificates

Opened in 2007, Alison is considered by most to be the first MOOC.

The website has over 4,000 total courses and 192 language courses. Its goal is to help learners improve their existing skills, switch careers, or pursue hobbies they’re passionate about, all for free. After you complete a course, you are given either a diploma or certificate depending on the length of the course.

They have a whole section dedicated to learning English. 

Courses from Alison to consider:

  • English for Business and Entrepreneurship – This course could be useful if you need to communicate with clients in English. 
  • English Grammar and Vocabulary – Travel (Advanced level) – This course will teach you the future tense and travel-related phrases.
  • Fundamentals of English Grammar – Love grammar (or just need a good grammar review)? This might be the course for you.

online english courses

Summary: A wide variety of either free or affordable video courses 

Udemy wants to teach everything! There are tens of thousands of courses, and even though not all of them are from well-known universities, they have some great ones to choose from.

Not all the courses on Udemy are free, but there’s a good number of free ones. Even the courses that aren’t free can be pretty affordable.

Udemy uses video lectures, written materials and quizzes to help you learn. You can watch a video or read a lesson, then test yourself to make sure you understood. You can go as fast or as slow as you want!

Courses you should be taking:

  • English as a Foreign Language: This course teaches grammar through real conversation examples.
  • English Grammar for Beginners: With this course, you can learn the basics of grammar and beginner-level English.

online english courses

Summary: Mix of professional courses and free courses open to anyone

You’ll find a very friendly environment at Open Learning. Here, anyone can take or create a course. You might not find as many college professors, but you’ll find experts who want to share their skills.

Open Learning does work with a number of universities, so you can find a good mix of both professional and more casual courses here. Not all the courses on Open Learning are free, but there are some that are free and open to anyone.

Courses you should be taking:

  • Using Sentence Connectors: Here, you can learn English writing and grammar at a pre-college level of English.

online english courses

Summary: Single-lesson courses English courses from Australia

The courses offered here are shorter than most MOOCs. Instead of taking weeks to complete, MOOEC gives its courses as single lessons. If you’re not sure if online study is right for you, MOOEC is a good place to start, since it will take less of your time.

The site offers courses in reading, speaking, writing, and listening. 

MOOEC was created in Australia, and some of the lessons make that very clear. There are some classes about places in Australia, and the spelling might be different from American English, so keep that in mind.

Courses you should be taking:

  • Elementary English Course: Here’s a perfect course if you’re just starting out.
  • Common Mistakes: This course covers some of the most common English mistakes people make.
  • Coffee Culture: For anyone interested in Australian English and culture, this class teaches everyday listening and speaking skills.

online english courses

Summary: Courses for any level that include lots of resources and cultural information

ESOL means English for Speakers of Other Languages, so this site is perfect for you.

ESOL Courses offer a lot of free online English courses for learners at any level (beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate and advanced).

You can choose from a lot of resources to practice the skill you want, from listening to English for work to reading and writing.

I love the sections called “Life in the UK” and “Life in the USA.” They offer information about culture, travel, living, history and food in the UK and the USA, among other cool stuff. As a bonus, all this information is presented through hundreds of exercises where you can practice your English.

Courses you should be taking:

  • Beginners course: If you’re just starting your adventure with the English language, this course will teach you all the basics in just 16 lessons.
  • Elementary course: When you finish the course for beginners, continue with this course for elementary students and keep on learning in a fun way.
  • Easy readers: Read these easy and short texts and improve your vocabulary. They include pictures and videos, and they tell you which words you need to remember.

online english courses

Summary: Quick, focused English courses that include  subtitles

My MOOC is the perfect solution for learners of English who don’t have a lot of free time and want to improve their resume/CV fast. The courses here take from six to 21 hours, so they’re short and to the point.

My MOOC focuses on speaking and writing, but everyone can find a course that adapts to their needs. The best part? Most of the courses include subtitles!

Courses you should be taking:

  • Unlock your English: Learn the basics of business English, from small talk to business meetings, in just 15 hours! A great MOOC if you like being in contact with other students.
  • English pronunciation in a global world: In this course, you’ll learn everything about English pronunciation and the differences between the different English accents. You’ll also improve your own pronunciation thanks to the exercises.

Courses you should be taking:

  • Improve your spoken English: This isn’t really a course, but it includes a lot of information and tips on how to improve your speaking skills.
  • Improve your writing: Learn how to improve your English writing skills with all the tips included in this section. Read the guides to spelling (the correct way to write a word), capitalization (when to write in uppercase letters) and punctuation (the use of symbols to separate words and sentences) to become a master of English writing.

online english courses

Summary: A wide variety of self-paced and university courses, particularly good for advanced learners

Recommended for advanced learners, Coursera is another MOOC that lets you learn at your own pace (as fast or slow as you want). You can complete courses as they take place, or just look over the material when they’re over.

Each course has instructional videos, followed by quizzes and exercises you can take to make sure you understood the materials. There are a few peer-rated (graded by your fellow students) assignments, so it’s a good place to exchange information with other students who are learning just like you.

Coursera has a huge number of partners, institutions and universities offering courses. More are constantly being added, so it’s worth checking back regularly to see if anything interesting has popped up.

Courses you should be taking:

  • Essentials for English Speeches and Presentations: A course specifically aimed at Chinese learners of English, this class will teach you English public speaking.
  • English Composition I: Taught by Duke University, this class teaches college-level writing.

online english courses

Summary: Courses about a variety of topics, taught in English for advanced learners

If you’re an upper-intermediate or advanced learner of English and want to practice the language while learning something else in English, you’re going to love Udacity.

Feel like a real native speaker of English while you take courses on business, computer science or personal development completely in English and for free!

Udacity offers 286 courses in English. I’m sure there’s at least one you’ll be interested in.

Courses you should be taking:

  • Refresh Your Resume: Now you can have the best English resume in town thanks to this Grow with Google course.
  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence is around us everywhere we go. From machine learning to robotics, after you finish this course you’ll be one step closer to calling yourself The King/Queen of AI.
  • College Algebra: Are you a math person? If you love numbers, equations and logarithms, this course will boost your Math English vocabulary to the ultimate level.

online english courses

Summary: Video lessons for all learner levels, taught by experienced English teachers

Perfectly Spoken features over 500 video lessons, all taught by experienced English teachers. Each course is separated by learner level, and you can find out which course is best for you with a free English test. But even if you start one course, you can switch to another one whenever you’d like!

There are three learner plans: Free, Student and Pro. You need to pay for the Student and Pro plans, but even the Free Plan gives you access to 300 video lessons and lets you watch 10 hours of content every month.

As a bonus for learners, Perfectly Spoken also provides extra learning materials and practice tests. Once you complete a course, you can even get a fancy certificate of completion!

online english courses

Summary: Learn British English from expert teachers and by socializing with your classmates

Many online courses can be done on your own, but FutureLearn encourages students to be social and talk with other people taking the same courses. With over a million enrolled in the classes here, there will be lots of people to talk to!

The courses offered come from 40 places all across the world, including some top British institutions like the British Council and British Museum. FutureLearn has no partners in the U.S., so if you’re looking for American English, you might want to try a different website.

FutureLearn works like many MOOCs—lessons are given every week for a certain number of weeks. You can learn along with the class, which is highly encouraged (so you can talk to other students). But if the class doesn’t fit into your schedule, you can take it at your own pace.

FutureLearn has free 1-month limited access. For a 27.99 per 3 months subscription, you get unlimited access to courses. You can also purchase individual courses for varying flat fee.

Courses you should be taking:

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study: This one is designed for people interested in studying in an English-speaking country, but can be useful for any English learner.
  • Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests: This course is excellent if you’re planning to take any English test, but especially the IELTS.
  • Exploring English: Language and Culture: With this course, you can learn about British culture as you improve your English.


Summary: Adaptable program with six different listening speeds and translations for over 20 languages

This website, which is accurately named, offers two learning programs: Learn English and Write Better. While the latter has both free and paid versions, the former is completely free. All you need to do is sign up!

EnglishHelper is a great fit for a beginning learner, especially if you’re struggling to understand spoken English. They offer six different listening speeds and a a pronunciation guide, which will help you speak and understand their language. With a picture dictionary of 400,000 words, you’ll soon pick up a lot of vocabulary. There are translations available in over 20 languages, which means that you won’t face any difficulty in finding English alternatives to words in your native language.

Finally, they also have periodic tests to make sure you’re learning regularly. This sort of structure is great for English learners who have a difficult time committing to one program.

online english courses

Summary: Take courses on your own time, for free or paid courses for college credit

Another advanced-level option, Saylor offers many courses for free. This website is a non-profit, meaning it doesn’t make any money from teaching online courses.

There are no start dates here—all courses can be taken at any time. Some courses even offer college credit if you can pass a final exam for a small fee!

Courses you should be taking:

  • Pre-college English: This course prepares you for college-level writing.

online english courses

Summary: Video lessons and activities for beginner and intermediate learners

USA Learns is a website that hosts free English lessons, all of which you can access after you register an account.

There are three main courses and their difficulties range from beginner to intermediate levels. Lessons are taught with videos and activities that improve different English skills, from vocabulary to speaking.

USA Learns also has content that teaches you what daily life is like in the United States! This adds a nice flavor to the English you learn.

Courses you should be taking:

  • 1st English Course: A 20-unit course that teaches you the basics of the language, using a variety of lesson topics and all kinds of fun activities.
  • Practice English and Reading: An intermediate-level course that focuses on improving written English skills with stories

Summary: Detailed lessons covering a wide variety of skills, with new lessons uploaded frequently

Oxford Online English has many free lessons that teach different English skills. They cover many different topics and are surprisingly quite detailed. There are even lessons that focus on Business English and IELTS preparation.

Free lessons are uploaded weekly, so you can keep looking forward to new content!

Besides free lessons, Oxford Online English also lets you get personal paid lessons with teachers over programs like Skype, Google Hangouts or others. Besides teaching you, your teacher can also give you feedback and tell you what you can improve on.

Courses you should be taking:

  • Spoken English: It’s very important to practice your English speaking skills whenever you can. Oxford Online English’s many video lessons on spoken English will help you build your confidence


So what are you waiting for?

Get comfortable, pick a course on this list that interests you and start learning!