Online English Classes: 11 Best Places to Learn English Online [2022]

Technology has changed language learning forever. Lessons no longer have to be inside of a physical classroom, and online English courses are available to everybody.

If you want to learn English online, you now have an endless digital toolbox—a huge range of learning resources to access anywhere, anytime. There is a universe of English learning knowledge waiting for you online. It might sound like a big claim when the resources are so easily available, but it’s possible that an online course could change your life.

11 top online English courses

With so many online English courses out there, it’s essential to find the one that suits your needs and learning style. You don’t want to waste time, energy and money on something that won’t help you progress.

We’ve gathered together an up-to-date list of the top-rated English learning courses for different needs and learning styles below.

  • Preply: For live online classes
  • Coursera: For flexibility
  • Perfectly Spoken: For video lectures
  • USA Learns: For USA citizenship
  • edX: For college-level courses
  • Alison: For learning on a budget
  • Udemy: Runner up, for learning on a budget
  • Udacity: For employability skills
  • EnglishClass101: For audio lessons
  • ABA English: For multimedia material
  • FutureLearn: For IELTS

Learn more about each online English course in our summaries, and explore the option that suits you! 

1. Preply

For live online English classes

With more than 32,000 tutors to choose from, Preply is a language learning platform that connects learners like you with your personal English tutor. Having a 1-on-1 English tutor means you will get a custom learning plan that fits your skill level, schedule, and needs. Preply is an effective path to results you’ll love, and you can arrange classes based on your schedule. 

If 1-on-1 learning doesn’t suit your learning style, you can also take online group classes with Preply. Group classes are where you can ​​learn, speak and connect with a small group of students, guided by an expert tutor.

If you’re a working professional, you may need English to move up in your industry or break into a new market. Luckily, Preply Business offers customizable online English classes tailored to your company. Any employee can refer their company to provide online English courses through Preply. That way, you can improve your English skills for free! 

92% of Preply learners say that person-to-person lessons are more fun than methods they’ve used before. Not only that, but 88% said that Preply helped them improve their speaking skills. Instead of memorizing endless vocabulary you won’t use, online English classes will improve all the skills you need so you’re confident using English in real life.

Price: Starting at $10
Flexibility: Any time
Certification: Earned after 10 hours
Completion time: Varies by learner and program
Level: Beginner to advanced

Recommended resources: 

2. Coursera

For flexibility

coursera online english course
Whether you’re an advanced speaker or true English beginner, Coursera can help you build the skills you need. Learn 100% online with video lectures, quizzes and self-paced projects, and use their learner forum to receive feedback on your progress.

A big advantage of Coursera is that their courses are created by credible universities, institutions and businesses, so that you can learn from the experts. You can also see how many people started a new career or received a pay increase or promotion after completing the course. That’s how valuable an online course can be—it could really change your life!

Price: Free (Coursera Plus at $59/ month)
Flexibility: Self-paced
Certification: Upon completion of course for a fee
Completion time: Varies by course (on average, 20 – 30 hours to complete)
Level: Intermediate and advanced

Recommended resources:

  • Georgia Tech: Improve Your English Communication Skills Specialization
  • University of Pennsylvania: English for Career Development

3. Perfectly Spoken

For video lectures

Perfectly Spoken online english course

Want to learn from a qualified English teacher? Perfectly Spoken’s course curriculum is created by English teachers who specialize in IELTS and Cambridge English exams, with pre-recorded video lectures to help you get an ear for English speech and pronunciation.

To put you on the right path, you can filter courses by IELTS level, Cambridge level or other types (exam preparation, business English, or general English). With additional study materials and progress tests, there are plenty of resources to improve your English skills. To get the most valuable results from your courses, combine it with online English speaking classes and regular speaking practice. 

Price: $8.25/ month for Student plan; $25/ month for Pro plan
Flexibility: Self-paced; Live & Interactive classes meet weekly
Certification: Depends on plan
Completion time: Varies by course (courses range from 5 – 60 lessons, on average 30 minutes each)
Level: Elementary to proficiency

Get more tips to learn English fast

Learn English online with a full range of videos, articles and live lessons!

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Recommended resources:

  • Everyday English course
  • Travel English Course

4. USA Learns

For USA citizenship

usa learns online english course

Although the website is outdated, there’s a reason why USA Learns is still a popular course for adult English learners. With video lessons and 1000s of activities, you can learn cultural facts and language skills to adapt to life in the United States.

Alongside courses in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, USA Learns has a helpful U.S. Citizenship course. This will provide you with all the information, language practice, and resources you’ll need to prepare for life as a U.S. citizen. 

Price: Free
Flexibility: Self-paced
Certification: No official certificate
Completion time: Varies by learner; each course has 5 – 20 units with multiple video lessons per unit
Level: Beginner to intermediate

Recommended resources:

  • USA Learns Citizenship course
  • Life skills in English

5. edX

For college-level courses

edx online english courseFounded by Harvard and MIT, edX is a trusted platform for online education. You can find a lot of college-level courses here, created and taught by actual professors from top universities.

The courses aren’t free, but they are definitely cheaper than an actual college course. You can also achieve a verified certificate when you complete them. The course materials are all pre-recorded, so students can learn at their own pace. However, all assignments are due when the course ends.

Price: Free for Audit Track, up to 200 USD for Verified Track students
Flexibility: Self-paced
Certification: Available for Verified Track students
Completion time: Varies depending on course; ranges from 4 – 10 weeks, 2-5 hours per week
Level: Upper-Intermediate to advanced

Recommended resources:

  • University of Washington: Preparing to Network in English
  • Upper-Intermediate English: Business and Modern Life

6. Alison

For learning on a budget

alison online english course

Launched in 2007, Alison is one of the world’s first and biggest free learning platforms. The group has helped over 2 million graduates upskill with 1500+ Certificate & Diploma Courses.  

The course content is contained in presentation slides, without pre-recorded video lessons or 1-on-1 tutoring. If you’re looking for a seamless user experience, you may not find it here: as a free education website, Alison makes most of its money through advertising. However, there’s a huge range of topics to learn English in different situations, such as business, tourism, and journalism. 

Price: Free
Flexibility: Self-paced
Certification: Achieve 80% or higher in course completion
Completion time: 1.5-3 hours per lesson; lessons vary by course
Level: Beginner to advanced

Recommended resources:

  • English for career development
  • English Grammar – Comparisons & Word Order (Intermediate level)

7. Udemy

Runner up, for learning on a budget

udemy online english course

If you love learning, then Udemy is the place for you. They have over 100,000 self-development courses on almost anything, including English writing and speaking. 

Udemy’s courses are either free or affordable, and use a mix of videos, quizzes, and progress tests so that you can learn English independently. You can either take short courses of up to 5 hours, or longer ones of up to 100 hours. If you’re an independent and driven learner, Udemy will have a course to support your English learning needs. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that you can’t get any speaking practice with this. For best results, consider combining Udemy with regular conversation practice.

Price: Free; paid courses start at $14.99 USD
Flexibility: Any time, videos on-demand
Certification: Available depending on course
Completion time: 8 – 75 hours, depending on course
Level: Beginner to expert

Recommended resources:

  • English for Beginners: Intensive Spoken English Course
  • Building Your English Brain

8. Udacity

For employability skills

udacity online english course

Although they don’t have courses specific for English, Udacity is a perfect place for advanced English learners to practice the language while developing employability skills for the future

If you’re a techy person who has ambitions to become a programmer, data analyst, or computer scientists, then Udacity is an ideal resource to upskill. Each program will teach you about the specific tools and technologies you will need to be successful in these areas, with practical exercises and access to the technology. One of the best ways to learn English is in context. So if your next career is in tech, why not develop two of your skills at the same time?

Price: Free individual courses; nanodegree program starting at $399/month
Flexibility: Self-paced
Certification: Available depending on course
Completion time: Varies by course (1-3 months at 5-10 hours per week)
Level: Advanced or near-native proficiency

Recommended resources:

  • Refresh your resume
  • Interview practice

9. EnglishClass101

For audio lessons

EnglishClass101 online english course

EnglishClass101 is a course for adult learners, and combines video and audio lessons with written summaries of each class. To access the course, you can either use your laptop or download their app to learn anywhere, anytime. 

While some lessons and resources are available for free, more advanced features require a paid membership. This membership also includes flashcards and quizzes, as well as a feature that allows you to record your pronunciation and compare it with native English speakers. EnglishClass101’s community forum also enables you to interact with fellow English learners to help each other strengthen your skills.

Price: $4/ month (basic); $10/ month (premium); $23/ month (premium plus)
Flexibility: Self-paced (premium plus comes with weekly assignments)
Certification: Available for all plans
Completion time: Varies by learner
Level: Advanced beginner to intermediate

Recommended resources:

  • 3 Reasons Why You Really Can Learn & Speak English with EnglishClass101

10. ABA English

For multimedia material

ABA English online english course

ABA English has a unique approach to English language learning. Each course is divided into 5 parts: film, speaking, lessons, vocabulary and assessments. 

Here comes the unique part: every unit starts with a short film where actors who are native English speakers act out everyday situations. Through film, you will feel a variety of emotions, and identify with the characters. By attaching emotion to your practice, ABA English believes you can make quick progress by approaching the language from a completely different place. With 1000+ exercises on writing, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary, you will learn something new that you can put into practice straight away.

Price: Up to $30/ month (quarterly and yearly plans may cost less)
Flexibility: Live group classes, 24/7 support
Certification: Available for Premium users who complete 100% of the course exercises
Completion time: 3 months per level, on average
Level: Beginner to advanced (A1 to C1)

Recommended resources:

  • ABA English levels
  • ABA English: How it works

11. Future Learn


future learn online english course

With Future Learn, you can join millions of people to learn together on a huge range of subjects, run by universities and industry experts. FutureLearn’s English courses are run by the British Council – a world-famous institution for in-depth English courses.

You can work your way up from the most basic English language skills to advanced exam preparation, using a range of video, audio files, articles, and quizzes. As an added bonus, every piece of content has a comments section for learners to ask questions and discuss what they have learned. Future Learn’s community could help you on your path to improve your English skills. 

Price: $14 – $39/ month
Flexibility: Self-paced by weekly assignments and lectures
Certification: Available upon course completion
Completion time: 3 -4 weeks, at 4 hours per week on average
Level: Intermediate to advanced

Recommended resources:

  • Understanding IELTS: Speaking
  • Exploring English: Language and Culture

Why there’s no better way to learn English than online

A study by Coursera found that 87% of people who take online professional development courses gain a direct benefit to their career afterward, such as getting a promotion, a raise, or starting a new career.

That’s pretty impressive, especially since you can gain all these benefits in a completely flexible way. There are a number of huge advantages to learning online, including:

Learn from anywhere

As long as you have a phone or laptop, you can take online English classes and courses from anywhere, even the comfort of your own bed (although we don’t recommend it). By avoiding an unnecessary commute to class, you can save yourself lots of time. Forget traveling to the classroom—take your classroom with you wherever you go!

Study whenever you want

If you’re working or studying, we understand that adding a language course onto your current workload can be stressful. Online learning is a huge advantage for people who struggle with a busy schedule. However, make sure to add your course to your language learning study plan. Don’t lose out to poor discipline—regular study sessions are the key to progress.  

Make new connections

One of the greatest things about the internet is that you have the chance to connect with people from all over the world. This includes having online English classes with a tutor, who will likely have a cultural background from a nation in which English is the dominant language. A tutor is also able to tailor the lesson to you individually, instead of focusing on an entire group. With this focused, 1-on-1 interaction, you can strengthen your English language skills in no time. 

Lady taking an online language class with a tutor

Track your progress digitally

Say goodbye to messy notebooks and folders with scrappy bits of paper. Digital learning means you can collect your learning resources in one tidy place. Most online learning platforms collect data that enables you to see your lesson history, word lists, strengths and weaknesses. That means you can measure your progress without a teacher, and access your learning statistics whenever and wherever you find it helpful.

Conclusion: Learn where you want, when you want, how you want

When choosing an online English course or online English classes, it’s essential to understand what you want to achieve. Want to develop your reading abilities, vocabulary skills, or knowledge of grammar? There’s a course on this list for you!

Whatever your needs, staying motivated by yourself can be tough, and regular practice is key to success. To see quick progress, Preply is a highly efficient way to study English. You can use our search filters to choose the perfect tutor for your learning goals, schedule and budget. And unlike with learning apps, you’ll be practicing your English speaking skills from the first lesson. Real speaking practice makes it so much easier to use your English language skills in real life. 

Ranking criteria

After conducting extensive online research, we selected the top 11 courses based on a variety of factors that reflect different learning styles and needs. Since not all English courses are created equal, we then analyzed each online English course by the following criteria: price, flexibility, certification, completion time, and skill level. 

Price: While many of these courses are offered for free, some require a nominal fee to access certain resources, like 24/7 support or a live tutor. Others are all-access English classes, based on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription.

Flexibility: Unlike traditional, in-person classes, most online English courses are self-paced, meaning that you’re free to pick up and leave off lessons whenever you please. We’ve noted which courses offer live tutoring and group lesson options, which may be available only at certain times.

Certification: Employers and organizations often look for proof of English fluency when hiring for English-speaking companies or seeking professional talent. Most of these online English courses offer an official certification upon completing a certain number of hours or passing the course with a specific score. 

Completion time: You may have lots of time to invest in learning English online or squeeze your online English courses into an already-packed schedule. We’ve noted how long, on average, it takes learners to complete a given online English course. The selected courses range from a few weeks to several months, depending on your availability.

Skill level: Depending on your experience and comfort level with English, some courses may be more in line with your needs. We’ve added the skill and level as classified by the course. For example, some English courses rely on the A1 – C2 CEFR levels (Common European Framework of References for Languages), whereas others broadly describe their offerings as ‘beginner’ or ‘expert.’