Free online English courses aren't just for those looking to learn to speak English as a Second Language, though that is an option. Courses are also available to those interested in learning (or relearning) some of the basics of the English language. There are also classes designed for people looking to learn more about creative writing, journalistic writing, or even college English. Courses range from basic to intricate, but all with the same goal - improving your English language skills.
English as a Second Language
Englishlink offers free online English lessons that are taught by Canadian and American teachers.
- They offer free, self-paced classes that include online videos, mini-lessons, translations, a word of the day newsletter, and a "slang test."
- Classes are designed to help improve their students grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing skills.
- It is suggested that learners taking a 45-minute placement test before getting started; however, students may skip the test and instead just pick the unit of study they wish to start with.
- In order to access the classes, you must sign up and register with the site.
- To use Englishlink, your computer must have the most current versions of Flash and Adobe Reader installed.
Improving Your English and Writing Skills
English-Online.org/uk offers a comprehensive collection of English lessons. There are beginner, elementary, intermediate and advanced sections. Within each lesson are up to 15 parts that take around 30 minutes to complete. Each part is made up of three pieces that contain grammar lessons, functions, or application methods, and vocabulary words focused on specific themes like "House and Garden" or "In the Country".
After going through the lessons, you can actually test what you have learned. However, you should at least complete the lessons through the intermediate level before attempting the test. After exploring those English courses, you can go beyond the basic lessons by playing letter and word games online.
To help practice your reading skills, the site also provides some material you can use to apply what you've learned. Dracula, The Jungle Book, and Sherlock Holmes mysteries are some of the available titles. If you want learn something more specialized, you can choose additional business and computer English classes.
EnglishPage.com uses tutorials and interactive exercises to teach English language skills. Tutorials range from verb tenses to prepositions, as well as mini-tutorials on more in-depth topics like adverbs and gerunds. After picking a tutorial, check out the weekly lessons. EnglishPage also has glossaries designed to help learners improve vocabulary skills that cover topics like Christmas, Internet-specific words and many other options.
To practice your new knowledge, take a trip over to the site's reading room for a comprehensive list of free online magazines, books, and newspapers in the target language.
Poynter News University
Poynter News University offers a wide selection of classes, although not all of them are free. To find out what their current free offers are, use the "Price" pull-down and select free to $25. The courses will list their prices, and you can select the free classes.
Most free courses are self-directed, and they are focused on people who are interested in learning to write for journalistic purposes. For those looking for specialized courses, this is a great place to start.
Examples of free classes include:
- Beyond the Inverted Pyramid: Creating Alternative Story Forms
- Coaching Tomorrow's Journalists
- Covering Islam in America
- Covering Mental Health Issues
- The Recession
College English Classes
Some colleges and universities offer free online classes. A selection of free English college courses include:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) offers at least 12 courses online through their OpenCourseWare. Courses have been offered in writing fiction, poetry, and essays. They have also offered literature classes. The classes offered include notes, videos, and reading lists.
The Open University
The Open University is located in the UK and offers a wide range of free classes, including a number of Arts and Humanities classes. English classes range from Business English to Communication to Grammar to Being a Critical Reader. There are even no-cost classes on paraphrasing and summarizing texts, which can be extremely helpful for college students who need some free practice. Free fiction and poetry writing courses are also available.
How to Get the Most from Free Courses
When you find an online free English course, treat it like any other class you would take. The most energy and effort you invest, the more you'll get out of it. While many of the online classes are basic and just cover simple grammar, reading, and writing lessons, others are extremely robust. If you find yourself enjoying the classes, you may want to think about taking writing classes for credit or even getting a degree in English.