Learn English: The Best Free Online Courses


If you are one of those young students that dream of studying abroad but find the English Language an obstacle when applying for a scholarship or a university program, you must read this article. It is possible to learn English by yourself, online and free!

It is not a secret that mostly all the scholarships and universities require to take an English proficiency test as part of their application processes (of course, speaking about English programs). These English exams more commonly are TOEFL or IELTS. The purpose of this requirement is to show your understanding and skills in writing, listening, speaking, and reading in English, as well as your Eng. grammar. It is however sometimes scary and challenging to take this exam when you don’t feel comfortable with your level of English, without mentioning that you have to spend money every time you take the exam.

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The traditional way to learn English is of course joining a private course or hiring a personal teacher to improve your English skills. This method is totally valid, right? But what happens if you don’t have the money or the time to join one of these types of courses? In addition, they are quite expensive and the schedule is inconvenient for those who currently work or study. If you are in this situation – which is very common – there are still many options that you can explore. In fact, there are available free online and complete courses for learning English. Only remember that you will need to study by yourself. It is not more difficult but it requires your dedication, motivation, and systematic approach. It depends on you, and only on you, to be consistent, make your schedule and follow the class. The quality of these courses is the same as a paid in-situ course. Thus, there is no time to lose, let’s get ready and start learning English!

Several websites from different countries offer to teach English, some of them are quite popular among many people, such as ‘VOA Learning English’, ‘Academia Earth’, British Council Learn English’, ‘LearnEnglish Teens’, ‘Gamestolearnenglish’, and so on. However in this article, we will focus on two sites that we believe are the most complete, organized, and resourceful free online websites to learn and study English: ‘Coursera’ and ‘BBC Learning English.

Note that the following English Learning Courses are selected and explained based on our research and own experience, this post is for informational purposes only. Please, in all cases check the official website for official information. Neither of these institutions sponsor or give any reward to Scholarships WW to publish their information here.

Learn English Courses, by Coursera

Coursera is an online platform from the USA, founded in 2012 by Stanford University [See also Scholarships in the USA]. This platform works with different universities and organizations to provide massive open online courses, certifications, and degrees in a variety of subjects.

It has a monthly payment subscription which provides you access to certain features of the courses. For examplee graded assignments, certificates, and mentorship, as well as a certificate at the end of the course. However, many Coursera courses, (including those mentioned below) are available to be audited for free. This means you can select ‘Audit the course’ to access the video lectures, discussion forums, and course readings for free! Therefore, you can complete the whole course and acquire the knowledge without any payment. However, if you still want to pay the subscription, to get the mentioned features, but cannot afford it you can apply for financial aid or scholarship here.

Coursera has several courses (including other subjects different than the English Language), however, we have selected three of them that are proper for improving the language, for three different groups of learners: beginners, intermediate and advanced students.

  • Learn English Language for beginner Students

If you feel that your level of English is basic (or even less than basic), don’t worry, you can improve it, but you need to start now! The ideal course for you is “Learn English Specialization”, which will be like an English class 101, for you to begin.

Learn English: Intermediate Grammar Specialization, (offered by UCL Division of Continuing Education)

Fee: For free (Audit the course only)
Schedule: Flexible
Targeted students: Learners of English as a second language
Level: Beginner
Prior Knowledge required: No prior knowledge required
Duration: Approximately 7 months Suggested pace of 1 hour/week
Available Subtitles: English, Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish)]
Course Content:
  1. Conversational English Skills
  2. Just Reading and Writing English 1
  3. Just Reading and Writing English 2
  4. General Academic English

  • Learn English Language for Intermediate Students

If you are one of those students with an intermediate level, however, you feel there is still room for improvement before taking the English Proficiency test for your university application, then you should check the course “Learn English: Intermediate Grammar Specialization”.

Learn English: Intermediate Grammar Specialization, (offered by UCL Division of Continuing Education)

Fee: For free (Audit the course only)
Schedule: Flexible
Targeted students: Learners of English as a second language
Level: Intermediate
Prior Knowledge required: Some related experience required
Duration: Approximately 5 months to complete (Suggested pace of 6 hours/week)
Available Subtitles: English, Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese (Brazilian), Indonesian, Slovak)]
Course Content:
  1. Perfect Tenses and Modals
  2. Adjectives and Adjective Clauses
  3. Tricky English Grammar
  4. Intermediate Grammar Project
  • Learn English Language for Advanced Students

If you are confident of having a good level of English and are looking to get specialized in that tricky advanced grammar subject to reach a higher score in the Proficiency English Exam, then you must check out the “Learn English: Advanced Grammar and Punctuation Specialization” course.

Learn English: Advanced Grammar and Punctuation Specialization, (offered by UCL Division of Continuing Education)

Fee: For free (Audit the course only)
Schedule: Flexible
Targeted students: Advanced Learners of English as a second language
Level: Advanced
Prior Knowledge required: Designed for those already with advanced English Level.
Duration: Approximately 5 months to complete (Suggested pace of 5 hours/week)
Available Subtitles: English, Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian))
Course Content:
  1. Verb Tenses and Passives
  2. Conjunctions, Connectives, and Adverb Clauses
  3. Noun Clauses and Conditionals
  4. Advanced Grammar & Punctuation Project
  • Learn English – Complementary English Courses

As we mentioned earlier, Coursera offers a wide range of courses on various topics. Some are complementary courses that can help you improve your level of English in specific subjects, for example, in your career or academic development. Below you can find a couple of courses that we think will gratefully complement your preparation on your journey to prepare for your study abroad.


BBC Learning English

Another great and completely free online-teaching English service is the one offered by BBC Learning English. It is a department of the BBC World Service which primordially aims to contribute to English language teaching around the world.

As part of the BBC World Service, BBC Learning English has a global audience to which it offers free audio, video, text, and multimedia English language teaching materials to any person willing to learn English. These courses are completely online and can be accessed and studied by the learners on their own. Currently, this site has available seven different courses.

All the courses offered are designed to work on mobiles, tablets and desktop computers, therefore you will be able to study from basically anywhere. Furthermore, if you study from a desktop or a laptop you will be able to download audio mp3 audio files and pdf transcripts.

Find below the list of all the courses available. On the website of BBC Learning English, we have sorted the courses from the most basic to the most advanced. You don’t necessarily need to complete all the courses, just go to the one you believe is more suitable for you according to your English Level. Don’t worry if you are not sure, just choose one and when studying it, if you find it is too easy, skip it and go to the next course. On the other hand, if you start getting crazy and lost in the course, you might need to go one level back. Again, the most important element in these online, self-studying courses is your perseverance to keep studying and learning.

Click on each of the courses below, the hyperlink will take you to the official website of each course. For the general BBC Learning English homepage, click the button below.

Level English Course
  1. English My Way

2. Shakespeare Speaks


3. Lower Intermediate Course


4. Intermediate Course


5. Upper-Intermediate Course


6. Towards Advanced


7. English You Need

Additional tips to improve your English skills every day

Listen, Read and Practice, Practice, Practice

Learning and language is a methodical process that takes time and requires continuous effort. Keep in your mind that there is not an easy path nor a shortcut to get there. You must make the English Language an element of your everyday life. This, however, doesn’t mean that you have to study 24 hours a day. Find activities that you enjoy and mix them with English. There are great ideas that you can implement and have some fun, for instance, listening to music in English. Play a song that you like on YouTube, find a video with the lyrics, and sign it. If there is a word that you don’t understand, find the meaning in the dictionary and continue, you will see how much you enjoy learning your favorite songs. One more fun strategy is to watch tv series with English audio and English subtitles. In this way, you will improve your listening, understanding, pronunciation skills, and English fluency. Don’t worry if you don’t understand 100% of the show, you keep doing it, understand the context and you will improve every day, in this way you will learn English through stories. Finally, to read. It is the most effective way to practice English. Find something that you like and read it, it could be anything. By reading 30 minutes every day you will improve your writing and vocabulary skills.

Change your phone settings to English

Nowadays people use their phones all the time. So, why not using it as a way to practice English? Go to the settings option of your phone and change the language to English. In this way you will see basic words in English all the time, believe us, those will be the words that you learn first and that you will never forget.

Use free apps to practice English

Many apps will help you to learn and practice English. The most famous currently are Duolingo and Memrise. These apps will not be as good as a complete course like those referred above, however will be very useful to practice during any free time. They will help to improve mostly your vocabulary, so why not? Go ahead and download those apps or any similar and whenever you have time, take your phone and practice.

Now go ahead and…

Learn English!

Aprender Inglés!

Angrejee Seekhiye!

Belajar behasa Inggris!

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