“Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”—Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams, wife of second U.S. president John Adams, was an advocate for women’s rights—including education. Even in the 18th century, learning was a high priority, something to be worked toward with sincere effort.
This notion—that learning is important—remains unchanged over 200 years later!
But this isn’t the same atmosphere that First Lady Adams was familiar with. Times have changed and while our outlook on wisdom remained steadfast, other things haven’t.
Back in the day, learners used candlelight and dipped their pens in ink. We don’t do that anymore, do we?
Not quite! Now we have an overwhelming number of resources and virtually unlimited websites designed specifically to help us learn. Today, we can gain the means to increased knowledge about nearly everything—just by doing a quick search.
That’s super fabulous for those of us who love learning languages! There’s so much material and so many options to choose from.
It’s all pretty amazing, isn’t it? I’m sure both President and Mrs. Adams would be shocked by the progress we’ve made!
But not all the resources available to us are worthwhile. Some are stellar while others are… not so much. We’re all busy. Who has time to waste on the mediocre? No one, that’s who!
You don’t just want to learn online—you want the best websites for language learning available to you!
But with so many out there, how can you possibly narrow down your options?
No worries! We’ve done the legwork—and we’ve got a list of the best language learning sites right here, many of which are at least partially free.
Let’s check out them out!
What to Look for When Choosing a Language Learning Website
Identify Your Learning Type
The word “best” is defined as being the “most excellent, outstanding or desirable.” While that’s all well and good, we have to admit that one person’s best isn’t the same as another’s. In other words, one size does not fit all.
There are four common types of learners: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and reading-/writing-based learners.
- Visual learners do best when they can see what’s being taught.
- Auditory learners learn best by listening to their studies.
- Kinesthetic learners are the hands-on type; they learn best by doing.
- Reading/writing learners enjoy learning from textbooks, workbooks or other written communication.
Many of us lean toward being one kind of learner but most are a combination of more than one type. It’s a good idea to identify your learning style so you can choose the best learning website for you.
The good news is that with so many options to choose from, there’s an excellent fit for every learner.
How to Choose Your Personal “Best”
Once you’ve determined your learning style, look for a website that fulfills your individual needs.
- Visual learners: Charts, diagrams, pictures and videos will suit you well.
- Auditory learners: Try some podcasts or look for websites with lots of listening practice options.
- Kinesthetic learners: Choose a website with short lessons and options that allow for movement or interaction. Some dancing, music or language-learning games will help this type of learner.
- Reading/writing learners: Consider websites with heavy text content or a writing component. Feed that love of reading or writing to power up language learning.
Things Every Site Should Offer
No matter what your style of learning is, every site should provide the basics of language learning. We all start this language journey as a beginning learner, so there should be material to get anyone on the path.
Content matters. It should be engaging and diverse. Learners should look forward to a language program; providing interesting options with lots of choices invites enthusiasm.
Language learning is in large part about listening, so ideally, a language-learning site should have a listening component. Listening practice helps learners study new vocabulary, idioms and conversational phrases.
Writing and reading practice lessons that feature vocabulary and grammar are also beneficial. Look for a site that can provide for this need.
Finally, a website should give learners an opportunity to practice speaking. Drills that focus on listening and responding are super helpful in this regard.
Options for further learning, such as links to games, quizzes, blogs or additional resources are a bonus!
The 10 Best Websites for Language Learning to Suit Your Learning Style
Focus: Customized learning based on authentic materials.
Best for: All learning types.
LingQ turns language learning into a game and personalizes the learning to the student. The algorithm determines what content is appropriate for each individual learner based on the learner’s prior success record and interests.
The program presents topics of interest to each learner based on your preferences. It facilitates vocabulary growth through SRS (Spaced Repetition System)—which just means that learners are shown core material at intervals repeatedly until it’s learned.
New words and grammar points are presented through authentic content like novels, articles, stories, podcasts and “mini stories”—which are actually very interesting short lessons—while native speakers model pronunciation. Regional phrases and cultural references are included in most of the site’s content, making it very engaging and helpful for real-world communication.
There’s a wide variety of topics for learners to choose from so there really is something to pique everyone’s interest. Material covers all stages of learning, from beginner to advanced.
Focus: Real-world languages presented in context through authentic, personalized content.
Best for: All learning types.
It’s generally accepted that immersion is a fast-track method for language success. Providing immersive components in a program means that learners can experience immersion anywhere, which is exactly what FluentU does.
Languages are taught using curated videos from across the globe.
Interactive captions ensure that learners don’t miss a thing. Unfamiliar vocabulary? No problem! Simply click on any word to see in-context definitions, example sentences, memorable images and even see the word in context in other videos.
Videos are made by and for native speakers, so you get a dose of culture along with languages as they’re actually used in the real world. This means you can hear proper pronunciation, common idioms, regional slang and more. Anyone looking to pick up a few conversational expressions, the kind that language speakers really use, will appreciate this!
Every level of learner is accommodated, from beginner to advanced, in nine languages (and more coming soon).
This is a great option for all learning types. Auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners will benefit from the interactive facet of watching video content but there’s enough reading and writing involved to satisfy that style of learner, too.
Focus: Achieving fluency through vocabulary learning and interactive activities.
Best for: All styles of learners.
Fluenz creates simulated online tutoring situations that feel so personalized that you’ll think you’re actually in a private classroom.
Emphasis is placed on sentence building through the use of core vocabulary. The goal is to get learners capable enough to feel comfortable engaging in casual conversations or everyday exchanges. Shopping, dining out and getting together with friends are all targets for this program.
There’s a lot of interesting content for learners here. Explanations of language and grammar rules are clear and concise. Flashcards, games and video lessons bring language to life and deepen skills in an engaging way.
Only seven languages are currently offered and lessons are designed specifically with English learners in mind.
If you’re feeling adventurous and are studying Spanish, Fluenz also offers a Spanish immersion program in Mexico City!
This website is good for all types of learners. However, kinesthetic learners may find there aren’t a ton of options for breaking up lessons into small pieces or movement opportunities.
Beginners and anyone who likes or needs teacher and classroom simulation will also benefit from this resource.
Focus: Making language tutoring accessible to busy learners.
Best for: All learning types, but especially auditory learners.
Rype offers 24/7 teacher availability in the form of one-on-one live tutoring in 10 languages.
It’s a fully customized program consisting of 30-minute-long sessions with one of the program’s vetted tutors. Learners choose their own schedules and tutors, so there aren’t any missed classes.
And since Rype has tutors from all over the world, there will always be someone available to fit into your schedule!
There’s a free trial option so you can check out the program. Plus, membership is all-inclusive: You can switch tutors or even what language you’re learning as you please.
Focus: Quick daily lessons.
Best for: Kinesthetic learners.
LingVist wants to teach you a language—fast!
The program only offers four languages (French, Russian, German and Spanish) but the customized, bite-sized lessons are great for on-the-go learners.
There are daily challenges and vocabulary-building exercises designed to provide fundamental skills with a minimal time investment.
Using this site is a fun, stress-free method for getting the grasp of a language quickly.
LingVist is great for anyone who wants core language skills fast, including travelers who need some skills in a hurry.
Focus: Pushing intermediate learners further through interactive activities.
Best for: Kinesthetic and reading/writing learners.
This isn’t a site for beginners; at least an upper basic or intermediate skill level is needed to get the full benefit of this resource.
Clozemaster offers lessons for many languages through interactive exercises. The program presents you with a sentence which you’re tasked with completing with the right option from a choice of four. Some questions are more challenging than others, requiring a bit more thought to decide which word or phrase is best to fill in the blank.
Learners are able to save their progress so it’s a snap to pick up where you left off. No more trying to remember what material you’ve already completed!
Something worth noting is that the program’s audio option is computer-generated, so it’s not recommended that you model pronunciation after it. In fact, the computer apparently can’t properly process some languages, like Japanese, so the audio comes out in a nonsensical jumble. Auditory learners might want to look elsewhere!
Clozemaster is more of a game-oriented “add-on” to a language program rather than a central program. The exercises are fun and pretty addictive!
If you want more than just exercises, Clozemaster’s entertaining blog covers grammar, vocabulary and cultural topics, and provides insights that the exercises don’t.
Focus: Providing basic communication skills to travelers or tentative learners.
Best for: Kinesthetic and auditory learners.
If you’re at all curious about a language, you’ll get a taste of it at Loecsen.
Since the material presented on Loescen is so fundamental, there are no long, involved lessons. It’s a short time investment option to get a feel for 20 languages.
This feels more like the prelude to an adventure than the adventure itself. Lessons consist of detailed vocabulary lists with audio and use cute stick figure drawings and clear audio to check your knowledge of each word.
I tested the waters with a language and went on to choose one of the other options on this list for a more in-depth experience. Had I not gotten a taste of the language here, I may not have committed to it—so if you’re on the fence about a whether you should study a particular language, Loecsen is a great starting point!
Download audio lessons and PDF reference files and take the language learning with you.
Best for: Visual and auditory learners.
Innovative Language is all about communication. And since communication is the goal with most language learning, it’s great to see a website clearly state that they want to take learners straight to that goal.
Learners speak from the very first lesson with this site. Accuracy isn’t the focus; speaking is key.
This learning method mimics the way you acquired your native language. When children first speak, they don’t focus on grammar rules or getting pronunciation on point. They communicate—and that’s what Innovative Language nudges its users toward.
Innovative Language teaches 34 different languages including popular choices like Russian, German, Chinese, French, Spanish as well as some often overlooked languages like Ukranian and Swahili.
With an account, you get free (but limited) access to courses, while variable pricing opens up additional features for each language.
Even without the additional cost, there are lots of free resources here for learners to access. Great audiobooks, e-books, a word of the day option and videos with transcripts provides lots of material for study. Lessons use native speakers to present material like grammar points or common vocab.
The program also has active YouTube channels in many of the languages it teaches.
Materials are stimulating and engaging and learners have the option to choose from several “pathways,” so you can learn content that’s relevant to you.
Focus: Creating a global language learning community.
Best for: Kinesthetic, writing/reading and visual learners.
Goethe Verlag encourages learners to share language learning material with friends, family, coworkers and others, in order to spread language learning and facilitate global communication. Neat idea, isn’t it?
They offer 100 free lessons in over 50 languages. Lessons consist mostly of listening to audio and filling in the blank based on what you hear. Downloadable audio files cover basic vocabulary and grammar rules. This is a great option for anyone who wants to take their language program with them—just download and you’re good to go!
Each lesson comes with a corresponding quiz, so it’s easy to track learning. Monitor progress and celebrate success with each lesson’s quiz. Or, if you’re challenged by a particular lesson, go back and repeat it before taking the quiz.
Use this site to compile a core vocabulary list. The fundamentals for communication are featured so if you focus on getting these basic words and phrases into your skillset, you’ll be in good shape to engage in everyday interactions!
Goethe Verlag is ideal for beginners. The basics are covered and this site will provide a firm foundation for further learning.
Focus: Rapid language learning.
Best for: Kinesthetic, visual and reading/writing learners.
This learning method is based on a bestselling book that’s provided countless learners with success in their language endeavors. A blog and book, videos, pronunciation lessons and personalized interactive flashcards make this an engaging resource.
Want or need to grab language skills quickly? This is a great place to start!
One interesting feature that visual learners will love is that vocabulary is taught with images instead of translations, giving learners the opportunity to “see” the words. This can help you retain more information easier, through association.
Grammar rules are taught with short stories, which is also a unique twist on language learning.
This is a fine website for beginners, as much of the content is basic. It’s also beneficial for kinesthetic learners, providing small snippets of language that can be enjoyed on the run.
There you have it: the 10 best websites for language learning.
Find the best one for you, your lifestyle and your personal language expectations and get to work.
Learning a language isn’t always easy but it can be engaging, interesting and fun—especially if you choose super language learning resources like the ones on this list.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.