Making the jump from beginner to intermediate can feel like leaping across the Atlantic Ocean.
You know your verbs. You have the essential vocabulary.
So why is it so hard to understand a simple English conversation?
When you are ready to take your beginner skills to the next level, a guided English course is one of the best ways to accomplish it. These courses will give you the information and skills you are missing to get beyond the basics and start sounding like a real English speaker.
We will look at some affordable (or even free!) online intermediate English courses you can start taking today.
Before you know it, the ocean of English learning will start to look more like a puddle.
Make the Jump! 7 English Intermediate Courses to Start Sounding Fluent
When it comes to English learning, the BBC offers some of the most comprehensive online courses on the internet.
And best of all, they are completely free.
The BBC’s intermediate course is fully interactive. After learning a new concept, you will apply your skills in exercises and quizzes. There are 30 units (chapters/blocks) each with its own theme like shopping, the office, career planning and more, so you always learn a new and exciting topic.
Every unit also has five different sessions (lessons) and each one focuses on a specific topic within the unit. Each session is filled with detailed information, helpful examples and at least one activity to help you practice what you have learned.
Along with the intermediate course linked above, the BBC also offers a lower-intermediate English course for those who are coming straight from beginner English and need a little extra assistance.
Busuu is another great website for learning a new language. For roughly $7 a month, you can master intermediate English with a variety of helpful resources, including:
- One-on-one conversations with native speakers
- Quizzes, grammar exercises and vocabulary-building activities
After completing tests, you can even get an official certificate to prove your language level.
Busuu’s intermediate course is designed for students who are currently at the B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). That means it is perfect if you just completed a beginner English course and are ready to move to the next level as smoothly as possible.
The English intermediate course comes with 18 total lessons covering a wide range of interesting topics, including cultural practices, expressing opinions and feelings, using English in the workplace and much more.
FluentU does more than just teach you grammar and vocabulary. It also teaches you authentic, native-sounding English skills, which are essential to grow from intermediate to fluent.
FluentU provides real-world English videos, like movie trailers, music videos, inspiring talks and more. But it is not just for watching. Each video has been transformed into a language learning experience.
There are interactive captions, which you can click for an instant definition and pronunciation of any word. You will also see other videos that use the word. This is fantastic for learning vocabulary in context, so you will be comfortable using new words in any real-life situation. After you watch a video, you will get flashcards and exercises to help you remember the words you just learned.
The videos are organized by genre and level, so you can quickly find the intermediate videos that interest you. Better yet, FluentU keeps track of what you have watched and then suggests new videos. It is a truly entertaining, personalized learning experience.
With the FluentU mobile app, your progress and learning material can sync from your computer, tablet or mobile devices so that you are always able to study English no matter where you are.
Check out the free trial to discover how quickly your intermediate English skills develop—without even feeling like you are studying!
OpenLanguage’s Learn English program offers two general intermediate courses for students: Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2. Both of these courses have a special focus on workplace English and cultural knowledge.
Each course is filled with educational videos, grammar exercises, flashcards and several practice activities. Topics include everything from job interviews to ordering at a restaurant with allergies.
A monthly subscription costs $30 and gives access to various other courses on the OpenLanguage website, including pre-intermediate English courses, which are good for getting a quick review before starting your English intermediate course.
A daily English lesson, delivered straight to your inbox every day.
Gymlish is a fun, comprehensive English course that arrives by email every morning. Each emailed lesson has a variety of texts and audio recordings—they take about 15 minutes to complete. You will learn different English accents, essential vocabulary, conversational skills and more. There is also an emphasis on business English.
Best of all, they are not dry lessons that you will need an extra cup of coffee to get through. They follow the entertaining saga of the Delavigne Corporation and its interesting cast of characters, so following the lessons does not even feel like studying.
You can take a proficiency test at the beginning of the course and the lessons are adapted to your personal abilities. At the end of the course, you get an official certificate of completion.
Looking for classroom-style learning, but without the classroom?
With italki, you get one-on-one English lessons with a teacher over the internet.
You can select your teacher based on factors like price range and the type of English being taught. Along with intermediate English, there are instructors that teach a variety of other levels, including beginner, advanced, business English and much more.
The biggest advantage of using italki is that you get customized English lessons designed just for you. Your teacher will consider your goals, strengths and weaknesses every time you have a lesson.
Ginseng English is another site where you can learn intermediate English in an online classroom. But the nice thing about Ginseng English is that you can choose whether you want to actively participate in the online class or just download the resources and videos as an observer.
Students and observers both get the opportunity to choose from a number of lessons, many of which are designed specifically for intermediate learners. Observers get to access class materials and can watch (observe) the videos, but cannot join discussions. If you decide to enroll in the course as a participating student, you get to chat with your teacher and have wider access to learning materials.
With that said, enrolling as a participating student is not cheap—many courses range between $250 and $350. If you enroll as an observer, however, it typically costs less than $20 to receive all of the classroom material.
Whether you decide to participate as a student or as an observer, Ginseng English is an excellent choice for intermediate learners trying to build vocabulary, get a better understanding of complex grammar and learn how to have natural English conversations.
Making the jump from beginner to intermediate English is challenging, but it does not have to feel impossible. All you need is interactive material that is loaded with easy-to-understand explanations and plenty of examples to help you get started.
With some good resources and a little bit of practice throughout the week, you will be speaking intermediate English in no time.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.