Have you heard about “Middle Child Syndrome?”
It sounds like a disease, but it is not.
It is a theory about how middle children (people with both older and younger siblings) often feel ignored.
Unlike the oldest child, they are not given big responsibilities. Unlike the youngest child, they do not get pampered by their parents. This makes them feel neglected and confused about their role.
Well, that is because almost every intermediate language learner also goes through something similar.
They often do not receive as much help as beginner learners do. And unlike advanced learners, they do not feel confident enough to start conversations and take charge of their own learning.
The intermediate level is a confusing level. Many learners start to feel demotivated when they reach it.
But do not worry, we are here to help!
In this post we have collected the best English intermediate courses online.
They will give you all the help and attention you need!
B1 Boss! 15 English Intermediate Courses to Level Up Your Language Skills
Courses to Master General Intermediate English
FluentU English Course
Cost: From $20/month (free trial)
Want to start speaking English the way native speakers do in real life?
FluentU is the best online English course for you.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
There are nearly 2,000 intermediate video lessons (with options for low-intermediate and high-intermediate learners). While you watch a FluentU video, you can click on any word in the interactive subtitles for an instant definition, grammar info and a clear pronunciation. It is a fun, immersive way to learn authentic English that does not even feel like studying.
After you are done watching, there are quizzes and flashcards to make sure you remember everything you learned.
Since you are watching English videos that native speakers actually watch, you will learn a lot about pop culture from English-speaking countries.
If you enjoy it, keep learning! FluentU has lots of advanced English videos, too. And you can take these intermediate English lessons anywhere with the mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Upper Intermediate English Course (Universitat Politecnica de Valencia)
This is an English learning program that is designed to improve the language skills of intermediate learners to the upper intermediate level. It is a group of four courses that each deal with separate areas of intermediate English.
The courses in this program focus on grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking and writing skills. The program teaches how to write both formal and informal letters, reports and emails.
It covers topics related to business, food, modern life and even the current developments in the world. It has a special focus on globalization and how technology affects work and education. Globalization involves businesses and economies increasingly expanding across different countries.
It also includes content to help you prepare for the B2 First English examination held by Cambridge University.
Most learners finish each course within four weeks (the expectation is to study four hours per week for each course in the program). So you can effectively finish the whole professional program in just 16 weeks.
This certificate course can greatly help you in educational as well as professional settings.
ESOL Intermediate English Lessons
This is one of the most comprehensive lists of English lessons for intermediate learners.
The lessons cover topics from grammar, vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension. Most lessons deal with a particular topic such as the history of Valentine’s Day or Green tourism. These lessons also have practice tests and quizzes to test your learning.
Most of these lessons are integrated skills lessons. The word “integration” means the joining of different things into something new. Here it means that the lessons teach you various skills together at once (like reading, grammar, vocabulary and so on).
This makes ESOL’s intermediate lessons ideal for anyone who wants to improve their general English skills, but does not have much time to practice different skills separately.
It is best to pick and choose the lessons that are closely related to your own goals.
For instance, if you want to work in an English-speaking country, it is best to pick lessons that are related to business or formal English. If you are interested in British English or living in the U.K., check out “The Life in the UK Test”—a preparatory lesson for the U.K. citizenship test. It includes a vocabulary worksheet, a video lesson and a quiz in the end.
iPass IELTS 100-hour Intermediate English Course
Cost: €45 (free demo)
This is a comprehensive course for general English skills for low-intermediate and upper-intermediate learners.
The course is divided into two parts and each part requires at least 50 hours to complete.
The first part is for low-intermediate practice. It deals with vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing practice and some general topics that usually come up in daily conversations like health and weather.
The second part is designed to take you to the high intermediate level and improve your basic skills and knowledge further. If you already have basic intermediate knowledge, then you can simply enroll for the high intermediate course and skip the first part of the course.
The website also provides a free test so that you can know your current English level.
Since the test is designed for IELTS practice, many of its lessons are designed according to the pattern of the IELTS English proficiency exam.
But even learners who do not plan to take the IELTS exam can benefit from this course since it has a lot of practice-based components and constantly tests your learning in the course through quizzes and assignments.
Memrise Intermediate English Vocabulary Course
This course provides a simple way to learn more than 1,300 intermediate English words in a short period of time. The words are grouped into categories based on how difficult they are to pronounce and how frequently they are used in English.
This course provides audio recordings of the words and gives examples of how to use them in sentences. The course also has memory games to help you review the words you have learned.
Intermediate Courses to Make You a Grammar Wizard
English Grammar Intermediate — Phrasal Verbs (Alison)
Cost: Free (official certificate available starting at €21)
Phrasal verbs are perhaps the trickiest part of English grammar for intermediate learners to get comfortable with. This short course helps learners gain a better understanding of the patterns behind phrasal verbs.
Phrasal verbs are phrases made up of a verb plus an adverb or a preposition or both. Some examples include “come across,” “fill up” and “break up.”
This course has video lessons and assessments. It can easily be finished in a few hours.
The course goes into quite a few details, such as how phrasal verbs change in different tenses or how the same phrasal verb can mean different things in different contexts.
The course also deals with specific words such as “in,” “out,” “up,” “down,” etc. and how they have multiple meanings in different phrasal verbs.
The major reason why phrasal verbs are so confusing is that the meaning of the individual words can vary a lot. This course is designed to teach learners how to determine the exact meaning of a phrasal verb based on how it is used.
English Grammar Intermediate — Adjectives and Adverbs (Alison)
Cost: Free (official certificate available starting at €21)
This course will give you a deeper understanding of how adjectives and adverbs function in the English language.
This intermediate course uses interactive content and recordings of native speakers to teach you how to use English adjectives and adverbs correctly. It focuses both on listening and reading skills.
The first part of the course deals with adjectives, especially the ones ending in “-ing” and “-ed” like “confusing” and “confused.” It also teaches you about the different kinds of adjectives like “fact adjectives” and “opinion adjectives.”
It then talks about how adverbs are related to adjectives. It specifically deals with the usage rules of adverbs such as how to use them before an adjective, another adverb or a past participle.
The special feature of this course is that it explains these detailed concepts using plenty of examples and real-life recordings. It helps the learner naturally understand how adjectives and adverbs are used in normal English along with learning the formal rules of grammar.
The interactive quizzes also help you quickly review what you learned and remember your lessons more easily.
Intermediate Grammar Specialization (UC Irvine)
Cost: Free (need to subscribe to Coursera for official certificate)
This is a group of courses for intermediate learners who want to focus specifically on their grammar skills.
The entire program takes around four months to complete if you practice for at least five hours per week. You can finish this course much faster, depending on the time you are able to devote to these courses. You can also enroll in just one lesson instead of going through all the courses in the program.
The course materials include a mix of videos, assignments and reading materials. But video lessons are the main focus of all these courses. The videos also have subtitles in various languages such as Vietnamese, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, French and Slovak.
A special feature of this specialization is that you can create a grammar “scrapbook” with all the important information in it after you finish all the courses. You can use this digital scrapbook to quickly review the basic rules of English grammar.
It also has a special lesson for the tricky parts of English grammar.
This program is offered on Coursera by UC Irvine, a well-known school in the U.S. If you pass the courses and get a certificate, it will look great on your resume. You can find lots of other university-quality courses on Coursera.
Courses for Future Scholars
An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study
University students spend most of their time writing essays, assignments and papers. This course gives detailed tips about how to improve not only your English writing skills, but also your ability to research, use logic and refer to other research findings.
This course lists out the main differences between academic writing and other forms of writing. You can learn how to properly present all the information you know in academic papers or essays. It focuses on how to construct paragraphs, what are the main parts of a paragraph and how to present facts and statistics.
It also tells you how to quickly search for information and use it in your writing.
A major component of academic writing involves logical thinking. This course is also useful to know how you can best understand essay questions to properly answer them.
Apart from your own skills, this course also talks about peer support. This includes taking help from your friends or classmates or helping them in writing an academic essay.
These practical skills can be a lifesaver for any English learner who is about to start college—especially if you will be taking an English class or even studying at an English-speaking university.
If the course is not currently being offered, you can sign up to be notified when it starts again.
Writing, Presenting and Submitting Scientific Papers in English (Tsinghua University)
Cost: Free (official certificate available for $49)
This academic course focuses more on how to write a scientific paper rather than an essay.
A scientific paper usually talks about specific research or experiments. Sometimes it can also include a summary of all the research done by other scientists about one topic.
Along with scientific papers, you can also learn how to make a scientific presentation or submit proposals for funding. In other words, it teaches you all the communication skills needed to become a researcher.
Since the course is created by a Chinese university, it focuses on the differences between academic cultures in Western and Eastern countries. It also tells you about important rules and protocols that are followed by major universities and research bodies around the world.
Pre-college English (Saylor)
Cost: Free (includes certificate)
Although this course is not designed specifically for English learners, it can still be very useful for them. The course has a special emphasis on the foundations of reading and writing such as spelling, grammar and sentence structure. At the same time, intermediate learners will be challenged to focus on ideas, arguments and organization of their points.
This provides the perfect opportunity for you to take the first step towards combining basic English skills with more advanced skills such as logic and presentation of ideas. This course is best for upper-intermediate English learners.
It mainly focuses on two things. The first part deals with active reading. This includes reading deeply to gain the most information possible from a text. It also includes identifying main ideas and major themes. This course teaches you some simple strategies that help you do all of this.
The second part deals with analytical writing. The word “analytical” comes from “analysis,” which means to examine the parts of something carefully. In this context, analytical writing means combining ideas and presenting them in a way that makes sense to other people. You will learn how to write a good introduction and conclusion and how to summarize a lot of information quickly.
Each unit in this course has a study guide that provides a summary of the main content and intended goals of that unit. It also includes a list of important words used in that unit and their meanings.
Exploring English: Shakespeare (British Council)
Shakespeare is the best known English writer in the world. Even though he wrote many centuries ago, all of his works are still read and performed in almost all parts of the world.
This course teaches you English words and expressions by using five plays written by Shakespeare. This course was made for non-native English speakers, so they simplify the works of Shakespeare so that learners are able to understand them.
Along with vocabulary and idioms, this course also gives some historical background about Shakespeare and introduces the main ideas and themes of each play.
You can review what you have learned with the short quizzes that are provided with the course. You can also have conversations with learners around the world and share your opinions and ideas.
Since Shakespeare is such a well known writer, learning about him will also allow you to talk about his works with native English speakers in almost any country.
Courses for Successful Professionals
Easy English for Meetings
Cost: $49 (discounts offered regularly)
Business meetings are essential to any corporate employee’s daily routine. Meetings are used for making decisions, discussing results and presenting new ideas or having conversations with clients.
An employee’s performance in these meetings determines how the boss sees him or her. Indeed, business meetings are often used to decide whether an employee gets a promotion or not.
This course is designed to help intermediate English learners develop particular skills that will help them use English for business meetings. These skills include planning a meeting, writing invitations for a meeting, setting an agenda and more.
The course is offered by an English trainer who has nine years of business English teaching experience. The course uses videos, texts and other multimedia resources to teach students.
You can access this course on your mobile device, so that you can learn while traveling or anywhere else. You can also download the course materials for offline access.
This course is offered on Udemy, another popular online education platform. The great thing about Udemy is they frequently offer huge discounts on their course prices.
English for Business Video Calls (Creativa)
Cost: $30 (early-bird discount for lifetime access)
We live in the era of globalization and technology.
More and more business professionals have to be in contact with clients, colleagues or bosses around the world on a daily basis.
It takes a special set of skills to master business video calls in a world that is faster and more connected than ever, but these skills don’ always come naturally, especially if we have to use a foreign language.
If you a business professional or want to become one, you know very well that knowing how to talk and behave during business video calls has already become a necessity in the modern business world.
Now there’s an online resource that can help you with that: Creativa and its course on English for business video calls.
Just imagine: What if you could speak fluent English in calls, and connect comfortably with your customers, colleagues and managers?
What if you could have an incredible interview and earn a new job or a big promotion over a video call?
You could actually look forward to these calls instead of worrying about them.
What could this newfound confidence do for your intermediate English competence? Or your career?
Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your English and your career online—get started with Creativa today.
Business English: Making Decisions (Open University)
As a professional you have to constantly make decisions that affect the work of a large number of people. Communication is one of the key components in any decision making process.
This course is specifically designed for learners who eventually want to work in the U.K. But it is beneficial for all professionals who either want to work in an English-speaking country or an English-speaking organization.
This course will help you understand the decision-making process as it works in the business world. You will learn how to use English skills to make a plan, share with it with others, take and give feedback and reach a decision.
It also gives you a background about business culture in the U.K.
Each section of the course has interactive activities that help you practice and get a better sense of how businesses usually make decisions.
It also covers parts of grammar such as phrasal verbs in the context of business English.
The best thing about the course is that you can download all the material and complete it at your own speed.
Preparing to Network in English (Washington University)
Cost: Free (official certificate available for $99)
“Networking” is a popular term in the business world. It means meeting new people who might be useful in improving your professional life.
In this course, intermediate English speakers learn how to network in a professional setting. The rules of networking are quite different from the rules of a workplace. It is also different from a casual party where you make new friends.
This course explains the basic rules of interaction in these settings.
You will learn how to use social media websites like LinkedIn and face-to-face meetings to make new connections. You will also learn to introduce yourself effectively in English.
This course also explains business culture in the U.S. and Canada and teaches you how to greet people in a culturally appropriate way.
Using the lessons and the activities in this course, you will also be able to identify what makes you unique to help you stand out from all your competitors.
This list of intermediate online English courses will surely help you beat the “Middle Child Syndrome” of English learners. Just choose a course that is right for you and keep practicing. And once you think you are ready to go to the advanced level, try these strategies to learn all the skills you need to reach fluency.
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.