When it comes to learning English, intermediate students have a unique set of problems.
They do not receive as much help as beginner learners do, but they are not as confident as advanced learners when starting conversations and taking charge of their own learning.
The intermediate level is a confusing one. 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 you can take.
They will give you all the help and attention you need!
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is one of the largest media companies for teaching English. It offers 30 in-depth units (chapters/blocks) for intermediate English learners. Each unit includes five sessions (lessons), and each session includes activities that help you build on a particular skill or topic.
When you begin a session, you will start with an audio file that breaks down the topic—that is, makes the topic more understandable by dividing it into smaller parts. There are also transcripts (written forms of spoken audio files) for learners to follow along. Subsequent activities include matching, fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice questions.
Each unit focuses on building competencies such as grammar, vocabulary, speaking and listening skills, so learners get a well-rounded (complete) learning experience .
This is one of the most comprehensive lists of English lessons for intermediate learners.
The lessons cover topics like grammar, vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension. Most lessons deal with a particular topic such as the history of Valentine’s and green tourism in London. They come with quizzes to test your learning.
Because the lessons are integrated (that is, they teach you various skills together at the same time), they are ideal for anyone who wants to improve their general English skills, but does not have much time to practice different skills separately.
Price: Free (paid if you are taking the business course with one-on-one tutors)
Available on: Not available as an app
Perfectly Spoken has a good online course for B1 (early intermediate) English learners.
The strength of this course is it has 60 video lessons. The videos are perfect for hearing English spoken at a native level, but the language is still easy enough to understand that it will not intimidate (scare) early intermediate learners. After each video, the lesson includes comprehension questions to check your understanding and reinforce (help you remember) the new material.
The course claims to teach 2,000 essential words for intermediate English learners, which is a great addition to the base vocabulary learned during the beginner stages. Lesson topics include technology, entertainment, sports and other subjects you often find in the news.
This course provides a simple way to learn more than 1,300 intermediate English words within a short period (time). The words are grouped into categories based on how difficult they are to pronounce and how often 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 quizzes to help you review the words you have learned.
By the way, you can read a complete review of the Memrise app here.
Available on: Not available as an app
Woodward English is a website that includes extensive vocabulary lists for intermediate English learners. Each topic includes the most common words associated with it, in-depth explanations of the words and how they are used.
Some of the lessons include opportunities for learners to practice commonly confused words through written exercises.
Intermediate vocabulary topics include Earth Day, expressing opinions and the difference between the English verbs “lay” and “lie.”
The British Council is an international organization that promotes learning the English language via their “LearnEnglish” program.
LearnEnglish has dozens of lessons that cover intermediate English grammar topics. Each lesson explains the specific usage of a grammar point and includes one to two interactive exercises.
Lesson topics include gradable and non-gradable adjectives, the conditional mood, phrasal verbs and the differences between American and British English. If you want a more comprehensive lesson, the British Council also has an intermediate vocabulary course that perfectly complements their grammar offering.
Available on: Not available as an app
This site is run by Seonaid, a teacher based in Britain who holds a Master’s degree (MPhil) in English and Linguistics from Cambridge University.
Her lessons come in the form of pre-recorded videos you can watch for 15 to 20 minutes a day on your phone or computer. Once you are done with each video, you can take the review exercises and receive instant corrections for your answers.
If you like to print out your study materials or you learn best by reading on your device, the lessons also come in PDF format. And if you have any questions that the materials do not already answer, you can go to the forums and ask away!
Price: $39.99 per month (without discount)
This course gives detailed tips on how to improve your English writing skills, as well as your ability to research, use logic and refer to other research findings.
The 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 the main parts of a paragraph are and how to present facts and statistics.
These 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.
Price: Free (includes certificate)
Although this course is not designed specifically for English learners, it can still be very useful for them. It emphasizes the foundations of reading and writing such as spelling, grammar and sentence structure. At the same time, intermediate learners will be challenged by lessons on creating and analyzing ideas and arguments—as well as how to organize both.
This provides the perfect opportunity 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 (B2) English learners.
Each unit in this course has a study guide that summarizes the main content and intended goals of that unit. It also includes a list of important words and their meanings.
This is probably the most expensive entry on the list so far. But if you plan to work in a corporate office, the price may be worth it.
Although the course is aimed at those who want to work in sales and marketing, the skills you will learn—persuading others, analyzing and presenting data for meetings—will be helpful no matter what field or industry you are in.
After all, you will regularly experience situations where, for example, you have to convince your boss why your proposed project is a good one.
Busuu’s business English course covers various professional scenarios (situations).
Learn more about what this app can and cannot do in this Busuu review.
Available on: Not available as an app
This website offers dozens of listening exercises for intermediate learners. Topics include school, work and home. Each lesson includes an audio clip and transcript.
Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab promotes a three-step listening process.
Helena Daily English’s Listening Practice Video is a YouTube video that is nearly an hour long. The video features 14 listening lessons that focus on topics such as sleep, nuclear energy and sports. Each lesson includes clear English audio with on-screen transcripts.
Unknown words are highlighted in yellow, and then definitions of these words are given at the end of the lesson. While there are no comprehension exercises included with each lesson, I recommend doing an oral or written summary of each one to check your understanding and expand your listening skills and vocabulary.
In addition to this video, there are plenty of others on the Helena Daily English YouTube channel you can use for more listening practice.
Udemy is an online learning platform that offers high-quality courses on a wide range of subjects. Each course is taught by top industry professionals. The great thing is that they often offer discounts, meaning if you enroll at the right time, you have the opportunity to pay less than you would have otherwise.
If you are looking for a complete intermediate English course, look no further than “Complete English Course: Intermediate Level.” In four and a half hours of video, it covers topics such as grammar, vocabulary, speaking and listening practice. Each lesson comes with practice questions in a downloadable PDF to check your understanding and practice new skills that have been introduced in the video.
And if you are working, they have business English courses too.
“Business English: Easy English for Meetings” will help you easily communicate the next time your boss or department wants to discuss the latest project or who gets promoted. Likewise, “Business English Idioms” will demystify (help you understand) phrases like get the ball rolling (to start something), go the extra mile (to put in more effort) and call it a day (end work). Finally, “Business Skills: Easy English Presentations (Presenting)” will keep you from getting nervous in your next meeting or presentation.
Search the site for “intermediate english” courses and you will find over 1,800 results (and counting)!
Alison offers hundreds of certificate and diploma-level courses. As of this writing, they have 10 intermediate English courses and 10 upper intermediate English courses.
For instance, they have “English Grammar – Phrasal Verbs (Intermediate level).” As you can guess from the name, this course allows you to learn all about phrasal verbs—phrases made up of a verb plus an adverb, preposition or both. Some examples include “come across,” “fill up” and “break up.”
There is also “English Grammar – Adjectives & Adverbs (Intermediate level).” 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.
Coursera is an online education platform that partners with respected universities from around the world. Coursera lets you learn at your own pace (as fast or slow as you want). You can complete courses as they take place, or just look over the material when they are over.
Each course has instructional videos, followed by quizzes and exercises to make sure you understood the materials. There are a few peer-rated (graded by your fellow students) assignments, so it is a good place to exchange information with other students who are learning just like you.
For example, you have “Learn English: Intermediate Grammar Specialization.” It is exactly what it sounds like: a complete course on English grammar aspects such as perfect tenses and adjectives. 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.
Also, here are other Coursera courses for intermediate English learners.
edX also has a number of intermediate English courses from universities around the world that can be considered prestigious (famous because of their excellence).
You have “Professional Certificate in Upper-Intermediate English” by the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia that consists of four courses that deal with a specific aspect of business English.
“Writing, Presenting and Submitting Scientific Papers in English” from Tsinghua University will teach you everything you need to know about writing scientific papers or documents about scientific research and experiments.
And then you have “Preparing to Network in English” from the University of Washington. In this course, you will learn everything about networking or meeting people who can benefit you in your professional life. You will also get to know about the business culture in the United States and Canada and how to develop yourself as a professional.
Price: Starts from $99 for the trial version
Available on: Not available as an app
Ginseng English is another site where you can learn intermediate English in an online classroom. The nice thing about Ginseng English is 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. (Just look for the ones labeled “B1” or “B2.”) Observers get to access class materials and watch 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 more access to learning materials.
Price: Monthly subscription, free trial available. See pricing page for current rates.
Want to start speaking English the way native speakers do in real life? FluentU is an immersive English program that aims to teach you the language naturally. It does this by pairing native videos like movie trailers, clips from series, funny commercials and other content native English speakers actually watch with learning tools.
And since you are watching English videos that native speakers actually watch, you will learn a lot about pop culture from English-speaking countries.
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. You can also see the word used in different videos on FluentU or add it to a flashcard deck.
After you are done watching, take the follow-up quiz to learn some of the key words from the video and practice your translation skills. Special exercises are also available for your flashcard decks, featuring a spaced repetition style of learning which alters (changes) how often you see a word based on how well you know it. Here, you will also get a chance to type and speak some of your answers.
Price: Depends on your teacher’s rate
Looking for classroom-style learning, but without the classroom?
With italki, you get a one-on-one intermediate English lessons with a teacher over the internet.
You can choose your teacher based on factors like price range and the type of English they teach. Along with intermediate English, there are instructors that teach beginner, advanced, business English and much more.
The biggest advantage of using italki is that you get English lessons designed just for you. Your teacher will consider your goals, strengths and weaknesses every time you have a lesson.
Check out this italki review to get a better feel for what to expect from this platform.
Price: Free trial (paid version starts at €15 per month or approximately US$16)
Gymglish is a fun, comprehensive English course that is emailed to you every morning. Each lesson has a variety of texts and audio recordings that 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 will make you fall asleep. They follow the entertaining saga (a long story) 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.
You can find out more in this Gymglish review.
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
7 Little Words is a website and app for general students and English language learners alike. It is a game that will grow your vocabulary while promoting fun at the same time.
The instructions are simple: you have a list of seven clues and blocks of letters underneath. For each clue, the player must tap the groups of letters to create the word that matches the definition. For example, the clue might be “a sweet, deep-fried dough” and you would tap on the letters “DO,” “NU” and “TS” to write “donuts.”
The best part is you can start with the words you know and then use the leftover tiles to figure out what the new or unknown words might be.
The first is a course book that introduces material in cohesive (organized) and easy-to-follow units. The second is a practice book that contains a collection of exercises corresponding to the material taught in the course book.
Together, the books provide a comprehensive course that includes speaking, pronunciation, reading, writing, vocabulary building and grammar explanations.
Best of all, the material corresponds to major English-language exams, such as the TOEFL. Plus, learners can access online listening exercises with the course’s app.
“Practice Makes Perfect” is a leading brand in language learning textbooks. They offer workbooks in dozens of languages, and they have quite a few for English learners. This textbook in particular exclusively focuses on grammar.
Primarily, it tackles most parts of speech, such as verbs and conjunctions, and gives in-depth explanations as well as exercises to support learners in mastering grammar skills. This textbook also covers complex sentence structure and punctuation, which can be used for composing essays and reports.
In addition to an answer key, there are also flashcards to help you review main grammar points.
“English Grammar in Use” is written by Raymond Murphy, a renowned (famous) language teacher and writer of ESL materials. At 390 pages, this grammar guide is as comprehensive as it gets at the intermediate level.
As such, I would recommend this for learners looking to bring their skills to the C1 (fluent) level. While explanations in the book are concise and easy to understand, there are hundreds of practice exercises to perfect your grammar and communication, skills.
The same series also has an advanced grammar book for learners who have completed the intermediate level grammar guide.
“Intermediate English Comprehension” is a textbook that focuses on learning intermediate English in context. That means you learn words as they are used in real-life situations. Such situations move the words into your active vocabulary, which makes them easier to access when you actually want to use them.
The book contains 15 articles on topics such as science, travel, food and history. Each text includes comprehension questions, a glossary with definitions and audio files for listening comprehension. This book is best for people looking for a less grammar-based approach and would rather improve their language through the immersion method.
“English Short Stories for Intermediate Learners” is written by Olly Richards, an acclaimed (famous) polyglot (a person who can use multiple languages) and language-learning author. Rather than a conventional textbook, this book uses eight short stories to help learners grow their understanding and abilities in English.
Each chapter opens with a short story followed by a glossary (list of vocabulary words and their meaning), summary, comprehension questions and answers. Authentic, everyday English is used for the stories, and the stories themselves are about unconventional (not ordinary or average) situations that learners will find relatable and interesting enough to make learning fresh and fun.
The book also details a six-step strategy for effectively using the stories for study. This includes the best way to use the stories to grow your English vocabulary efficiently.
International House is an organization dedicated specifically to language teaching and teacher training. To date, they have over 200,000 students and nearly 6,000 teachers.
With 150 schools in 50 countries, you can learn English in the English-speaking country of your choice. (New Zealand, anyone?)
International House was established in 1953 and is inspected every one to two years to ensure program quality.
Education First offers courses abroad as well as in the U.S. The U.S. courses run from short-term courses that last two weeks to a whole year.
They also grant certifications and are accredited (officially recognized) by the ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training), Languages Canada and the British Council. That means they are highly respected and will look great on your resume.
Kaplan International is a large American company that has schools in eight different countries. That may not sound like much, but they also have over 40,000 students from 150 countries, which is proof of their quality of education.
Their courses come in different formats like short- and long-term study programs, short, flexible courses and semester or year-long courses.
They do have online English lessons available as well.
This list of intermediate English courses will surely help you beat that in-between stage where you are no longer a beginner but not yet fluent. 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.
I am enjoying FluentU. I have been using this site for a couple weeks and I have definitely noticed a huge improvement in my vocabulary. I love that it uses a lot of relevant clips like Norman fait des videos to practice REAL French, and it is presented in such a fun way that it makes it easy to practice. Using this site has become part of my daily routine.
- Rachel Hollars
I really like learning with the videos. I have studied using other methods and it was very hard to put what you were learning into context. With the videos, not only are you learning new vocabulary, you are seeing how it is used. For example the tone which is used, the body language of the person using the phrase and the reaction to the phrase being said.
- Frederick Calestini
I love how I get to see videos, listen to music and learn about real and relevant aspects of the Chinese culture. I enjoy seeing faces in those videos of actors and people that I can recognize from other programs outside of Fluent U - which again tells me that the materials I get are relevant in the real Chinese/Taiwanese culture!
- Aileen Raquel Araúz