Speaking fluently in English is every learner’s top goal.
But talking in a foreign language can be very nerve-wracking!
It makes sense. Talking is one of the best ways to show off your language fluency, but also requires you to use nearly all of your English knowledge right at the moment.
But with practice, effort and the right resources, you can boost both your skills and confidence to have full English conversations without breaking a sweat.
And in this post, I’ll show you exactly how you can do that with the help of some online English courses that you can take right from home.
You don’t need the help of a private tutor or an expensive immersion experience. All you need is dedication and a willingness to learn.
Are you excited? Read on!
5 Tips to Speak Better English from Your Own Home
Before I discuss each of these online courses in detail, here are some tips and tricks that will improve your speaking skills in no time.
- Practice speaking English in front of a mirror (or with a friend). Speaking fluently isn’t just about saying the right words. It’s also about body language, tone and confidence. So practice speaking in front of a mirror, paying close attention to your gestures, expressions or posture. You can even have a friend or family member give you feedback.
- Use a pronunciation app and a voice recorder. The English language has some weird rules and sometimes the best way to know the right pronunciation of a word is to check the dictionary. There are also apps that use voice-recognition software and tell you if you’re pronouncing it the right way or not. You can also record your own voice and play it back to check your progress.
- Use apps to find native speakers. Services like HelloTalk and Tandem help you find native speakers with whom you can practice your English and get authentic feedback.
- Watch English media content. Watching English movies or TV shows, especially on Netflix or YouTube, is a good way to immerse yourself in English culture and learn about the aspects of the language that grammar books often miss out on.
- Sign up for a course like the ones listed below. Speaking fluently requires a lot of skills, so specific courses or learning programs will be of great help to you. I discuss some of the best ones below.
15 Online English Speaking Courses to Become a Confident English Speaker
I’ve curated a list of 15 resources, all of which are devoted to improving one’s speaking skills. Each has its specific advantages, and you can pick the ones that best fit your learning needs and budget.
FluentU is easily one of the best English learning programs out there, and if you don’t believe me, I dare you to sign up for their free trial and experience it yourself.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Unlike traditional ways of learning that focus on grammar rules, FluentU uses an “immersive” learning approach, where you’re exposed to real-world English content, all featuring native speakers.
The idea is that as you watch, you’ll learn English quicker than you ever thought possible.
FluentU’s features make this possible: each video comes with interactive subtitles in English. If you see an unfamiliar word, you can click on it for a definition, pronunciation guide and example sentences. Each video also comes equipped with a transcript, a vocabulary list and a “learn mode” for convenient practice and review.
It’s especially great for working on your speaking skills, since you’ll be listening to native speakers and following along with subtitles. You’ll learn how the English language works, how to pronounce certain words, which syllables to stress and what to say in different situations.
And best of all, the app is for everyone, whether you’re an advanced learner or a beginner.
Coursera: Improve Your English Communication Skills Specialization
Some of you may already know about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which are often provided by top universities.
They’re usually free and come with certification.
MOOCs bring world-class education right to your fingertips and are excellent for those who are already working part-time or lack access to other learning resources.
Cousera is one of the most popular platforms for MOOCS. They have lots of opportunities for learning English.
For example, this specialization course on Coursera is exclusively focused on English communication skills. Provided by Georgia Tech, it’s four months long and best suited for beginners.
It includes four courses, and you can sign up for just one or for all four. In this course, you’ll learn to speak professionally, be it in person, on the phone or even online. You’ll also learn to write professional emails and build an ePortfolio.
It’s an excellent course for career advancement, or just for building your speaking confidence.
For even more targeted practice, you can check out this special course on English speeches and presentations, also on Coursera.
Oxford Online English
If you’re looking for customized English lessons that will help you be a better speaker, then give Oxford Online English a try. They have a number of English courses, including one that’s only devoted to speaking skills.
All you need to do is book a class, and you’ll be paired with a native teacher and have video lessons over Skype, WhatsApp or whatever is convenient for you.
In fact, with each lesson, you’ll get personalized feedback on how to improve. You’ll also have access to free lessons that will help you in your overall language learning.
They have flexible pricing and you can check out some of their free videos to decide if it’s worth the investment.
Spoken English Course
Update: This resource is no longer available.
Spoken English Course has a wealth of resources devoted to improving your English skills, at your own pace.
It’s excellent self-study material, and it’s all free.
It covers everything from grammar, everyday conversations, IELTS preparation, useful expressions and so on. Each link opens to a short video that you can watch.
Though the material is useful to all, it’s most suitable for beginner and intermediate self-learners. I’d advise you to use this along with another app or course, like FluentU. That will speed up the learning process.
London School Online
For those looking for personalized English lessons, another option you can look into is London School Online.
They provide Skype English lessons that cover speaking and presentation skills for general use or for the workplace environment.
You can also use London School Online to study for exams like the IELTS.
The lessons are pretty flexible: you’ll discuss your learning goals with your trainer, assess your English level and then begin learning.
In addition to their Skype lessons, they also have a few courses that you can check out. For instance, their “English For Hospitality” course is an excellent option for developing soft skills and effectively communicating with clients.
Alison: Speaking And Writing English Effectively
If you’re looking for a course that will help you improve both your speaking and writing skills, then give this course on Alison a shot. It’s best suited for students and those looking to work in academics or journalism.
The course will cover some points on how to use language effectively, tips for exams and how to best approach a text.
You’ll learn vital communication skills, including tips on the right tone and voice to use, that will help you during presentations or when facing a large audience.
It’s a short introductory course of two to three hours. It’s completely free and even comes with a certificate that you can add to your CV.
For a more general course, also from Alison, check out this Introduction to Conversational English course. It promises to improve your English speaking confidence in just one to two hours of coursework.
FutureLearn: Understanding IELTS: Speaking
Some of you might be looking to improve your speaking skills for an exam. IELTS is one the most popular exams that’s used to measure English proficiency, so getting a good score is a top priority for a lot of people.
British Council’s FutureLearn platform has a specific section devoted to the IELTS exam, where you’ll be presented with tips on how best to ace the speaking section, as well as improve your overall communication skills.
Plus, you’ll only have to commit three hours a week for three weeks.
Although the course isn’t running right now, you can sign up for it using your email address and you’ll be informed when it begins again.
Coursera: Learn English: Advanced Academic Speaking and Listening Specialization
The University of California, Irvine offers a special Coursera class that focuses on the English used in academic settings.
If you’re aiming to learn in an English-language university, then you’ll have to learn how to speak confidently with both your classmates and teacher!
This class will teach you both listening and speaking skills. You’ll learn how to listen to lectures and improve your presentation and discussion skills. In the end, you’ll become a better student who can keep up with the rest of your class.
The course takes about five months to complete. Since this is advanced English, it’s recommended that you have an intermediate level.
EF English Live
Want more personal help?
EF English Live lets you practice your English speaking (and reading, writing and listening) with real teachers!
First, you answer a few questions and give a few details on your current English level.
Then, a special course that fits your level is provided to you, and you review what you learn with interactive exercises. A voice recognition system also lets you test your speaking skills.
Your teacher will provide feedback for every exercise you complete. The course itself doesn’t focus on a specific kind of English, but the live private or group classes you can attend are great opportunities to practice your conversation and pronunciation!
The pricing and plans are also quite reasonable for what you get. You can try out a free seven-day trial as well.
Perfectly Spoken has a ton of English speaking resources of varying levels—best of all, you can access hundreds of them for free!
The courses are taught with video lessons that cover different topics and speaking skills. For each course, Perfectly Spoken details what kind of learner it’s best suited for.
Besides general beginner, intermediate and advanced courses, you can also find courses that cover more situation-based English. Examples include English used in hospitality settings, business English, English used in films and so forth.
There are also other free resources, including live practice sessions on Facebook, English-language podcasts, clips on Instagram and blog posts. You should definitely check all of them out, since you don’t have to pay for any of them!
But if you want a bit more, there are also priced plans that give you extra items. These include practice tests, specialized courses, unlimited lesson access and certificates of course completion.
YouTube: Learn English with Let’s Talk
Even though this is a YouTube channel, Let’s Talk offers so many lessons, all organized into different themes, that it may as well be an English course!
Besides typical ESL lessons, there are also videos that cover a range of topics related to spoken English. You can watch clips that discuss accent improvement, idioms and slang, common speaking mistakes and much more.
You’ll have plenty of fun scrolling through the different playlists.
Let’s Talk is suited for beginner learners, but because the channel has such a wide variety of content, any learner of any level can pick up useful tips and tricks to speaking English like a native!
As a government-sponsored resource, all of the courses on USA Learns are available for free!
The English speaking course is separated into different units.
Your first focus is to improve your listening comprehension with short video stories that include dialogues.
You then review key vocabulary and sentences by saying them aloud into your microphone and comparing your pronunciation to a native speaker’s.
There are other activities that aim to improve your ability to answer questions and use grammar properly. These will be guided by a teacher named Ms. Marquez.
USA Learns is best recommended for beginner to intermediate learners. Advanced learners can use the website for review. But you should definitely check out the other courses that USA Learns offers—there’s even one that’s focused on English pronunciation!
Udemy: English Language Pro | Spoken English Language and Culture
Want to learn the essentials of natural English conversation?
This course, hosted on Udemy (a class-hosting website similar to Coursera), will teach you what you want and need to know for everyday English dialogue.
Plus, you get to learn a bit about American culture!
Your friendly teacher is Kallan. He’ll teach you the vocabulary, phrases and idioms used for many situations, such as when you’re describing yourself, when you’re out traveling or when you’re in a business setting.
Assignments, which can be done by writing, video or audio, are given at the end of each unit.
The course description states that those who aren’t absolute beginners can benefit the most from the lessons. Kallan is also responsive to questions and feedback.
The British Council has a lot of English-learning resources for anyone interested in the language. One or some of these resources can work great for your wants and needs.
The self-study online course, available for £5.99 (about $8.30) per month, comes with many lessons that aim to improve your English communication skills for both social and workplace situations.
At your own pace, you work on your skills with teacher-led videos, audio clips and more. New content is released monthly to keep your learning fresh.
There are also live lessons, where you can ask questions and put your skills to the test with other classmates or a teacher. If you’d prefer, you can also book private tutor sessions that focus on conversation skills.
You can take your lessons whenever you want, and there’s no level restriction for the British Council’s resources.
Calling itself a “digital English language school,” ABA English has a special self-study course that promises to turn you into a confident English speaker. You can download it on any smart device so you can learn on the go!
There are 144 units categorized into six levels, from beginner English (A1) to business level (C1). For that reason, anyone of any level can take the course and practice their skills.
ABA English uses its own teaching method based on video lessons and short, dialogue-filled films. You work to improve your listening comprehension skills before tackling your speaking and writing skills.
Live classes and conversation lessons are also offered if you want more specialized practice with a teacher.
You won’t become a fluent English speaker in a day. It’s a long process, which will require a lot of hard work and dedication on your part.
But if you keep practicing and push yourself to go beyond your limits, you’ll soon get there.
These courses are a great place to start!
Archita Mittra is a freelance writer, journalist, editor and educator. Feel free to check out her blog or contact her for freelancing/educational inquiries.