“Free” is my favorite word.
It just gives me a rush!
You’ve probably felt it, too.
Do you know that gleeful excitement when someone hands you a free sample outside a store?
How about the joy of getting gift cards on your birthday?
You can get that same feeling when studying English, thanks to free English lessons.
With the costs of education skyrocketing all over the world, especially in the U.S., we’re all on the lookout for the best deals to learn new skills—especially languages. And whether you have a happy bank account or not, you don’t want to be left out.
We’ll show you seven high-quality free English lesson sites that any language learner should know about.
Why Study English Online?
- Design your dream curriculum. Start your courses at a beginner level or address your learning pain points individually. Choose a podcast over a text, mix a song with a regular lesson. It’s all up to you.
- Learn at your own pace. Are you a slow learner? Do you need to repeat words multiple times before memorizing them? Are you available only half an hour a day to study? Online English courses and lessons can accommodate all these needs.
- Be part of an international English learning community. English-learning forums are spread all over the internet. Look them up if you have a question about a course, need some grammar help or simply want to chat. Get involved with the community to max out your learning opportunities.
In this article, we’ll even show you some free English lesson sites that come with built-in language forums.
- Learn to learn. Learning a language is a process that’ll benefit many other areas of your life. It’s an opportunity to develop discipline and study strategies for independent learning, no matter the subject.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Free English Lessons
- Assess your current level. Use the free British Council test or Cambridge Assessment test. You’ll be ranked on a scale of A1 (beginner) to C2 (proficient). This will help you find the free English lessons that are appropriate for you.
- Assess your learning style. There are four main types of learners: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and reading/writing. Also, do you prefer working alone or with a study group? For optimal results, match your resources and setup with your predominant learning type(s).
- Know what’s available. You’re spoiled for choice: you can choose between written lessons, formal online classes, videos, podcasts and mobile apps. Keep on reading to discover our favorites!
- Mix it up, but not too much. Don’t overwhelm your brain by using different formats every time you study. Choose one main resource and supplement it with other lessons you enjoy.
- Designate an accountability buddy. Tell a friend or classmate that you’re learning English independently so they can check up on you. This makes it way harder to be lazy!
Did Someone Say “Free?” 7 Amazing Free English Lessons for All Levels
If you’re accustomed to the layout of textbook lessons and want to keep on using that format, then LEO Network is the right place for you. There are 57 lessons spread across 12 units. You can click on the small arrow of every unit to unveil the lesson plan and access it.
Take advantage of the test and assignment they give at the end of every lesson and leave a comment in case you have a question. A moderator will then assist you. It also seems like they’re fans of our mix-and-match method since they give a song recommendation in every lesson!
In case you’d prefer a more interactive platform, the following free English lesson resources might suit you more.
BBC Learning English
If we didn’t know that BBC stood for “British Broadcasting Corporation,” we would’ve guessed that its acronym meant “Brits Be Creative.”
This resource is ideal for intermediate learners—the levels go from “intermediate” to “towards advanced.” You’ll never get bored, as there are different formats for the lessons. Every level is composed of 30 units, which are in turn split into five sessions each.
First, choose your level from the upper menu, which will bring you to the list of lessons. Then we recommend clicking on the Vocabulary Reference of every unit and copying down the words and their explanations in your notebook. This tried-and-true method will help you build your vocabulary by creating your own dictionary.
If you like your free English lessons to have a funny twist, then the Grammar Gameshow, Experiment and Shakespeare Speaks categories are all great options for you, too.
King’s College London Basic English Course on FutureLearn
Welcome to the amazing world of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)! MOOCs are formal classes that you can take online. They’re often created by prestigious universities or other educational institutions.
You simply need to sign up to FutureLearn to access their Basic English course. It’s provided by King’s College London and takes four weeks to complete, with a study volume of four hours per week. It’s designed for beginners who want to learn English for school or work, with a focus on learners from the Middle East and North Africa. The course is still relevant to you even if you’re not a part of that category, though.
By the end of the course, you’ll have learned how to express yourself in everyday situations and improved your listening skills. You’ll then be ready to enroll in the next course: Basic English 2: Pre-Intermediate.
Keep in mind that not all MOOCs are immediately available when you sign up for them. They generally have a start date that you might need to wait for in order to enroll. A general rule of thumb is to subscribe to the course via email to receive an alert once the course opens.
Language learning isn’t what it used to be. You don’t need a plane ticket to an English-speaking country to hear real English. You just need FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.You’ll understand every word in the video thanks to interactive subtitles. You only need to click on a word to see its definition, a picture and example sentences.
Add the words you just learned to your custom vocabulary list to review them later.
Every video also comes with flashcards, fun quizzes and other tools to help you remember everything you learned. The videos are organized by genre and level so it’s easy to find the ones that work for you. (Plus, FluentU suggests videos to you based on what you’ve learned.)
Best of all, you can practice anytime, anywhere with the FluentU mobile apps for iOS or Android.
You can explore the full FluentU video library and features for free for 15 days with a FluentU trial. After your trial, you can choose to continue learning with FluentU’s free videos—but if you can’t get enough, you can upgrade your FluentU subscription to access every video on the platform.
The website is intuitive and quite easy to navigate. Choose your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and your topic(s) of interest, then click on “Find Lessons.”
With over 1,350 lessons covering vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, business English, slang
engVid’s free English lessons are usually classroom-like videos where teachers explain concepts on a whiteboard, with a quiz to test your understanding and a chat box to ask the teachers questions.
In the Resources category, you can also find a long list of written lessons that cover various topics such as 50+ expressions using “at,” “on” and “in” or 50+ phrases and idioms to describe people in business.
If you’re a beginner or intermediate speaker whose learning style is primarily visual and auditory, Language Guide is ideal for you.
Every vocabulary lesson is organized in a set of images that you can hover over to hear and read the words associated with it. 80 topics are featured in the vocabulary section. They each also come with a listening and a speaking challenge.
Their English grammar section focuses on irregular verbs. The game is to conjugate irregular verbs to either the past tense or the past participle in three levels of difficulty—beginner, intermediate and advanced. If your answer is wrong, a correction and an example sentence will appear.
Dave’s ESL Cafe
Learning English with Dave Sperling is a real treat. From the navigation menu, focus on the Stuff for Students category. You’ll find grammar, idioms, phrasal verbs and slang lessons, in addition to quizzes and student forums.
The lessons are all in a text format and are more suited for students with an intermediate level and above. Don’t let the lack of videos/images hold you back, because this website is a real ESL El Dorado! Every lesson is thoroughly explained, with a help center at the tip of your fingers in case you need further explanations.
Take a break from studying now and then with their fun Australian slang quiz or dinosaur quiz.
It’s all up to you now! Get digging in these free English lesson resources and choose the ones that resonate with you the most.
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.