How to Practice English Online for Free in 2024

Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of ways to practice your English without using up your whole day or spending lots of money.

In fact, many of the very best online English resources are free.

And on the web, you can study English on your own time, without having to cut into your regular daily life.

Keep reading for nine of the best ways to practice English online—for free!


1. Practice English Anytime with Mobile Apps


The availability of mobile apps for learning English has exploded in the last ten years.

Some English lesson apps, such as Duolingo, are completely free. Duolingo offers well-organized self-study courses. The courses focus primarily on reading, writing and listening skills.

Plenty of other apps out there offer free English practice of one kind or another. Check out some more options here:

2. Check out Free Listening and Reading Material

You can practice the “receptive” English skills—listening and reading—easily and conveniently on your own online. Below are some top websites for practicing English listening and reading on your own time, free of charge.

Websites for free English listening practice:

  • For conversational listening, check out, where you’ll find conversations in every kind of English accent, including non-native accents.
  • For practical listening based on everyday activities, try Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab. It’s full of listening exercises related to shopping, travel, school and more.
  • For educational talks, listen to some TED Talks. They’re short, engaging presentations on a variety of topics. TEDxESL is a TED site just for ESL students. 

Websites for free English reading practice:

  • For a great self-study course, try ReadTheory, which includes diagnostic tests, daily lessons and ways to track your learning progress.
  • For graded readings (English articles that have been edited and simplified for English learners) check out English Online and Breaking News English.
  • For English learner newspapers that contain articles written with ESL students in mind, see the Bangkok-based Student Weekly.

3. Take a Free Online Course


Video player for learners like you
  • Interactive subtitles: click any word to see detailed examples and explanations
  • Slow down or loop the tricky parts
  • Show or hide subtitles
  • Review words with our powerful learning engine
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A Massive Open Online Course or MOOC allows unlimited students in an online class. They’re generally available free of charge.

English learning MOOCs are taught by real teachers who communicate with students through online message boards, pre-recorded video lectures and a limited number of live web broadcasts. While there usually isn’t much individual student-teacher interaction, you’ll have chances to join online study groups with classmates.

You can find ESL MOOCs on sites like Coursera or FutureLearn, through a MOOC search engine or in this post:

With EdX, you can take actual college courses in English and even earn college credits or certificates. 

4. Connect with Other English Learners

There are millions of English learners on the internet, and many of them use online English Learner forums or message boards to connect. These are places where language learners can talk to each other.

Many major ESL websites like The English Club have active message boards. You can also find specialized forums to help you prepare for English exams, like the IELTS Network message board.

Social media is another great place to connect with other English learners, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. Facebook has countless pages and groups for English learners (see #5 below).

For learners in countries without Facebook, Russian-based VK is a good alternative with pages like English Books Daily and English Worksheets for ESL Teachers.

5. Speak with Native English Conversation Partners


In a language exchange, you teach your own language to a native English speaker and they teach you English. It’s a very rewarding way to learn English and to get a better understanding of language learning in general.

There are some great apps you can use to find a language exchange partner. You can also use italki, a platform that offers the opportunity for English conversation practice by helping people organize language exchanges and private tutoring sessions (for a cost).

There are also plenty of free websites for live English conversation. Here are some more great resources for speaking English with natives:

6. Follow Facebook Pages for Learning English 


If you have access to Facebook, there are some great pages you can follow to help you practice English. 

  • BBC Learning English: The BBC’s Facebook page challenges English learners to answer questions and write their opinions about current events. Here, you can practice English with real-world examples through audio clips, podcasts and news articles. 
  • VOA Learning English: This page is similar to the BBC’s, but it uses American English and the language is a bit harder to understand. VOA also has some fun grammar videos, tips, new words and much more.
  • Learn English—British Council: Instead of using current events as the topic of discussion, the British Council page uses things like short stories and popular TV shows. The operators of the page are always happy to help in the comments, too.
  • English Vocabulary: This page is great for visual learners. They post pictures and worksheets so you can see what new English words and phrases mean, from the most basic vocabulary to more complicated concepts like prepositions.
  • Grammarly: Grammarly helps native English speakers and language learners use correct grammar in written and spoken English. They also share interesting information about the language and its part of speech and even some career advice and tips for the workplace. 

To reinforce your learning, make sure you’re actively engaging with these pages by reading comments and leaving your own. You might even make some English learner friends! 

7. Take Advantage of Educational Websites in English


To learn the English language, you can do what English speakers do by browsing native English websites.

  • News websites like CNN, BBC News and Al Jazeera English are great places to find English-language news on topics like politics, science and technology.
  • Other educational websites such as Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Scientific American focus entirely on science news in English. 
  • Some sites are made for younger English speakers such as Wonderopolis which has lots of short, interesting articles about how the world works. It also includes vocabulary lists, comprehension quizzes and suggested activities.
  • Infotainment websites like Snopes and Cracked are educational but exist mostly to entertain. These sites feature weird news stories, fun and interesting facts, and funny commentary. 

All of these sites keep you well-informed while also building your English reading skills and building your vocabulary.

8. Enjoy English-language Media and Entertainment


As you probably well know, there is plenty of great English media you can consume to immerse yourself in the language. 

9. Use an Immersive Language Learning Program

The thing about learning with authentic content (made by and for English speakers), is that it’s always fun but it’s not always easy. For instance:

  • Native content can be too fast and difficult for learners to understand.
  • Videos rarely have accurate subtitles.
  • When you look up new words, you’re never sure which one of their definitions is being used.
  • It can be easy to become distracted by what you’re watching and forget to actually study from it.

That’s why a program that uses authentic language is so useful for learners.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

It uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.

FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:


FluentU 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'll 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 is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Whether you’re rich or poor, whether you have lots of time or a little, the internet is your best source for easy-to-access English practice that won’t cost you a thing.

Jump in, and get ready to practice English online any way that you want to, without having to reach for your wallet or rearrange your daily schedule.

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