It’s when you realize who you are, chart the course for your future and finally give up on your dream of becoming the world’s first kid astronaut.
Plus, you study… a lot.
And there aren’t many courses that are quite as life-changing as language courses.
That’s because there are many advantages of learning a foreign language that go way beyond grades. Learning a language can help you meet awesome people across the globe, make travel much more rewarding and even help you land a cool job in the future.
However, in-person language courses aren’t always the best option for all students. Free online language courses can help, but if you want it to count towards your diploma, you’ll need to find a special online course that offers topnotch language learning and high school credit.
Luckily, with the explosion of online education, there are lots of these online foreign language courses available, ranging from beginner level to more advanced courses, like AP Spanish or AP French.
We’ll show you eight unique options for a wide range of languages, proficiency levels and learning goals.
Why Take Online Foreign Language Courses for High School Credit?
There are several benefits to online language courses that you’ll enjoy whether you’re earning your diploma 100% remotely or attending high school in person.
For example, online courses might help you study languages that aren’t offered at your full-time school. Sadly, most schools only offer a few languages. With budget cuts to public schools, language offerings seem to dwindle still further. However, if you take online language courses, you’ll have a lot more options.
If you’re ambitious and dedicated to language, you might also want to get ahead in your studies. If you often find yourself moving faster than your classes’ syllabi, online courses are a great option to learn at your own, accelerated pace.
They also let you fit more into your schedule. Why should you have to choose between music, art and languages? Online language courses can help you earn extra credits on top of your regular school day. You might even want to learn multiple languages at once.
Or you might take online language courses if you’ve fallen behind. Whether you were sick, quit the language for awhile or were just too involved in binging “Game of Thrones” to study, you might need to catch up on your language learning. Online courses can give you that extra boost you need.
Learn and Get Credit! 8 Online Foreign Language Course Resources for High School Credit
Before you enroll: remember that the online or in-person high school you’re earning your diploma from will determine what credits they count. You should check with school administration before signing up for a particular course. Below, we’ve included several accredited options that are designed to count towards high school degrees from anywhere.
If you enjoy this type of independent learning, you can take it even further with FluentU, an immersive but entertaining language program that’s totally personalized.
The videos are organized by genre and learning level, so it’s easy to find ones that work for you. Plus, FluentU keeps track of what you’ve learned and suggests more videos based on that information, for a truly personalized experience.
FluentU currently has programs for Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Korean and English.
Don’t want to spend a penny on your courses? If you live in an area that participates in Connections Academy, your courses will be free. Connections Academy already has programs in dozens of states from east to west, with many more in development.
Plus, Connections Academy is interactive. Each student gets individual attention and Connections Academy’s learning system aims to foster a collaborative environment.
“But what about languages?” you ask. Well, Connections Academy’s offerings are nothing to sneeze at. Connections Academy offers American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.
The Keystone School Online
Looking for a school catered to you? The Keystone School aims to provide individualized and flexible education to its students.
The language courses are intended to meet American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) standards, which focus on reading, writing, speaking and listening. You’ll need to ensure you have a microphone and proper speakers in order to take language courses.
Language offerings include Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish. This program’s language courses emphasize culture for a more well-rounded education.
Stanford Online High School
Founded at the renowned Stanford University in California, Stanford Online High School aims to provide an innovative and rigorous curriculum. This is an especially good option for students who are going to take more than just language courses online—its focus is a multi-year, interdisciplinary program for ambitious students.
Classes are small and interactive, giving you the perfect opportunity to connect with other students and practice your language skills. Students come from across the U.S. as well as internationally, so you may interact with fellow students from more than 30 different countries.
And you’ll have some great language options to choose from. Stanford Online High School offers Chinese, Latin and Spanish, ranging from beginning-level to AP-level coursework.
Can’t wait to get started in your next language course? NorthStar Academy’s flexible start dates make it easy to start a course any time of year—perfect for a quick summer intensive!
Language courses are designed to meet ACTFL standards. The “student feedback” box is an especially helpful feature—look on the lefthand side of most course information pages to see reviews from previously enrolled students.
NorthStar Academy offers Chinese, French, German, Latin and Spanish. Beginning courses are available for all languages, while French and Spanish courses go all the way up to the AP level.
If “rigorous” and “customizable” are your favorite words, Mizzou K-12 might be the school for you.
Mizzou K-12 is affiliated with the University of Missouri, and the curriculum is developed by the university’s faculty as well as teachers certified in Missouri.
For its language courses, Mizzou K-12 partnered with Rosetta Stone. You may already be familiar with the popular Rosetta Stone language program, which is designed to teach languages in a natural way. The programming is interactive and highly visual, so you really absorb the language rather than just memorizing definitions.
Mizzou K-12 offers four levels of Chinese, English for non-native speakers, French, German and Spanish. Plus, Mizzou K-12 offers two levels of Arabic and Japanese.
Want to learn a language that’s not commonly offered in high schools? Greenways Academy has options you might like!
Greenways Academy is a Missouri-based online education provider. Because Greenways Academy’s language courses are provided through programs like Rosetta Stone, there are language offerings that you can’t get elsewhere. You can take Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Vietnamese.
Sure, you could take most of these courses without going through the school—but of course you’d miss out on the high school credit option that way.
University of Nebraska High School
Enroll whenever you want. Study whenever you want. Progress as quickly (or slowly) as you want. It has its appeal.
Associated with the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska High School offers flexibility, but it also offers quality online courses intended to prepare students for college, including world languages.
Language offerings include Chinese, French, German, Latin and Spanish. French students can take advantage of an AP-level course as well. The courses focus on both language and culture.
Indiana University High School
If you can’t resist online education backed by a well-known university, Indiana University High School might be just what you’re looking for.
Indiana University High School has been providing distance education to public school students, home-schooled students, adults and anyone else looking to study remotely since 1999.
Indiana University High School offers a wide array of courses, including language offerings like French, German and Spanish. These courses focus on the core skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking so you can use the language in real life and/or continue your language study at the university level.
If you want your high school experience to be chock full of language learning, check out these resources for online foreign language courses for high school credit!
And One More Thing...
If you dig the idea of learning on your own time from the comfort of your smart device with real-life authentic language content, you'll love using FluentU.
With FluentU, you'll learn real languages—as they're spoken by native speakers. FluentU has a wide variety of videos as you can see here:
FluentU has interactive captions that let you tap on any word to see an image, definition, audio and useful examples. Now native language content is within reach with interactive transcripts.
Didn't catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.
You can learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU's "learn mode." Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
And FluentU always keeps track of 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 get a truly personalized experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.