15 best English courses online to become a proficient speaker
English is known as a lingua franca or a universal language that connects the speakers of its diverse dialects. Standard Chinese and Spanish do indeed boast the most native speakers in the world. Nonetheless, English remains the most commonly spoken official language and the world’s biggest second language.
Sometimes, a better command of the language is the key that opens new doors. In this review, we will give you a round-up of some of the best English courses online suitable for beginners, intermediates, and advanced speakers alike.
English Courses Online – Overview
It is said that English can be a challenging language for people to learn after childhood. For one thing, there is an endless list of confusing homophones and homographs. Many people are also baffled by the idiomatic expressions that English speakers use. To make things a bit more confusing, these vary from one dialect to the next.
Because English is a stressed language, different meanings can be inferred based on how the syllables are pronounced. The words ‘desert' and ‘dessert' are good examples here.
These two words convey wholly different meanings depending on where the syllable's stress falls. The stress falls on the first syllable of ‘de-sert' in an arid, inhospitable habitat. On the other hand, English speakers emphasize the second syllable in ‘des-sert‘ as a lovely, sweet finale to a meal.
If you have already cleared these hurdles, you can consider yourself at least intermediate and pursue a deeper grasp of the English language. But don't worry if not. Our review of the best English courses online will list a class for each level, from beginners to advanced.
Best English Courses Online 2022 – Top Picks
|Rocket Languages||Rosetta Stone||British Council||Udemy|
|from $99/Level 1||from $7.99/month||from $79||from $11.99/course|
|Free trial. Discounts.||Free trial. Discounts.||Free Trial. Discounts.||Up to 95% off.|
|Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website|
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure at the end of this post.
Note: Our list of the best English courses online aims to provide a starting point to improve your communication skills. However, it cannot cover all the English classes available.
1. RocketLanguages – English Courses Online
RocketEnglish (visit website) relies on simulating the immersion method to improve your pronunciation, as they teach you over 3200 words and phrases. To ensure that you're locking it all in, their cutting-edge speech recognition system allows you to virtually refine your pronunciation.
Their webpage also promises to help learners understand “English culture.” That said, it is not clear if the 32 culture lessons cover “aspects of everyday life, important people, and significant moments in history” in England, the US, other major English-speaking cultures, or a mixture of these.
They appear to lump “native English speakers” all into one culture in this aspect. You can start their online English courses as a beginner and progress to advanced levels.
User Reviews: 4.8 ★★★★★ | Info: Visit website. Free trial + discounts.
Pricing: Level 1 from $99 | Level 1/2 from $249.90 | Level 1/2/3 from $259.90
2. British Council English Courses Online
The British Council (visit website) offers learners a choice of self-study English courses, live online classes, or one-on-one tutors. You start by taking a test to see what level you are at. Then, you use the results to select one of their premium English courses.
They recently built a digital badge and certificate into their LearnEnglish for the Workplace course. You will find this class inside the LearnEnglish Self-Access Subscription option. In the online class option, you will learn English in live, interactive sessions.
The British Council employs a global network of qualified British Council teachers and offers English courses 24 hours a day in small-group sessions. If you prefer, you can also choose the one-on-one tutor option instead. You then schedule private online lessons with a tutor of your choice to focus on the topics that matter most to you.
When you finish each theme on a course, you will receive a certificate from the British Council. You can also practice your English for free with their wide range of learning tools. They offer bite-sized courses, quizzes, and activities to help you enhance your English language skills. These are some of the best English courses online if you want a live class.
Provider: British Council | Type: Multiple English courses online + live tutoring
Duration: Self-paced, scheduled, private lessons. | Levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1
Info: View course page. Free trial. 5 class credits from $88. View pricing plans.
3. English Courses Online – Udemy
On Udemy (visit website), a whopping 79 pages of online English courses give you lots of opportunities to lock the language down. They are all premium courses but appear to be reasonably priced with either native-speaking teachers or certified ESL instructors.
Among the wide selection, you’ll find Job Interview English, Master 120 Common Phrasal Verbs, and a course called Speak English Like a Spy. There are courses that use storytelling and debates to teach you in context. There’s even a course called English Slang and Idioms ESL.
In fact, there are several English courses that teach slang terms. You are sure to find something to meet your needs among the many options. For beginners and intermediates alike, Udemy offers some of the best English courses online to advance your skills.
English courses: 800+ | Rating: 4.8 ★★★★☆
Info: Browse category English Courses on Udemy. From $11.99. Up to 95% off.
4. Improve Your English Communication Skills – Georgia Tech, Coursera
Coursera teams up with prestigious universities to bring a wide variety of courses to online learners. In this 4-course specialization (visit website), you can “improve your professional communication in English for successful business interactions.”
Each module covers a certain aspect of English communication, such as writing emails, speaking at meetings and interviews, presenting, and networking online. Better English communication can help you achieve your linguistic and professional goals, whether you are communicating with potential employers, employees, business partners, or clients.
The courses are presented in English, but you can use subtitles in 18 different languages, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Afrikaans, and Hindi. They teach learners how to Write Professional Emails in English, Speak English Professionally In-Person, Online and On the Phone and Build a Professional ePortfolio in English.
Coursera offers some of the best English courses online for those who wish to develop their language skills professionally, be it for career or business purposes.
In English Grammar Pro (visit website), instructor Kallan, who also teaches “For Your English”, will help you get fluent in English. To make grammar easy, Kallan focuses on pronunciation with a goal to get you to the end of grammar study and increase your confidence when speaking.
His popular English course covers business English, American slang, idioms, and phrasal verbs. He presents the class in 18 sections, with homework after almost every lecture. You get a total of more than 10 hours of lessons on this course.
Among the reviews, a recently trained TEFL/TOEFL/ESOL teacher expressed gratitude to Kallan for helping him better explain English grammar to his students. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive for this class, and it is certainly one of the best English courses on Skillshare. You can use our extended premium trial option to try both courses for free.
6. The Complete English Language Course – Udemy
This English course (visit website) provides a comprehensive review of the English language and grammar. TJ Walker and Derek Smith, two world-renowned communications trainers, are your teachers on this course. Mr. Smith is British and boasts 30 years of teaching experience, while Mr. Walker has lived and worked in the US his entire life.
Between the two of them, learners have a chance to get the basics of both dialects under their belts. With the help of 27 hours of video lessons and supporting materials, your instructors promise to help you improve your comprehension of English.
The goal is to give you the confidence to speak and write English more fluently. You should bring basic listening and reading skills in English to successfully complete this class. This is one of the best English courses online to bring your skills to an intermediate level.
7. Pimsleur English Courses Online
The Pimsleur Method (visit website) calls upon “well-established research” to bring you English courses set in a real-world context, allowing you to learn English in a natural and fluid manner. There is English for Spanish, Italian, French, Korean, Mandarin, Arabic speakers. Pimsleur is a renowned platform offering some of the best language courses.
With years of research in language learning, Dr. Pimsleur observed that if students were reminded of new words at ever-increasing intervals, they would recall them for longer each time. Another Pimsleur technique takes advantage of the fact that the human brain is hard-wired to process speech automatically and “anticipate” a correct response.
When this built-in word processer is triggered, new connections form, according to Dr. Pimsleur's research. Pimsleur English courses promise to accelerate your learning and boost your understanding. These are premium English courses for beginners. You can either sign up for levels 1-3 right away or sign up for each level separately.
8. Rosetta Stone – Learn English
It's easy to get caught up in the vocabulary and grammar when studying a new language, but Rosetta Stone’s Learn English page (visit website) cautions against this approach.
As we explained earlier, the fact that English has many inconsistencies is one of the obstacles in learning to speak it. Homophones and homographs abound and rules are rather loose. For example, terms like cold shoulder, every cloud has a silver lining, and sent on a wild goose chase can be intimidating when taken out of context.
To address these difficulties, the Rosetta Stone English courses online employ an immersion method designed to increase your confidence and encourage learners to speak English in real-life situations. The lessons include pronunciation feedback and bite-sized exercises that allow you to practice speaking whenever and wherever you want.
The company provides well-developed proprietary learning tools that certainly call for a higher price than some other platforms. Thankfully, there is a 7-day free trial offer to see for yourself if this is one of the best English courses online for your purposes.
Reading tip: Here is our tutorial on how to learn a language fast. If you want to become a polyglot, well, check out our review of language courses online or our lists of the best Italian courses or Spanish courses online or French courses.
9. Lingoda English Courses + Tutoring
Lingoda (visit website) vows to “take you from learning a language to living a language.” Their general online English courses have lessons that cover useful topics such as ‘Life abroad'. They also offer Business English courses with lessons that focus on practical business language needs such as ‘Interacting with your boss and colleagues'.
All their premium English courses are available to you when you sign up for a monthly subscription. Lingoda awards you with a certificate when you complete every level.
The synchronous (face to face on a video meeting platform) small group lessons feature native English speakers as instructors. Lingoda includes a test to help you determine what your CEFR level is. The idea is to use the results to inform your choice of class level, but some reviewers complained that learners selected poorly.
Reviews are generally positive about the English courses and instructors. Having a different teacher for every lesson can make for a richer learning experience. Lingoda offers some of the best English courses online if you look for live classes or 1:1 tutoring.
Languages: 4 | Review: ★★★★☆ | Info: Visit website.
Pricing: $59/month (1 class/week) | $139/mo (2-3 classes/w) | $239/mo (1 class/day)
10. Learn English: Intermediate Grammar Specialization, UCI, Coursera
The University of California UCI offers an impressive selection of premium English courses on Coursera. Their Learn English specialization (visit website) teaches common topics in intermediate grammar. They cover perfect verb tenses and adjective clauses, as well as numerous “tricky English” grammar topics.
The three English courses are Perfect Tenses and Modals, Adjectives and Adjective Clauses, and Tricky English Grammar. The capstone offers the opportunity to review all of the knowledge you have learned in the courses. You will make a grammar scrapbook of the tough or fascinating English grammatical structures you learned in the specialization.
Subtitles are available in 13 languages, including Arabic, Indonesian and Russian. UCI offers some of the best English courses online. You enroll with Coursera Pro but can also apply for financial aid for this course.
11. English Grammar Launch – Upgrade Your Speaking and Listening – Udemy
If your goal is to speak English more like a native or boost your language skills in general, this class (visit website) could help you achieve it. Anthony Kelleher is a Bachelor of Arts TESOL and an English Teacher at Sir English. He’s a native British English speaker whose mission is to help you speak and understand English more confidently.
This is an intermediate English grammar course. You will target all the English grammar structures and have lots of practice via MP3 downloads and PDF resources. Kelleher’s goal is to help his learners improve both their listening and speaking skills in English to the point of mastery.
This could be one of the best English courses online for people who work in or aspire to a career in communications. It could also be a great resource for ESL learners who have a handle on the basics but want to continue their education.
12. Business English Communication Skills – University of Washington, Coursera
In this 4-course Specialization (visit website), you will learn how to communicate effectively in English in business settings. The course promises to increase your vocabulary and improve your ability to write and speak English in social and professional situations.
The English courses cover networking, meetings, planning and negotiating, and making presentations. Along the way, they offer you the vocabulary and techniques that you can use in business negotiations, on phone calls, in written reports and emails and in professional presentations.
This course offers 15 different subtitle languages, including Ukrainian, Urdu, and Afrikaans. Desired learning outcomes are using “appropriate vocabulary to write a mini business plan” and delivering “a business plan orally in an organized and engaging presentation.” Coursera financial aid is available for these best-rated English courses.
13. English for Beginners: Intensive Spoken English Courses – Udemy
This English course for beginners (visit website) is based on LOGUS, a proprietary and cartoon-based system created using Vyond (formerly GoAnimate). It is a full beginner to intermediate course teaching spoken English.
The class aims to help learners gain the necessary English skills for “real-life day-to-day use.” Your cartoon instructors teach more than 1000 essential English words, idioms, and expressions, and you will learn their use in everyday situations. They teach grammar in context intending to teach you to think and communicate effectively in English.
If you have a certification goal, they say you should be ready to study for the TOEFL, IELTS, and GMAT afterward. Many learners said they did improve their English skills in the class, but some mentioned that the material was “repetitive”. There's a 30-day refund policy to find out risk-free if this is among the best English courses online for beginners.
14. USA Learns – Free English Courses Online
USA Learns is a free online resource that assists persons in learning English, gaining work skills, and preparing for citizenship in the United States. Learners have the option of studying on their own or with the assistance of a teacher. The website was created by the Sacramento County Office of Education, which is based in California.
The US Department of Education and the California Department of Education provided initial financing for USA Learns. The Sacramento County Office of Education owns and operates the website. There are 4 English courses targeted to the learner’s proficiency, from beginner (no speaky) to a strong intermediate (Practice English & Reading).
They also offer a US Citizenship English course to prepare you for the naturalization interview. There’s even a Skills for the Nursing Assistant course that “teaches the language and academic skills to help adult learners successfully communicate with patients and co-workers on the job.” Some of the best English courses online to take for free.
Provider: USA Learn | Duration: 6 Weeks | Training: 7-10 hours/week
Certification: Saïd Business School. CPD Certification
15. English for Journalists – Part 1 and Part 2 – Berkeley, edX
English for Journalists offers instruction in English language development for students studying journalism or actual journalists who want to improve their English proficiency. Students with a basic understanding and interest in journalism are encouraged to sign up.
In this communication course, you will learn about key topics essential to journalists working around the world. Course one covers the job of the journalist, ethics, inclusive journalism, local vs. global journalism, and citizen journalism.
In course two, you will study free speech and freedom of the press, sports writing and broadcast, humor, and satirical news writing, understanding science and technology in journalism and media trends. These are premium English courses, but edX also offers financial aid to make their classes accessible to more learners.
Provider: Berkeley, edX | Type: 2 English courses. Part 1 and Part 2.
Duration: 6 weeks. 1-3 hours/week | Info: Free. Upgrade for certification.
16. Basic English 1 + 2 – FutureLearn
FutureLearn teamed up with Kings College in London to bring a pair of basic, four-week English courses. Course 1 is Elementary, then course 2 continues to develop you at the “Pre-Intermediate” level. In the Elementary course, you will learn what to say when meeting new people, how to introduce yourself in English and improve your conversation skills.
You will work on your speaking, reading, and listening skills. They give you lots of chances to listen to people speaking English in a variety of circumstances and take quizzes to test your understanding. The Pre-Intermediate course will help you improve your listening skills and expand your use of English in a wider range of circumstances.
Learners can also listen to native English speakers in various scenarios and practice by writing brief responses to simple discussion questions. These are some of the best English courses online for beginners aiming to reach an intermediate level afterward.
Entrepreneurship Courses: 5 | Duration: 10 weeks | Credit: Yes.
Level: Intermediates | Price: $39/month. Free trial.
How to Choose the Best English Courses Online
Here are the top five things to consider when researching for or selecting the best English courses online. You may have different questions and interests on top of these.
What level are you at? English courses that offer a test or assessment at the start are a great option for people who are still somewhere around the beginner level. You may know more (or less) than you think you know. The tests will help you clear that up so you can narrow down the huge selection of available English courses online.
Do you prefer human tutors or self-guided English courses? Note that synchronous classes involving living, breathing instructors will cost more than self-guided ones. You might even consider pairing a daily virtual program with sessions on a live tutoring platform. If they allow you to pay for individual one-on-one tutoring sessions, then you can have them once a week to help consolidate what you learned by studying independently.
Why do you want to improve your English skills? There are English courses online for a variety of different learners. You can find courses on English for travelers, business English, slang, and more. What are your goals and purposes?
How much time can you commit to a program? While you compare options, find out the time commitment each English course you are considering will demand. Some tell you how long the class is in weeks. In this case, you can dig a little deeper and find out how many hours per week they expect you to spend on learning.
Which dialect do you need to learn? If your job has transferred you to Bristol, you should seek out programs teaching British English. On the other hand, you need an American English course to get you conversational if you are moving to Boston. Bear in mind that there are numerous dialects, and find out which one will serve you best for your circumstances before you commit to any number of English courses online.
Best English Courses Online 2022 – Review Verdict
Wrapping up our review of the best English courses online. For such a widely used language, English is certainly more challenging to learn than many others. With all the exceptions to the rules, idioms, homophones, and stress rules, it can baffle even the most brilliant learner.
Nevertheless, improving your English language skills is always a wise endeavor. Thankfully, the range of English courses online for this purpose is a buyers’ market. Options abound, both free and premium, for every level and myriad purposes.
There are a few online English courses that command higher prices, but you can usually take advantage of a free trial period before locking into anything. At the end of the day, your success in becoming a better English speaker really comes down to your own commitment level. You have everything you could need to succeed at your fingertips. You just need to put in the work.
Best English Courses Online 2022
- Improve Your English Communication Skills – Georgia Tech, Coursera
- British Council English Courses Online + Tutoring
- Udemy English Courses Online
- English Grammar Pro: Beginner to Advanced – Skillshare
- The Complete English Language Course – Udemy
- Pimsleur English Courses Online
- RocketLanguages English Courses Online
- Rosetta Stone – Learn English
- Lingoda English Courses Online + Tutoring
- Learn English: Intermediate Grammar Specialization, UCI, Coursera
- English Grammar Launch – Udemy
- English for Beginners: Intensive Spoken English Courses – Udemy
- Business English Communication Skills – University of Washington, Coursera
- USA Learns – Free English Courses Online
- English for Journalists – Berkeley, edX
- Basic English 1 + 2 – FutureLearn
Other English Language Schools
- Converse International School of Languages, San Diego
- Berkeley English Academy, California
- Kaplan International English
- Kings Education, Boston, Los Angeles
- Boston School of English
- LSI Language Studies International
- EC English, New York
- The Language Academy TLA, Fort Lauderdale
- Language On, Miami
- FLS Boston Commons
- Michigan State University ELC
- Rice University ESL Program
- Amercian English Language School, Los Angeles
- New York English Academy
Other Best English Courses Online & Resources
Check out our list of best language learning apps.
Learn English Pronunciation with Lucy
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English Language Academy
British Council – Learn English. View.
Learn English – BBC
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Fluent in 3 Month
English Courses Benefits: Better English, More Opportunities
Around 1.5 billion people, or roughly 20% of the world's population, speak English as a first or second language. That means that the likelihood that you will need to use the language in business, either as a career-builder or an entrepreneur, is very high.
Beyond that, expanding and deepening your lexicon will allow you access to and afford you a deeper understanding of the wide world of English-language entertainment. You will unlock volumes of classic literature, higher-level educational opportunities, and the world’s largest film industry.
This has the potential to bring you greater satisfaction in general. You will also get more social leverage as you amass more fodder for discourse with those who could help you get to the next rung on the ladder you’re climbing.
What are the best English courses online? What is your learning experience? Can you recommend any online English classes or 1:1 online tutoring? Feel free to use the comments below.
Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to some providers of English courses online. courselounge may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. It does not add any extra costs. All reviews, opinions, descriptions and comparisons expressed here are our own.