Best Free English Lessons Online

English lessons and English podcasts to help you learn the language

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Many of these free online English lessons and podcasts let you sift through them to start learning at any skill level or over any topic, such as grammar or pronunciation. Others will take you step-by-step through the process of learning English if it's a completely new language to you.

Levels range from beginners to advanced, which means they're useful for speakers who are relatively new to the language, teachers who are educating their students, and native speakers who just need to brush up on the different speaking and writing rules.

In addition to what you find below are plenty of free language learning apps and free language learning websites that you can download to your mobile device or open on your computer for an easy way to access English lessons from home or while you're out and about. Participating in a language exchange is also an excellent way to learn English, as is using a translation website.

Learn English With Free Online Courses

Use several of these online English lessons to get the most out of them. You can learn everything from common phrases and words to verbs, pronouns, and grammar.

free English lessons at talkenglish.com
  • Learn English Online - Sectioned off into a dozen units, over 50 very detailed, free English lessons and videos can be found here. You start off learning the very basics with the alphabet and numbers, but can move through to any lesson you want at any time you like, such as to learn adjectives and grammar.
  • Busuu - This is a very intuitive language learning site that's easy to use, and I find it pretty effective. It walks you through various lessons in beginner, elementary, and intermediate skill levels to teach you English with pictures, text, and sounds.
  • U.S.A. Learns - There are several English language learning lessons at U.S.A. Learns, and you can start with any one of them that you like. There's a U.S. Citizenship course and others called 1st English, English 1, 2nd English, and Practice English and Reading.
  • Learn American English Online - The English lessons here are organized by skill level and designed to have you learn something new every day, and tests are available at the end of lessons. An entire section of Learn American English Online is dedicated to videos, and another for vocabulary, which puts common words into sentences to help you learn their meaning with context and images.
  • EnglishClass101.com - This is a very easy and crisp website to use. Choose a skill level to start off with to get access to audio files and full transcripts, videos, and lots of other free resources for learning key phrases, pronunciation, the alphabet, common words, verbs, grammar, and more. When you create your account, you can also sign up for Word of the Day emails for a quick way to learn new words every single day.
  • TalkEnglish.com - English lessons at TalkEnglish.com are categorized in different sections to focus you on certain concepts, such as speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. The speaking lessons have you listen and repeat sentences, whereas the listening section has you listen to a short story and then answer questions about it.
  • Ego4u.com - Use this website for a reference, where you can quickly find examples on how to work with verbs, pronouns, brackets, tenses, dates, commas, and more. Several tests are also available.
  • ESOL Courses - Lots of games, lessons, and quizzes to learn various English concepts. You can browse them by skill level and alphabetically.
  • Duolingo - Choose your language and then pick English for English lessons at Duolingo. Step-by-step teaching walks you through various subjects, and you can sign up for daily goals to ensure you're learning at the speed you specify.
  • American English Speak - There aren't many lessons here, but they're useful in learning English because they're a bit different than some of the other ones you'll find in this list. You'll get an overview of what you'll learn, and then have to work through interactive lessons to learn.
  • Film English - Film English is best used from a teacher's perspective. It uses short films to help you teach English instead of showing just words and phrases like most English lessons. The purpose of these videos are to encourage the understanding of the concepts portrayed in each film. An instructional PDF file accompanies every video.
  • Dictionary.com Word of the Day - Visit this page to learn a new English word every day of the week. You can listen to the word to understand the pronunciation, see its definition, read it in a sentence, and see its origin. You can also subscribe to daily email alerts and see the words from past days.

Learn English Through Podcasts

Getting English lessons through a podcast can be beneficial over text-only material because you don't need to sit in front of a computer to learn. You can subscribe to the episodes via iTunes or another podcasting service, and then listen while away from your computer.

Some of these podcasts are good for beginners while others are helpful even for the fluent English speakers who simply need to improve their pronunciation or word flow.

Grammar Girl podcast episodes
  • Grammar Girl Podcast - This English podcast is updated regularly to deliver grammar, punctuation, style, and other writing tips to help you improve your English writing. Visit the Grammar Girl website for other ways to listen, like through Google Podcasts and Spotify.
  • American English Pronunciation Podcast - Hundreds of episodes teach you everything you need to know about pronouncing common and difficult English words. Some of the podcasts can be followed along in a transcript, found on Pronuncian.com.
  • English as a Second Language Podcast - Subscribe to this English podcast to improve your listening and speaking skills. Though the reader speaks slowly and uses common words, it shouldn't be used for novice English speakers. There are several free episodes in this podcast, and more available for a cost. They can also be streamed from their website ESLPOD.com if you'd rather not use iTunes.
  • Basic Conversations Podcast - This English podcast simply has 10 short episodes that give examples of simple conversations in English. You can follow along with text and download the audio files at ELTPodcast.com.
  • Effortless English Podcast - This podcast is spoken by a very clear and clean voice, and he gives tips on how to improve your spoken English. New episodes are released often and there are hundreds of existing ones.
  • Business English Pod - To help you with your English when it comes to a business setting, this podcast, which updates frequently, will immerse you in conversations about travel, interviews, presentations, and more to help you get a feel for how you should speak. The makers of this English podcast have another one called Business English Vocabulary, updated less often, that teaches you advanced English for business use.
  • Better at English Podcast - This is another conversational English podcast that's built so you can hear two speakers having real conversations to help you better understand the language. There's informal vocabulary, slang, and other common words you'll hear in everyday conversation. This podcast has dozens of episodes but ended in 2017. However, they still have full transcripts on their website at BetterAt English.com so you can follow along.
  • Tu Ingles! Podcast - This English podcast is used for teaching Spanish speakers how to improve their English. There are 85 episodes that cover everything from idioms and verb conjugation to interviews and speeches to show how the English words are spoken.
  • Speak English Now - This podcast has a few new episodes every month with several dozen already available for streaming. These quick English lessons help you learn pronunciation and vocabulary, as well as memory techniques to remember what you learn. There are several ways to subscribe, like through SoundCloud, TuneIn, iTunes, and Overcast.