Learning English as a secondary language is challenging, especially if you do not have the resources. Despite its importance to create a common ground for connections and communications, not everyone can afford to enroll in an English class. Fortunately, the internet offers comprehensive content of almost everything, and you can take advantage of these to learn.
In this article, we will check out several ways you can learn English for free! Yes, that’s right. You don’t have to spend large amounts of money when learning a new language. We have gathered several methods that you can do to improve your English skills further. Most of these are even probably the things you already do in your leisure time, so stay tuned and read on!
7 Ways To Learn The English Language
To jumpstart your way into getting a better grasp of the language, these are some of our recommended methods that you can try:
1. Listening To Podcasts
Podcasts are one of the most popular sources of entertainment and information sources for millions of internet users. Listening to a host or your favorite celebrity talk in-depth about a topic you enjoy is a great way to start or end the day. Did you know that listening to podcasts can improve your understanding of the English language? Moreover, it’s a great activity to substitute during your work or school commute.
According to studies, listening is a significant factor in language learning. It creates an attachment of meaning to the sound, making it more active than just plain reading. It also conveys the speaker’s intention, making it easier to process the input and comprehend the words involved.
Some podcasts tackle and teach the rules and basics of English. You can easily find them on different platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, websites, and more. However, you don’t have to always listen to English teaching podcasts alone.
With the sheer volume of podcasts, it can often be difficult to sort through the noise. Hence, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve compiled a curated list of the best podcasts to help you learn English. You’ll find 30+ podcasts in the list that will help you learn English, improve your vocabulary,etc.
2. Learn from YouTube Videos
You are probably already on YouTube each week as a source of entertainment. As an English language learner, watching YouTube videos can also help you improve your vocabulary. Whatever YouTube video or genre of movie you watch, there is always something that you can get from them. Even though it may not be your first language, the speaker on the video can deliver the message through tones and convictions. It allows you as the viewer to understand the meaning of the words used.
An Oxford University study from 2018 shows evidence that watching YouTube videos promotes better recall and understanding of the targeted words’ usage and grammatical functions in the sentence. Viewers tend to recognize better the vocabulary meanings based on how the speaker used them in the dialogue. You can also learn the different accents of the speaker based on the place they came from and how there are different versions of the same meaning in other countries.
YouTube is a comprehensive platform that contains millions of videos, and it is impossible not to be able to find at least one that sparks your interest. Aside from practicing your English, you can also learn many things about almost anything in the world.
Some channels focus on teaching expanded English language basics to help non-native speakers get a better hand at it. You can choose from grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, culture, and more! It still depends on what you want to learn and how you want to progress. YouTube also has a feature of creating a personalized playlist where you can save your favorite English learning videos, so you won’t bother searching for them one by one every time.
For a curated list of YouTube channels that can help you learn English for free, check out this curated list of the best YouTube channels. Here, you’ll find a list of 35+ YouTube channels, that can learn from.
3. Joining Forums & Online Communities
Learning the basics of English on your own can be difficult at times, which is why forums and online communities are created. Many people in the world, just like you, want to learn how to speak English. If you struggle with a specific word or topic, you can discuss it with others on these forums.
Aside from the continuous learning, joining online communities also allows you to practice and use the words you learned from previous materials in actual conversations. By joining a discussion, you can tackle different cultures, literature, news, and more.
These gatherings also create a place where you can find other resources that can be helpful in your progression. Some people post exams to help them check their English language proficiency, while some post useful websites and notes that you can use for your benefit.
You can check out some of these active forums that specifically host English learners all around the world.
The great thing about this site is its various forums that tackle the different interests of each learner. One example is the forum dedicated to specific apps that can help improve English language skills. You can quickly join them and read the discussion to find out what you think works best for you. If you have great ideas, you can also put them on the chat and let others get inspired by your concepts and suggestions.
There is also a translation where you can enter a text you are struggling with and let the other members help you tackle its meanings and use it in actual discussions.
The EnglishClub Forum provides resources for students aside from group chats. The resources allow the learners to get a deeper grasp of the English culture and other topics that might get their attention.
Some talk about traveling, sports, books, entertainment, hobbies, and more! You can even create a new forum about a topic you want to talk about and wait for others to join and have a great discussion.
You can also listen to some stories on the site provided by different contributors to practice learning while listening.
This site is a Q and A community where the users can ask questions and wait for someone else to answer. It is an excellent tool for beginner English learners because they can easily ask about the topics that confuse them.
It also features forums about different topics where the user can enter and join the discussion. They also have word plays and other games that will challenge your proficiency in the language.
Aside from that, they are also a feature where they can connect teachers to students directly. You can access lessons on accents, vocabulary, pronunciation, and more!
eslHQ forums mainly focus on topics related to studying and teaching English as a second language. There are free flashcards available on the site that discuss English grammar and how to use the language when traveling to other countries.
This is beneficial for people planning to move to another country where English is the native language to communicate well with the locals.
If you are confused with similar-looking words and slang in the English language, this forum is for you. It is beginner-friendly and offers a wide variety of topics that clarifies common language mistakes.
Confused with They, They’re, and Their? Baffled by passive and active voices? They got you covered! Their lessons are short and easy to follow. They also provide a brief quiz at the end of the classes to practice what you have just learned.
In WordReference.com, there is a wide range of languages that you can learn, including English. The members can discuss different usage of words, pronunciation, and other aspects such as terminologies.
The site also has translation forums, such as Spanish-English vocabulary, and this will be helpful for people who have Spanish as their mother tongue.
Like other forums, the Free Dictionary English Language Forum is a space to converse about English grammar, syntax, and vocabulary words. Some sub-forums are dedicated to specific topics, such as politics, philosophy, literature, culture, and more.
The forum also shows the word of the day and has features where members can play educational games for better understanding.
4. Learn from Free English-learning Websites
If you want to practice your English skills, browsing through several sites will be a good thing to do.
You can start by reading blogs about your hobbies and interests. Through this, you can also meet several people who want the same things as you. Nothing is more fun than studying while enjoying what you do. You can also learn more to improve your current skills other than the English language, so it is worth the try.
You can also attempt taking simple quizzes about the basics of English, such as the usage of words and their meanings. There are a million sites to choose from, so it is impossible not to see even one that will help you better recall the things you learned. Some sites even offer customizable flashcards and quizzes, and you can try to create one that suits your current knowledge to improve further.
Another thing most people do on the internet is to read and write stories. You can find sites that focus on these aspects and give the users the freedom to express their creativity. If you love reading, you can try and find a story that captures your preferred genre and practice your knowledge with the English words.
For beginners, it’s best to choose websites that provide educational English learning programs and resources first before you start digging more into the internet. On these sites, you can work on your literacy skills and see other places to go to recommended web pages and practice more. Learning is a process, and you will eventually see an improvement in your English understanding if you practice it on its actual use and conversations.
We’ve compiled a curated list of the best websites to learn English.
5. Free English Online Courses
If you want to get more professional learning of the English language, you can try free English Online Courses. Many websites offer free courses, and they can help you have a specific lineup of the topic to follow over the progression of the subject.
The great thing about them is that it doesn’t require traveling to a school and you can do it freely in the comfort of your home. Classes can be done through meeting apps such as Zoom, Google Hangout, and Skype. If you prefer modular learning, you can also find some reliable and easy to follow on your own.
Many people prefer taking online English courses because of their availability for playback that you can check out anytime, anywhere. It won’t affect much of your daily routine because you can study for it whenever you can without too much pressure.
These courses even provide certifications that you can use when applying for jobs, but it is mainly for advanced-level learners.
These are some of the great websites where you can take quality English courses:
Alison started operating in 2007 and has since been a trusted site to take credible and recognized courses in several fields. It usually focuses on the improvement of work skills for job applications and promotions. However, you can also find great English courses on the site that will help you improve in the language.
There are also several levels that you can choose from. If you think you are well-versed with the language enough, you can take courses for intermediate to advanced levels. For beginners, it is best to take introductory courses first.
MOOEC stands for Massive Open Online English Course, and the site is specifically for English learners only. They have course offerings for different levels, and you can choose one that suits you best.
If you are new to online courses, MOOEC is an excellent place to start. Depending on how fast you process the tasks, they have short lessons that you can finish within a day or two. Keep in mind that this company is based in Australia, so there might be differences in spelling and word usage between American and British English.
EdX is a popular course website due to its affiliations with Harvard and MIT, two of the most well-recognized and expensive universities in all of America. The site has many college-level courses that you can take if you believe that your English is advanced enough. Most of the classes are taught by actual professors from known universities.
The outstanding feature of edX is that you can get college credits from some of the classes. Of course, getting the certification is not free, but it is relatively cheaper than getting an actual education from top schools.
The English learning classes you take from this site are widely credible and can be used on CVs and resumes if you apply for a new job. Also, the reliability of the lessons and professors will ensure the quality of education you are getting.
You can also try to engage your local libraries and find out if they have English course offerings. Most libraries have programs that help people learn new languages, and they can be free as long as you are a citizen of that state or city.
6. English Learning Apps
Almost everyone today has a phone. It is more of a need than a luxury these days. If you can, you can try downloading English Learning apps and practice now and then. You will be surprised by the abundance of applications that offer English learning and translations for free. Most of them are also easy to use because the lessons and words are already listed on the app’s front page.
You can also look for reading apps to download stories and open eBooks of your favorite classic novels. You also have to pay for anything because you can find most of these resources for free. Go to the application store, search the apps you want to learn English on, and pick the ones you prefer.
If you want to focus more on writing, there are some available for that as well. Other English learning apps allow the user to write the answers for the activities to help them improve their recognition of the words. Writing also makes it easier to remember spellings and meanings.
For educational apps, some offer multilingual courses to guide you on word usage. You can try in-app quizzes and exams to test your knowledge and see how much you have progressed.
7. Practice Various English Language Tests
After you’ve learned many things from the English language, participating in several English language proficiency tests will bring some challenges to the table. This will help you determine which aspects you find difficult the most and work on that later for better results. Do not feel discouraged if you get a low score on the first tries. You can always retake it and see for further improvements.
You can find official tests on the internet from well-known universities and websites that provide certifications, but it would be best to try online tests first. Many websites offer them for free so you won’t be left without options.
Using practice tests lets you find out what you need to improve and see the correct answers to the questions that confuse you the most. It is also mostly not moderated, so you don’t have to worry about being graded if you are thinking about that. Most/all of the practice tests are free.
You can also choose your preferred difficulty, and it usually consists of several parts that focus on grammar, pronunciation, word usage, meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and more.
Becoming proficient and fluent in English doesn’t always have to be an expensive process. . Some of your current favorite activities can help you develop a better understanding of the words and disciplines of the language. And for free. All it takes is time, effort, and motivation to learn and master English.
We’ve shared a few ideas above for learning English for free. What’s been the best method that has worked for you? Did we miss any other method that could be useful for English learners like you? Let us know in the comments below.