7 best websites to learn English
Interested in learning another language but don’t know where to start? With the rise of new technologies, learning a language online has never been easier. Whether you want to develop your language skills for university, work or just for your own enjoyment, the internet has countless ways for you to learn. If you’re ready to improve your English, here are seven of the best ways to learn digitally.
Portable, colourful and engaging, the Duolingo app has millions of users worldwide. Duolingo can be accessed from your computer or your phone and features short activities which get increasingly more difficult as you progress to higher levels. These short lessons allow you learn whenever you have free time, so you can fit your learning around your daily life. With lessons based on listening, speaking, reading and writing, you can get a well-rounded education from Duo, the Duolingo owl.
Despite being fun and accessible, the downside of Duolingo is the lack of human interaction. You are graded by a computer and there is no feedback provided to its users. If you’re looking for a more personalised and supportive way to learn, this app may not be for you.
Study Group Digital Learning
If you want to develop your English language skills in order to study abroad at a UK university, then Study Group Digital Learning is a great option. Designed specifically for students who want to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at a university in the UK and need to improve their English language and academic skills, this programme develops your language skills and subject knowledge in order to progress to your chosen degree.
Taught digitally and accessible from wherever you are in the world, you can study a university pathway programme with built-in Academic English Skills modules designed specifically to prepare you for degree study. Programmes are taught by qualified teachers, experienced in international education. You will study online in classes with other international students, enjoying a truly social aspect to your learning and giving you even more opportunities to practice your English outside of lessons.
Study Group Digital Learning programmes lead to undergraduate and postgraduate progression opportunities at a range of UK universities, so you can continue your language learning adventure in-person. With tutors providing you with personalised feedback, you’ll be able to progress in any specific areas you struggle with. With such a structured learning plan and feedback opportunities, this programme is a great choice for ambitious students with a clear goal to study at a UK university in mind.
We all know that we’re more likely to pay attention and learn something new if we’re genuinely interested in the subject matter and TED allows you to develop your language based around the topics that interest you the most. Browse the website for talks about the things you’re passionate about, filter the language by English, and choose your video. You can watch with subtitles to read and listen at the same time, developing two skills at once and helping your comprehension.
As fun as TED talks are, their primary goal isn’t to be a language learning tool. This makes TED a great tool to learn English online, but we don’t recommend this be the only method you use.
Busuu is another portable, bite-sized language learning app which focuses on short lessons designed for you to fit language learning around your daily life. What makes Busuu different from other apps is that you can connect with native speakers across the globe to access personalised feedback. This means you can connect with a user from an English-speaking country who can help you with your studies. The socialisation aspects of this app make it a great tool for aiding your language learning.
The British Council help English learners all over the world, both online and in-person. Their online offering is called LearnEnglish and allows you to access high-quality language learning resources designed specifically for adult learners. Offering group lessons, self-study or personal tutoring options, you can choose a method which matches your preferred learning style.
You can choose between learning general or business English, so you can develop the specific vocabulary relevant to your life and interests.
BBC Learning English
The BBC is one of the most iconic British institutions, famous throughout the world. Their Learning English initiative has been running since 1943 and is now available online. You can access full English learning courses or focus specifically on areas you struggle with such as grammar, pronunciation or vocabulary. Through written articles, podcasts and videos, you can keep learning interesting and choose whatever you’re in the mood for.
Another website for English learning is Coursera. This website offers online courses in a range of subject areas, with English just one of them. Courses here are provided by different institutions across the word, using Coursera to host them. This means you can study a variety of different English language courses from universities that interest you. A benefit of this is that if you’re interested in learning a specific type of English, such as American or Australian English, you can choose an institution from one of these countries.
Choosing the right course for you
When choosing an app, website or pathway programme to improve your English speaking, you should think about the ways you learn best. Do you prefer long, structured courses you can dedicate time to? Or do you learn better with short, digestible lessons you can easily fit into your daily routine? You may also have a particular area of your language skills you wish to develop; maybe you need help with pronunciation and speaking or want to focus more on grammar? Once you’ve realised the aspects of language learning which are most important to you, as well as how you learn best, you can choose the best website for you.
You should also consider what your goal is. If you’re aiming to study at an English-speaking university, you will have to meet certain entry requirements to begin your degree. If you’re serious about improving your English to this level, a more traditionally structured programme may be for you.
You may also have a particular area of your language skills you wish to develop; maybe you need help with pronunciation and speaking or want to focus more on grammar?
You should also think about how you learn best. Some people prefer long, structured courses they can dedicate time to, whereas others learn better with short, digestible lessons they can easily fit into your daily routine. Once you’ve decided on your goals, the aspects of language learning which are most important to you and how you learn best, you can choose the best website for you.
Frequently asked questions
How can I improve my English skills online?
The best way to improve your English skills online is by finding a learning method that works well for you. Do you prefer structured courses with teachers and feedback? Or would you rather learn casually through absorbing media and short, digestible lessons? Once you’ve figured this out, you can research the best websites to learn English for you.
Why is my English not improving?
The best way to see improvements in your English is to create a learning schedule or routine and stick to it. By dedicating a set amount of time to study English every day, you are giving yourself the time to improve. If you start to miss sessions, you won’t retain what you learn and you won’t see improvements.
How can I learn English every day?
The easiest way to find time to learn English every day is to choose a learning style that fits your daily routine. If you prefer self-guided learning, apps and casual learning may be the right choice for you. However, if you know you need more structure and the support of teachers, a digital course may work better for you. Once you have identified how to incorporate learning English online into your daily routine, you will begin to develop your skills.