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Top-Rated Websites that Give FREE ESL Courses Online

Updated on September 24, 2012
Save the bucks with free English online courses.
Save the bucks with free English online courses. | Source

ESL courses online grow in leaps and bounds on the internet. A good portion of them is for a fee but some are for free.

Yes, there are free ESL courses online that otherwise cost hundreds of dollars when accessed through for-profit ESL online schools.

What’s the catch? Honestly, none at all – believe it or not.

  • These ESL courses online are made by people who are highly proficient in reading, writing, speaking and listening in the English language.
  • They are passionate about English and are willing to share what they know about it.
  • They care little about profits and put premium on helping non-native English speakers understand English as a Second Language.
  • They would like to communicate with people from around the world and help others do the same by teaching them a common language for international communications – English.
  • They would like to tear down the language barrier that divides people and hinders helpful communication among many nationalities of the world.

Below are the top 10 websites that offer free ESL courses online. There are hundreds more on the internet that students of English as a Second Language can stumble upon with little effort of researching online.

1. BBC Learning English

Offering ESL courses online related to business English, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, BBC Learning English is a free website that native English speakers put together for BBC, a leading British media company with considerable worldwide presence.

BBC Learning English gives free ESL courses online for students and teachers alike.

For teachers, the site gives out free lesson plans, worksheets, teaching ideas, and videos for teaching English as a Second Language.

These freebies are aimed at helping teachers effectively coach students on grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening, speaking, writing, and using English for business transactions.

For students, the site gives out free quizzes that could help them brush up on their phrases, verbs, idioms, and skills needed to use English as a Second Language effectively.

Both teachers and students can also download PDF and MP3 files that are chock-full in English lessons. They can also join a global community of learners studying ESL courses online at BBC Learning English.

2. Better @ English

Giving quick, simple, and helpful ESL courses online is Better @ English, a site with a handful of short and fun podcasts aimed at learners of English as a Second Language who are either very busy or who just hate traditional, boring, and drawn out English lessons.

Better @ English has a gamut of ESL courses online – from the customary business English, vocabulary, and grammar to the unusual vulgar language, weird words and expressions, slang, and idioms.

It also differentiates between American and British English and tells learners about the best possible ways to learn ESL courses online.

Better at English is most popular for its two-minute English lessons, real conversations in the English language, and videocasts.

3. Business English Pod

While many sites offering free ESL courses online try to cover as many topics in a very wide area of study that is English as a Second Language, Business English Pod focuses on a niche and it does so quite effectively.

Business English Pod fixes on business English lessons through its weekly MP3 podcasts as well as audio and e-book courses.

The ESL courses online at Business English Pod zero in on specific business situations like meetings, presentations, and negotiations, as well as aim to boost certain language functions like persuasion, stating of opinions, and clarifications.

These ESL courses online are suitable to learners in the intermediate and advanced levels of English proficiency.

4. ESL Pod

With over 100 free ESL courses online designed, created and distributed by veteran ESL teachers with doctorate degrees, ESL Pod is an online classroom of myriad of English as a Second Language lessons.

Dr. Lucy Tse and Dr. Jeff McQuillan, the site’s creators, take a different tack in helping people learn English the fast way.

Instead of giving out long reading materials, they let learners listen to conversations and discussions recorded at a moderate speed. After that, they explain to learners certain phrases and expressions used in the conversations and discussions that might be difficult to understand.

These types of ESL courses online at ESL Pod are said to ease the otherwise hard way of developing solid listening skills among non-native English speakers.

5. Speaking English Podcast

A good resource for ESL courses online focused on pronunciation and vocabulary is Speaking English Podcast, where Sebastian Keil dishes out podcasts on how to correctly enunciate sounds in the English language.

He does this by picking out some tricky words and discussing how their sounds should be pronounced.

Some of these words are chip, sheep, cheap, ship; fill, feel, fuel; wipe, vibe; sheet, shit; muscle, mussel; stuff, staff; and a host of other words that are a pain for non-native English speakers to say.

Others sites with absolutely giving creators and top-rate free ESL courses online include:

Grammar Girl

This site has plenty of short and easy-to-understand tips on how to improve English writing skills. The tips focus on grammar, writing style and tone, as well as punctuation.

English through Stories

Gives free ESL courses online through stories that are meant to be listened to or read aloud. The stories are for making the speaking skills of intermediate and advanced learners so much better than before.

ESL Business News

A listing of courses that concentrates on financial, business, and economic news that are supposed to be read in a slow pace can be found here. The ESL courses online in this site can be read as scripts or downloaded as MP3 files.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

On Learning English


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    • divakar3368 profile image


      3 years ago from Maldives

      great ! I am sure it will be helpful for many people.

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @ajayshah2005 Hello! Oh I'm just so glad you found it useful :)

    • ajayshah2005 profile image


      6 years ago from Mid Asia

      Very useful hub!

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @smcopywrite Hi! You're welcome. Hope people would find this hub useful :)

    • smcopywrite profile image


      7 years ago from all over the web

      this is wonderful information and i am sure the sites get a lot of traffic. thanks for sharing

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @nomadicasian Thanks for stopping by my hub. Hope these sites help you learn English really quickly :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a useful topic for me who is still in the learning stage of getting my English perfect.Great indeed.

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @prasetio30 Hello! I have to agree. We have to learn ESL as much as we can and bridge cultural divide. Down with the language barrier :)

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This was valuable information for us who talk English as the second language. I should learn and learn to improve my English skill. Never say too late for learning. I'll bookmark this information. VOTE up!


    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @anasshad Thanks for your message. I'm sure you'll find these sites extremely useful. I did. You may also want to share these sites with some of your friends who are learning English as a Second Language.

    • anasshad profile image

      Anas Shad 

      7 years ago from Pakistan

      Great tips. I agree that english has become a truely necessary communication tool to survive in the modern world. These sites are really helpful. I am definitely gonna try them out. Well done!

      Anas Shad


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