Whether you’re looking to travel to the U.S. to study or simply hoping to improve your English speaking skills, there are lots of different ways to practice what you need to know online. In fact, the Internet may provide the best language learning opportunities available for students. There are a number of websites that offer free courses, tutorials, games, and other resources that make learning fun and easy. Here are 15 free language learning sites that would be helpful to anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the English language:
Livemocha – Livemocha is the world’s first online social language learning site. Visitors who want to learn English can take free self-study lessons and partner with other people around the world who already speak English or are trying to learn the language themselves. Livemocha also offers video and audio downloads, extra help from knowledgeable tutors, and useful tips from native English speakers.
VerbaLearn – Anyone wishing to learn or improve their English vocabulary, will enjoy VerbaLearn. This interactive site allows students to use several different study methods so that they can customize the way they learn. The free version of VerbaLearn provides vocabulary builders, mp3 study lists, RSS vocabulary lists, and much more.
1-Language.com – Listening is sometimes the best way to learn English and other languages. Students who are trying to learn English as a second language will benefit from the free audio tutorial found at 1-Language.com. The tutorial includes 40 audio lessons that focus on practical conversations and the type of academic language students can expect to encounter at U.S. universities.
BBC – BBC’s language learning website is an excellent place to learn a variety of different languages, including English. The site offers free audio and video courses that can be taken online as well as newsletters, language tips, and other study materials.
Using English.com – This site provides a large collection of free language learning resources for students who are trying to learn English as a second language. The most useful resources include a language reference guide, an English glossary, ESL tests and quizzes, worksheets, English usage articles, and an ESL discussion forum. Students who are having difficulty with the language can also use the “Ask an English Teacher” feature to get answers to their questions.
About.com – The About.com Guide to English as a Second Language offers a free eight-lesson course to help students learn English as a second language. The course is delivered via email and includes links to additional learning resources as well as a community forum for students to discuss what they have learned.
Learn English Online – For those with little or no English skills, Learn English Online offers an 11-unit course that covers the basics of the English language. Each unit includes multiple lessons–more than 50 free lessons in all.
Word2Word – Word2Word is a free online language directory with links to free language courses, online dictionaries and translators, language learning on YouTube, language chat sites, and other language learning materials.
Transparent Language – Transparent Language sells language learning software, but they also provide free resources to help self-learners build vocabulary in more than 100 different languages. Free resources include games, articles, and downloads.
EnglishClub – The EnglishClub is an all inclusive free site to help you learn or teach English. With videos, lesson, games, chat, and more, this site is a good place to learn and practice English as a second language.
Italki – This online global language community uses web 2.0 concepts to help people learn English and other languages. Italki offers global partners, lessons, video, audio, and other study materials to assist in language learning.
A4esl.org – A4esl.org offers activities in English or in a bilingual format in an attempt to aid learners of all levels. Activities include grammar quizzes, vocabulary quizzes, bilingual quizzes, crossword puzzles, and ESL podcasts.
DigitalDialects – This useful site provides interactive games to help students learn many languages, including English, for free. DigitalDialects also offers games for learning geography as well as links to other free online study materials and language activities.
Radio Lingua Network – Radio Lingua Network offers free audio lessons that teach over 20 different languages, including English. Students can download the lessons and play them on their computer or mp3 player.
Vocabulix – Vocabulix offers the opportunity for language learners to build their English, French, and Spanish vocabulary through vocabulary builders, verb drills, and bilingual dictionaries. This free language learning site also offers 90 pre-defined vocabulary lessons.
Karen Schweitzer is an education writer who specializes in writing about business education. She is the Business School Guide for About.com. She also writes for OnlineCourses.org, a site that offers information on the best college courses.