Best Online Courses for Learning English — A Look at More Than 35 of Them

Undoubtedly one of the most practical languages one can learn from a global perspective, English is used just about everywhere in one form or another. Tourism, business, education, media… it’s everywhere.

The world’s number of English learners is massive, and this has given way to the production of a huge number of viable resources for learning English online. For beginners and those looking to get well-rounded practice in a variety of English skills, online courses are often the best way to go.

In this post, we’ll look at over 35 of these online courses for English learners. The “Top Tier” category contains our favorites, and we’ve listed the others roughly in order of how fond we are of them. While we have tested a ton of the courses ourselves, others we haven’t yet had the chance to try, so we made our best guess based on the information we could find regarding where to place them.

This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but it should help you narrow down your search or give you a good place to start.

Top Tier

BabbelPimsleur, Language Transfer, Memrise, Magoosh, Cambly, Duolingo

2nd Tier

Lingodeer, Busuu, BBC Learning English, Lingoda, Chatterbug, Rocket English, ABA English, ESLPod, Perfectly Spoken, Alison, Learn English Network, mmmEnglish, Live Lingua, English Central

3rd Tier

Hello English, Glossika, EdX, Coursera, Udemy, MOOEC, Mango Languages, Living Language, uTalk, USA Learns, ESOL Courses, engVid

Stay Clear

Transparent Language, Language101, Mondly, Rosetta Stone (more…)

The 29 Best Apps for Learning English in 2020

Coming out just ahead of Mandarin Chinese, English is the most widely-spoken language in the world. It’s become a lingua franca in many places for tourism and business, and learning the language can pave the way to a mountain of personal and professional opportunities.

Given its popularity, it’s no surprise that there is almost an endless number of ways to learn the language. One of the most accessible and convenient methods is through language apps.

There are so many apps catering to English learners, though, that sifting through them to find the ones that do a great job or offer just the type of practice you’re looking for can be a challenge.

We’ve tried out a ton of these language apps and have come up with this list to help learners narrow the field. The list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but we’ve tried to mention the most popular ones and those that we like the most. They’re sorted into categories by what they do best, though some could admittedly fit into more than one category.

Take your time and good luck! There are sure to be at least a few that meet your needs.


30 Best Apps To Learn Portuguese (Brazilian and European)

A lot of people underestimate the usefulness of apps for learning Portuguese, and this is understandable.

Not long ago, apps were really simple. Maybe you’d find a good phrasebook or a dictionary or some kind of game that teaches you a little bit of the language – not much else.

Fortunately, that’s changed. You can now learn just about any aspect of Portuguese with an app.

The variety in apps is huge, and so is the range of price, quality, and focus. We’ve tested out an insane number of them and have found some favorites along with some popular ones we aren’t actually fond of.

The aim of this list is to help you sort through the mountain of apps available for learning Portuguese and find one or two that work for you. We’ve loosely organized the apps based on what they do best, but some apps could really fit into more than one category.


Best for Oral Communication Skills: Pimsleur

Best Lesson Structure: Babbel

Best Interactive Course: Lingodeer

Best Free Interactive Course: Duolingo


Most Enjoyable Vocabulary Practice: Memrise

Best for Customizable Vocabulary Practice: Anki

Best for Learning Words in Context: Clozemaster


Best for Interesting Reading Material: LingQ 

Best Free Reading Extension: Readlang

Best for Side-By-Side Reading: Beelinguapp

Best for Podcast-Style Lessons: PortuguesePod101


Best for Getting Feedback on Writing: italki

Best for Getting Feedback on Pronunciation: Speechling


Best Online Tutor Platform: italki

Best for Finding a Language Exchange Partner: HelloTalk and Tandem


29 Best (And Worst) Online German Courses: We’ve Tested Them

When you begin looking for an online German course, it can quickly become overwhelming. There are so many options, but which ones are worth your time and possibly money?

While the most important thing is that you commit to studying regularly, choosing the wrong course can lead to unnecessary frustrations and sometimes wasted money.

In this article, I’ll walk you through 29 of your options. I’ll help you figure out which courses do which things right and where their weaknesses are.

Not all of them are good. In fact, several are terrible, and many others are just alright.

I wanted to be sure to include lots of options, especially ones I dislike, since you may find others enthusiastically recommending them.

I loosely organized this list into tiers based on how much I’d recommend each course.


The 30 Best (And Worst) Online Italian Courses In 2020

While it’d be great to hop on a plane to Rome and study Italian for six-months, that’s simply not an option for most people.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be in Italy to study Italian.

There are actually some online Italian courses that are as good (if not better) than any university course you’ll find. Of course, there are also those that, frankly, are pretty awful.

It can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile and which ones are junk without spending tons of time trying them all out.

Fortunately, we’ve tried out the majority of online Italian courses and have written super in-depth reviews of them.

In this post, we’ll give a rundown of all the best online Italian courses. They’re loosely organized with our favorites at the top, the okay ones in the middle, and the worst courses towards the end of the list.

Let’s get started with the best Italian course…


The 25 Best Podcasts To Learn Chinese In 2020

Improving your listening comprehension is one of the most important things you can do while learning Mandarin.

The reason is pretty obvious.

If you don’t understand what people are saying, how are you going to communicate with anyone?

Luckily, improving your listening comprehension isn’t terribly difficult if you have the right tools, and there are some excellent podcasts that can help you out.

One of the biggest hurdles when working on your listening skills is finding materials that fit your level. If you only listen to materials that are too challenging, you’ll likely get frustrated and not pick up much. On the other hand, listening to materials that are too easy won’t push you to improve as quickly as you can.

In this article we’ll look at a variety of podcasts while taking into account the levels they’re best for, though there’s quite a bit of overlap for some of the podcasts.

I’ll also share some podcasts related to language learning and China that you may find interesting. (more…)

The Best Language Courses for Learning Cantonese in 2020

Learning Cantonese can feel intimidating—but it doesn’t have to be. With the right course, you can learn everything from basic vocabulary and pronunciation to how to conduct business in Cantonese.

Here, we’re sharing which resources are excellent for learning Cantonese. Of course, we’ll also cover the courses that are decent enough—but not stellar—and the options you should probably avoid.

We’ll explain our reasoning with the pros and cons of each language course option. Ready?

Let’s get started with our top-tier choices for learning to speak Cantonese. (more…)

Best Apps for Learning Mandarin Chinese: We’ve Tried Them All

There are a ridiculous number of apps out there for learning Chinese, and, while having plenty of options is certainly a good thing, finding the ones that are best for you can seem daunting.

Hopefully, we can help with that. We’ve tested dozens of them, and have included the standout performers in this list. These are apps that will help you improve a number of language skills, and we’ve categorized them based on whether they’re best for speaking, listening, reading, or writing.

The major benefits afforded by language apps are that they’re convenient and inexpensive, often free. Since this post focuses on apps, it will leave out some great resources that simply aren’t available as apps.

General Courses Available as Apps

Best Communication Skills App: Pimsleur

Best Interactive App: HelloChinese

Best Gamified Course: Ninchanese

Best HSK Test Prep App: HSKOnline

Apps for Learning Vocabulary and Grammar

Best Dictionary App: Pleco

Best Easy-to-Use Way to Learn Vocabulary: Memrise

Best for Learning Words in Context: Clozemaster

Best Customizable Study Tool: Anki

Best for Grammar Practice: Chinese Grammar

Apps for Reading and Listening Practice

Best for Learning Chinese Characters: Outlier Linguistics

Best for Reading About Current Events: The Chairman’s Bao

Best Reading Practice for Beginners and Up: Du Chinese

Best Interactive Reading Practice: WordSwing and M Mandarin

Best Audio Lessons in a Podcast Format: ChinesePod

Apps for Speaking and Writing Practice

Best for Learning to Write Chinese Characters: Skritter and TOFU Learn

Best for Writing Feedback: italki

Best for Pronunciation Feedback: Speechling

Apps for Tutors and Language Exchange

Best for Finding an Affordable Tutor: italki

Best for Structured Lessons: TutorMing

Best for Language Exchange: HelloTalk and Tandem

Best Q&A App: HiNative


Best Apps for Learning Arabic in 2020 – We’ve Tested Dozens

It’s one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages, but it’s still considered mysterious by many for its right-to-left script and unique looking characters. Discovering Arabic and developing an understanding in it can be as rewarding as it is intimidating, and there are many ways to go about it.

We’ve already compiled a list of the best online courses for learning Arabic as well as a list of the best podcasts for studying the language. This time, we’ll take a look at the best apps to help you with your language learning journey.

As this list only includes resources that are available as apps, it leaves out some quality options that simply lack mobile capability.

It’s also worth noting that this list doesn’t cover every app trying to teach the language. Instead, we’ve pulled from the great many we’ve tested ourselves, plus some that are commonly recommended, and grouped them into categories based on what they do best. Hopefully, it will help narrow the field a bit and point you in the right direction.

General Courses as Apps

Best for Developing Communication Skills: Pimsleur

Best Free Way to Get Started: Madinah Arabic

Best Free Gamified Course: Duolingo

Apps for Learning Vocabulary

Most Fun Way to Learn Vocabulary: Memrise

Most Customizable Way to Practice Vocabulary: Anki

Best Way to Learn Vocabulary From Context: Clozemaster

Best Dictionary App: Hans Wehr

Apps for Practicing Reading and Listening

Best Podcast-Style Lessons: ArabicPod101

Best Reading Content: LingQ

Best for Reading Alongside Your Native Language: Beelinguapp

Best Radio App: Radio Arabic

Best for Learning the Arabic Alphabet: Arabic Alphabet

Apps for Practicing Speaking and Writing

Best for Feedback on Writing: italki

Apps for Tutors and Language Exchange

Best for Online Tutors: italki

Best for Language Exchange Partners: Tandem and HelloTalk

Best for Help with Random Questions: HiNative


Best Apps for Learning Russian in 2020 – We’ve Tested Dozens

Russian language learners, rejoice — there are scores of great learning resources available to you. In fact, you’re more likely to be paralyzed by the number of good options out there than to struggle to find something that suits your needs.

It’s important to remember in your search that the most popular language resources aren’t always the best; a superb marketing strategy doesn’t necessarily equal outstanding quality.

In this post, we’ll focus on apps that aim to help learners with Russian. We’ve tried a ton of them, and have sorted them by category based on what they do best, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list. It should, however, narrow the field enough to help you find some great tools.

Russian Courses as Apps

Best Lesson Structure: Babbel

Best for Practicing Oral Communication: Pimsleur

Best Interactive Course: Lingodeer

Apps for Learning Vocabulary

Best for Fun, Engaging Practice: Memrise

Best for Customizable Practice: Anki

Best for Learning Words in Context: Lingvist

Best Free Way to Learn Words in Context: Clozemaster

Best Offline Dictionary Apps: ABBYY Lingvo and Linguee

Apps for Reading and Listening Practice

Best Lessons in the Style of a Podcast: RussianPod101

Best for Interesting Reading Content: LingQ and Readlang

Best for Side-by-Side Reading Practice: Beelinguapp

Apps for Speaking and Writing Practice

Best for Feedback on Pronunciation: Speechling

Best for Feedback on Writing: italki

Best Q&A App: HiNative

Best for Learning Russian Cyrillic: Cyrillic (Russian Language)

Apps for Tutors and Language Exchange

Best Language Exchange Apps: Tandem and HelloTalk

Best for Finding a Tutor: italki