In our increasingly global culture, being able to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds is quickly becoming more important than ever. Whether you’re learning English as a second language, or broadening your horizons with Spanish, Russian, Chinese, or Swahili, there is a site out there with free lessons you can access from the comfort of your own home!
Here’s a list of free online language learning resources we thought were particularly helpful:
- Livemocha – With over 11 million members, Livemocha offers both free and paid language courses in over 25 different languages. There is couple of great things about Livemocha’s approach to online learning. First is the fact that they’ve teamed up with a couple of educational powerhouses, Pearson Education and Collins bilingual dictionaries. The classes start simple, learning basic words and phrases, and progress to more complex lessons in conversation and grammar. Assignments are graded by native speakers of the language you’re studying, so you can get immediate, real-time feedback on your skills. You can also practice you conversational skills with native speakers. This is a great alternative to traditional language study for people who have trouble learning on their own from a CD or textbook.
- FSI Language Courses – These are more traditional courses, with both a text and audio component. These courses are developed for English speakers who want to learn another language, and there’s quite a selection of languages available on the site, including some more obscure languages like Fula, Tagalog, and Igbo. These courses were originally developed by the US Foreign Service Institute for government employees, but have now passed into the public domain. If you’re trying to learn an African or Asian language, this might be the place for you.
- BBC Languages – The BBC hosts free online language lessons for English speakers interested in learning French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, and Chinese. They do have limited resources for several other languages as well. Beginners can take a full, free, 12-week course that even includes a certificate of completion at the end. The also include videos and transcripts of news and TV programs in various languages to allow you to improve your listening comprehension in your new language. A great resource for anyone just starting out.
- Effective Language Learning – This site has free course materials for learning Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. It also has reviews of other language courses for those who are interested in going more in-depth, and articles on language study strategies to help keep you on track.
- Internet Polyglot – This is a great site for native speakers of any language who are looking to pick up a new one. Includes free lessons to help beginners grasp basic vocabulary in 34 different languages! Members can create their own lessons to help other as well.
- 1-Language.com – Free courses, activities, and resources for people learning English as a second language. There are even courses for ESL students from China, Germany, and France.
- Word2Word – This site doesn’t host its own language courses, but it has hundreds of links to different sites with nearly 120 different languages you can study. It also has quite a few ESL lesson resources.
- FreeLanguage.org – This site has information on over 30 languages to fit any learning style – there’s podcasts, videos, written lessons, and more.
- 101Languages.net – A great place for beginners in any language! This site has lessons on vowels, consonants, verbs, phrases, and vocabulary in a variety of languages, including Arabic, Estonian, Icelandic, and Serbian!
- Apples4theTeacher – This site has a few unique language lessons available for free, including Gaelic and American Sign Language (ASL)!
- ExamEnglish.com – This site is great for those learning English as a second language and students studying for standardized tests like the IELTS, TOEFL, CPE, CAE, FCE or PET.
- Forvo – Guidance in how native speakers pronounce words in their own language. Great if you have trouble with sounding out foreign words! There are over 280 languages included on this site, and more are being added all the time.
- Italki – This site allows you to connect to teachers and native speakers of the language you’re studying. They can help correct your writing and help you practice your conversation skills, free!
- Esperanto.ca – And, finally, here’s one just for fun. If you’ve ever been interested in learning Esperanto, an “international language” created in 1887, here’s a good place to get a grasp of the basics. It’s estimated that about 2 million people worldwide speak Esperanto.
- Languages Home: A good place to learn any Indian Language. There are more than 28 languages to learn.
Please submit any good resource you know , if i miss, in the comments section.