How To Learn English For Free

Every day, more people across the world join the millions already studying English. As a vast and constantly changing language, English can be daunting to first-time students. If you are serious about learning, there are many ESL programs and classes available. But if you’re strapped for cash, here are several steps you can take to start learning English for free.


First, take a moment to figure out what your goals are. Don’t assume fluency is your main objective; many experts have differing opinions on how to actually define fluency, and you’ll be better off setting a more immediate goal. What is your reason for studying English? Maybe it’s to advance in your job field, and you should focus on business lingo and technical writing. Are you planning on visiting an English-speaking country, and you just want to get around comfortably? You should familiarize yourself with everyday phrases, including slang. What’s more important to you, writing English or speaking it? What about reading? What would you prefer to read, the newspaper, People magazine, or maybe the latest American bestseller? All of these use a very different style of English. Pinpoint exactly what you want from your studies and focus on that for now.


The web is swarming with free ESL courses, articles, workshops, etc. Keep in mind, no matter what is advertised, none of these will lead to a mastery of English, and the free course may just be a way to get you to buy a product in the end. But if you choose carefully, you may pick up a few handy tips or phrases from free online resources. Keep your goal in mind to narrow your search. For learning the very basics of English, try these free lessons at learn-english-online.org.


There are lots of free podcasts available covering many subject areas. You can search for podcasts specifically aimed at learning English, or simply find podcasts by native English speakers. Some websites will also allow you to download a free transcript of the podcast so you can read along as you listen. A good place to start is culips.com, where you’ll find not only podcasts and transcripts, but quizzes and explanations as well.


If you’re uncomfortable with live chat, join a forum that focuses on ESL, like this one at usingenglish.com. Go at your own pace, reading the posts of other students and teachers, then jump in when you feel comfortable and interact. If you’re feeling brave, try Skype Public Chat, a public forum with ESL teachers and students that chat regularly via Skype to practice their skills. This is a fantastic way to get rid of the jitters that come with fear of direct communication.


The best way to immerse yourself is to move to a country that speaks the language, but you can do this at home. Surround yourself with English: Music, TV, movies, magazines, newspapers, books…you will eventually begin to notice the same phrases over and over, and your brain will slowly start to put them into context.

There are many ways to learn English for free no matter what level you’re at. If you are serious about mastering the language, consider local classes, tutors, or online programs as well. The money you spend will be an investment worth every penny. But for extra practice, or a head start, use the above resources to start learning English for free.


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