Best Free Online English Courses

Instructor: Alyssa Kominsky

Alyssa has taught middle school and high school English and has a bachelor's degree in secondary English education with a minor in creative writing.

Many free, legitimate English courses exist online, including some actually taught by professors from top schools like Harvard and MIT. This article offers an overview of the best in English education online.

Finding the Best Online English Courses

You've decided to take an online English course, but you don't know where to turn next. Lots of education websites are out there, but how do you know which ones are valid? What will fit most conveniently into your schedule (and, maybe more importantly, your budget)?

The sites listed below offer a good start to your search for the best online English courses. You can start on the path to English education today.

Online English Courses for Credit

Study.com

Yes, you read that correctly! Study.com offers many English courses at a minimal cost. While not absolutely free, the courses are a much cheaper option than the traditional college route. We also offer the opportunity to receive credit, and our instructors are available to answer all of your questions. Our material is delivered in fun, viewer friendly videos, and all of our courses include quizzes to test yourself on the material you've learned. Available courses include:

  • English Literature - An introduction to English literature, including analysis, literary terms, and a look at subgenres of literature
  • American Literature - A deeper look into American literature, including the Romantic period, Transcendentalism, and the Harlem Renaissance.
  • College Composition - Ace those college essays with a course on research, sources, parts of an essay, and how to compose a great essay.
  • Technical Writing - Receive step-by-step help with different types of technical writing with this video course.

Free Non-Credit English Courses Online

Alison

Alison offers over 750 courses, many of which focus on the development and improvement of spoken and written English skills. Their website boasts 600 hours of English content. Possible courses include:

  • English Vocabulary and Pronunciation
  • Speaking and Writing English Effectively
  • Fundamentals of English Grammar
  • English Writing Skills
  • English Literature Analysis

EdX

EdX offers classes taught by professors from well-known, established universities across the country, including Harvard and MIT. Some of these classes will cost a little bit of money, so make sure to check out the particulars before registering in a class. Some of their free classes are:

  • English for Journalists: Key Concepts
  • How to Write an Essay
  • Shakespeare on the Page and in Performance: Tragic Love
  • Language Revival: Securing the Future of Endangered Languages

FutureLearn

Students on FutureLearn are encouraged to interact with others who are enrolled in the same courses. Courses are offered on specific time schedules, with the majority of the courses lasting six to ten weeks. Some of the included classes are:

  • Exploring English: Magna Carta
  • Exploring English: Language and Culture
  • Exploring English: Shakespeare
  • Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

Canvas Network

Backed by universities, Canvas Network blends their own courses with those from sponsoring institutions. Some courses are held during specific times while others are designed for students to take at their own pace. Classes include:

  • Kickstart Your Academic Writing
  • Composing for Public Audiences: Writing, Rhetoric, and Research
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work and Writing Life
  • Innovative Cascadia Poetry
  • Certificate Course in Writing for a Global Market

World Education University

Courses on this site are designed for students who are or want to become advanced in the English language. They are currently seeking accreditation which will make them a more widely-known and established university. Among the included classes are:

  • English Composition
  • Contemporary Issues in Women's Literature
  • Developmental Reading

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

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