Learning English For Free Online

Learning English For Free Online

Many websites offer free English lessons online. This is certainly a common search query. Who doesn't want free lessons? I certainly agree that there is much to be gained from free online English learning resources.

However, let's ask some questions...

Why do you want to learn English?

Free lessons can be great if you want to learn English for fun, or as a hobby. If you need to learn English to get a better job or enter the University of your dreams- then you're going to need more than free online lessons.

Alternatives to free online lessons.

Many of you reading this have probably experienced both the good and the bad of classroom English lessons. Finding the right place to learn can be frustrating and expensive. Alternatively, if English is compulsory for your work or school, there can be the problem of too many students of different abilities in the one class. This can add to frustration and boredom.

Alternatives to think about are of course online English lessons. However, if you pay for online lessons then you must be careful to find a course that seems well structured, flexible and supportive if you have problems with teachers or the materials. Also you probably want your online English courses to be affordable.

Do your research and don't commit to long term contracts. If you make a one off payment or sign up to a monthly payment plan that is able to be cancelled at any time; then you are free to leave and find another online English school if it doesn't work out.

What is the structure of the free lessons?

There are many great free lessons on particular topics floating around the internet. In particular, there are many free videos which can be great as students can pause and rewind to review.

The things free English lessons often don't have are:

* Resources/ follow-up activities to help you remember and practice what the free lesson was about.

* The chance for speaking practice and interaction.

* A clear structure between topics and units.

* An understanding of your learning background and individual learning needs.

Why are these websites/ companies offering free lessons?

Sometimes I have seen websites that are quite old and out of date. They have OK materials, but offer either minimal or no practice activities or student support. Other websites that boast free materials can sometimes offer lessons that share 50% of what they know about a topic. This is done in order to get you to sign up to a paid course which offers more comprehensive information.

Personally, as a person who studies linguistics, I don't like websites that use this selling technique. Free language materials should be helpful and comprehensive, with no strings attached.

What is the best choice to make?

Free lessons and materials, plus online or offline paid English lessons is the best option. The most successful students I know enjoy learning using free lessons and materials; but realise the limitations of these. They usually learn with a course and teacher either offline or online (depending on their schedules). Free English lessons can offer variety and consolidate previously explained materials. However, adding paid English lessons to free lessons will provide you with the structure and support to learn English thoroughly and fast.

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