English XP

Top 10 Best English Language Online Courses in 2021 – (Don’t Sign up Until You Read This)

English Language courses are typically designed for all levels of English as a second language learners. From higher earning potential to improved memory, the benefits of learning the English language are numerous and have been extensively listed in linked article. However, the benefits of taking online English language courses are the convenience, flexibility and variety of offerings. The best online English course for adults helps students prepare for well-known English assessment tools, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The IELTS and TOEFL are tests that grade your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English and are typically graded on a scale of 1-9. They are both accepted worldwide and are internationally recognized and most commonly utilized for employment, university applications and immigration.

Knowing what English language course to choose and how to make that decision can be a daunting task. Selecting the best online English course for adults is important because it will help you build a better vocabulary and advance your English language skills. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 best online English language courses for 2021.

How to Choose an Online English Language Course

Online English language courses come in many different forms, such as synchronous or asynchronous. Some offer more direction, while others are self-guided. It is important to identify your own personal goals and your level of commitment when selecting a course. Other things to consider include, the duration, curriculum, accreditation of the program, website features, activities, progression and cost.

As mentioned in my guide to choosing an English language course, the best online English course for adults will address the following:

·         Pronunciation

·         The English alphabet

·         Proper grammar

·         Reading and writing

·         Sentence structure

·         Vocabulary

Ultimately, the best English language course will satisfy your individual goals (e.g. applying for an English University or preparation for TOELF).

Top 10 best online English courses for Adults

1.      Perfectly Spoken          

Perfectly Spoken offers several courses tailored towards general English learning, exam preparation and business English. They offer several activities, such as Facebook Live practice, podcasts, and blog posts. They also provide a free English assessment to help you determine what level you are starting at.


·         High-quality video lectures available 24/7

·         Digital Language Learning Product of the Year 2020

·         No payment details are required before or after registration

·         They have courses tailored towards improving your IELTS score.


·         Self-paced learning

·         Subscription cost varies by package

2.      English Class 101

English Class 101 is a combination of short videos and audio podcasts that are accompanied by written notes that summarize each lesson. They provide study tools, such as word lists, slideshows and flashcards to help accelerate learning. The availability of resources depends on your subscription. With a Premium subscription, students can access 1-on-1 lessons with a teacher who provides personal feedback, corrections and answers to any questions.


·         Geared towards adult learners

·         There is a community forum for interaction

·         Learn to speak British or American English


·         For full accessibility, a paid membership is required

·         Not ideal for beginners with little to no knowledge of English

·         Little feedback on your progression, unless you register for the PremiumPlus plan

3.      MOOEC 

MOOEC is an Australian-based website that is accessible for all levels, from beginner to intermediate and advanced English learners. It is a free platform that offers four categories of short classes (speaking/writing/reading/listening). Lessons are organized into levels according to proficiency. They seek to provide an immersive educational experience virtually for all.


·         It is free to access

·         Lessons are provided by Universities and Colleges

·         Aims to facilitate interactions between students and their colleges


·         Not progressive

·         Self-directed learning

·         Even though it is free, you must register and log-in

4.      Future Learn 

Future Learn is a British online education platform that is tailored towards beginners and intermediate learners, as well as those seeking to learn English for business or academic purposes. They provide a variety of British online courses and courses from American universities. The platform has a variety of pricing plans depending on your needs.



·         Work with institutions like the British Council and UNESCO

·         High-quality courses

·         Interactive


·         No app

·         Limited course catalogue compared to other sites

·         Unlimited cost is high

5.      BBC 6 Minute English 

           BBC has launched a program that offers free episodes that are only six minutes in length.

Every week a new interactive lesson is released about grammar and vocabulary, which has a different topic associated with it. Each episode tackles an interesting topic in the sciences, humanities or pop culture. They seek to promote learning through practical and real-world conversations.  



·         Everyday conversation and language

·         Helps listeners get used to different accents

·         Less formal



·         Need to wait for episodes to be released

·         Mainly focuses on listening skills

·         Lacks interaction from a teacher or profession

6.      BubbleBeeTV

BubbleBeeTV has creative printables, pre-filmed classes, and options for customizable lesson plans. Sessions are broken down into several courses that cover a range of topics, such as verb tenses and structures, business English, and more. It includes a mix of audio and visual learning with workbooks and exercise sheets.


·         Best for visual learners

·         Pre-filmed classes on specific topics

·         Customizable lesson plans and one-on-one chat sessions


·         Only some features are free

·         Need to email them for cost and details

·         Self-directed learning

7.      Duolingo

Duolingo is an app that offers courses that are broken down into categories. They have small exercises nestled inside each category that has a real-world theme (e.g. travel). The completion of lessons and classes unlocks more challenging concepts and themes.



·         It has a fun, game-like structure

·         Easy to use

·         The entire app is free of charge



·         The speech recognition software has room for improvement

·         No interaction with a teacher or professional

·         Need to start with the topics offered to unlock additional topics


8.      USA Learners

USA Learners is a website with free English lessons. It offers thousands of language learning activities that cover all the fundamentals (e.g. spelling, pronunciation, and vocabulary). The courses range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate levels.


·         Free of charge

·         Resource for U.S. Citizenship Candidates 

·         Easy to follow along with lessons from expert teachers


·         Need to register for an account

·         Videos don’t have a modern production value

·         Not interactive

9.      Alison

Alison was launched in 2007 as one of the first and biggest free e-learning platforms. It offers a range of free online courses that will help you improve your communication skills. It focuses on helping users develop skills that can be applied in the workplace.


·         Perfect for those learning on a budget

·         Free online course and certifications

·         Great career preparation


·         You need to watch advertisements to take the class or participate in activities

·         Not compatible on mobile devices

·         Not the most engaging platform

10.  ABA English

ABA English program provides a video-based course including exercises, theory and unit review classes. Each course contains five parts: film, speaking, lessons, vocabulary and assessment. They host daily sessions for all levels, which contain unlimited conversations with students and teachers.



·         Live classes

·         An assigned teacher who will answer questions and guide you

·         You get a certificate that can be shared on LinkedIn


·         Subscription-based program with automatic renewal

·         Customer service is lacking

·         Less focus on writing


Choosing an online English course is a personal decision that should be made based on your own goals and related factors. A good online English course will prepare you for tests, such as the IELTS and TOEFL, and empower you to feel comfortable to speak, read and write in English. It will also give you the foundation to excel in real-world situations, such as work or university. Knowing what to look for and what programs are highly rated can be overwhelming. Our list provides you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Did you enjoy our list of the top 10 best online English courses for adults?

Let us know what you think in the comments and share this article with your friends!


IELTS. (No date). What is IELTS? Retrieved from https://www.ielts.org/about-ielts/what-is-ielts.

TOEFL. (2021). News & Offers. Retrieved from https://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/.