How can I learn English online?

Learning English online is a great option for many people, and especially people who need to fit their English studies in between their regular job or caring for their family, or for those that need to learn at home because of illness, disability, or distance from school. Learning online allows students to set their own schedule and pace of learning, and they can repeat difficult exercises and lessons to improve their skills. Additionally, online learning allows students to choose their own learning environment, such as a coffee shop, the library, or their home. Along with this freedom, however, it is very important for students to be disciplined and organized in order to achieve their best outcome.

If you are interested in finding out what your current level of English is, you can take an online test at here. This test is based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks, the same standard that CIES’ LINC, LINC Home Study, and LINC Blended programs use. Once you have taken the test you can know what your language needs are, including whether you need more conversational English for everyday communication, whether you need to learn more workplace English, or whether you want to improve your academic English for further study at college or university. Once you have this information you can proceed to choose an online English class that will fit your needs.

How can I learn English online?

If you are interested in learning English on your own, there are some great, free online resources for you to choose from. Some focus on listening, some on vocabulary, others on grammar, and some have a diverse range of activities. Here is a list of options for you to consider:

The Calgary Library/Rosetta Stone: The Calgary Public Library offers free online access to the popular Rosetta Stone language learning software. 30 languages are yours to choose from, including English.

www.engvid.com. This website offers free English video lessons with interactive explanations by native-speaker teachers. It covers English grammar, vocabulary, expressions, pronunciation, writing and more. Furthermore, as you start to read and write in English, online books or articles will help you to improve your grammar skills.

www.breakingnewsenglish.com. Through this online resource you can practice your reading skills, reading interesting news from around the world that is tailored to the level of your knowledge.

www.eslvideo.com. The videos on this site help you to practice your grammar, specific vocabulary, listening and pronunciation skills.

www.ted.com  and www.ed.ted.com. These websites are full of conference videos and animated videos that support learning.

Enrolling in a teacher-supported online class is like having a personal tutor in your home because the class focuses solely on you. Teacher-supported online classes can be a great help when learning English because your teacher can tailor lessons to your learning style and speed, and can also keep you motivated if you begin to struggle with a certain concept. Here are some options for online English classes in Calgary:

LINC Home Study: This program allows students to study at home on the LINC Home Study website 7 days a week, on their own schedule. Students are paired with a teacher, who meets with them by phone call or by Skype once every week to discuss homework and guide learning. This program is available to Canadian Permanent Residents and Refugees only.

LINC Blended: The Blended program is an alternative to LINC Home Study for students who would like to study online, but who can also come to the school 1 day every week for a 3-hour class with a teacher. This program is available to Canadian Permanent Residents and Refugees only.

English for Employment: Job Search: Clients study online and learn English that will help them when they begin working in Canada. Topics include the Canadian job market, resume writing, interview preparation, and job-search strategies. This program is available to anyone with internet and computer access.

– WORC: This 12-week course assists students in learning English while also focusing on intercultural competence, workplace culture, job-specific language training, and soft skills. This program is available to Canadian Permanent Residents, Refugees, and recent Canadian Citizens only.

Many newcomers already possess strong English speaking skills and want to improve them enough to be admitted to University or to be hired for a certain job. The following schools offer online programs for Academic English:

Athabasca University

Thompson Rivers University

CIES Guides are a volunteer-led project made possible through contributions from the community.

Thanks to Mary Camino and Whitney Loewen for help with this guide. If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.