Top 20 Language Learning Courses, Certificates & Programs Online

by Doris Vanhouten

There are many a good reasons for joining a language learning program. Some people want to learn a foreign language before travelling to that part of the world, some may want to communicate seamlessly with their customers in a new overseas market, some may want to feed their brain and become smarter, some may want to make best use of their time while being stuck indoors or some simply for the fun of it. Whatever be your reason, there’s no denying that becoming a bilingual or a polyglot offers several personal, social and career advantages.

If you want to start learning a foreign language or reinforce a language you’ve studied before, there is a sea of online resources and study materials to help you with developing your dialects. Whether you want to learn Korean online, learn Spanish online, learn Chinese online, learn English online or French or Japanese or Russian or any other unique foreign language, there’s a program available to you.

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Top 20 Language Learning Courses, Certificates & Programs Online

We’ve compiled a list of best language learning online courses, classes, certifications, tutorials and programs that you can take right from the comfort of your home and within your chosen timelines. You can take these for free or pay a small fee to get a verified certificate. These are suitable for all skill levels, especially for beginners. So go ahead and start your at-home language learning.

Best English Language Courses

1. Improve Your English Communication Skills by Georgia Tech (Coursera)

Online Courses by Georgia TechThis English communication skills certification offered on Coursera in partnership with Georgia Tech is designed to improve business English. It provides learners with the necessary tools to improve their professional communication skills, with an emphasis on speaking and writing in English.

The program is oriented towards beginners and requires effort of around 3 hours a week across five months. The professional communication skills taught in the program include writing emails; speaking in person, on the phone, and through video conferencing; and using online tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter to enhance your online presence. These skills are taught through 4 well-structured courses. Specifically, the topics covered in the courses include the following:

  • Tips on writing more professional emails
  • Differences and similarities among the different email formats
  • Improve your pronunciation and fluency
  • Increase your English vocabulary
  • Demonstrate the best body language for different cultural settings
  • Know statements, questions and responses for different settings and situations
  • How to agree or disagree, how to clarify, restate and summarize
  • Create your own ePortfolio in English
  • How to apply information from your ePortfolio to other online tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Regular quizzes, exercises, peer feedback, and graded assignments keep learners on track. Throughout the specialization, learners have many opportunities to develop and practice speaking English, most importantly through online discussion and feedback from their classmates. They become part of an active and engaged learning community. Active participation in these discussion forums and peer reviews makes the program more fun, stimulating and valuable.

The specialization serves as an excellent tool for career advancement, or just for building up speaking confidence.

Key Highlights

  • Improve your professional communication in English to succeed in your business interactions
  • Learn how to identify and make a strong personal introduction
  • Improve your emails of introduction, announcements, requests and emails that apologize or revise a request
  • Build your professional ePortfolio in English
  • Capstone course with focus on networking and making important connections to take your career or business to the next level
  • Excellent program for non-native English speakers

Duration : 5 months, 3 hours per week
Rating : 4.8

2. English for Career Development by University of Pennsylvania (Coursera)

Online Courses by University of PennsylvaniaThis 40-hour English course is available on Coursera and has been developed by University of Pennsylvania. The coursework is free to audit and is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs.

The course teaches English through business skills like job searching, resumes, cover letters, and interviewing and helps learners through these different steps of the job application process. It is designed for high beginner to low intermediate level English language learners. Language teaching, readings, games and assessments in the course are adapted to learner’s English level.

The course curriculum comprises of 5 modules. Each module focuses on a different step of the job application process. The topics covered include:

  • U.S. job application process
  • Strategies for identifying the jobs that match your interests and skills
  • Steps necessary to produce a professional-looking resume
  • Introduction to professional letter writing format
  • Writing a clear and concise cover letter
  • Develop speaking skills to introduce yourself in a professional setting
  • Interviewing for a job

The course experience is enhanced with several games and exercises incorporated in the coursework. Throughout the course learners learn and practice new vocabulary by reading articles, listening to the recordings, watching videos, playing games and completing assessments. Learners also have opportunities to connect with other online learners from around the world.

Key Highlights

  • Build your English vocabulary and improve your language skills to achieve your professional goals
  • Learn the necessary skills to help you find and apply for a job
  • Learn how to describe yourself and your experiences in a resume
  • Learn how to write a clear cover letter that tells employers why you are the right person for the job
  • Learn how to make small talk and describe your skills effectively
  • Learn to ask and answer question effectively in a job interview
  • Excellent course for any English language learner hoping to work in the U.S.

Duration : Approx. 40 hours
Rating : 4.8

3. Business English Communication Skills by University of Washington (Coursera)

Online Courses by University of WashingtonThis specialization offered by University of Washington on Coursera platform aims to build English skills for business. It teaches learners to communicate effectively in English in professional settings, helps them to expand their vocabulary and learn terminology. The skills that they learn in this program can be applied to all business communication such as negotiations, telephone conversations, reports, emails, planning and presentations.

The program is structured as a series of four courses followed by a capstone project where learners demonstrate their competence in everything that they’ve learnt throughout the course. The topics covered in the courses include the following:

  • Developing networking skills
  • Learning vocabulary and customs related to socializing and networking in English
  • Recognizing and producing formal and informal language in emails
  • Developing vocabulary related to jobs and companies
  • Vocabulary and skills related to participating in on-site meetings and teleconferences
  • Negotiating strategically in formal and informal settings
  • Language and techniques for making effective presentations in English

Key Highlights

  • Improve your ability to speak, write and understand English in professional contexts
  • Learn language and strategies for successful negotiations
  • Understand how to interact with business contacts in person, on the phone and over email in a professional way
  • Learn to present information in an organized and engaging way
  • Lessons include examples from real-life companies like Starbucks and Amazon
  • Project involving writing and articulating a mini business plan
  • Excellent for any professional who wants to communicate effectively in English

Duration : 6 months, 5 hours per week
Rating : 4.8

4. The Pronunciation of American English by UCI (Coursera)

Online Courses by UCIMany young students and professionals don’t have a chance to learn and practice speaking English with native speakers. This specialization program has been developed by the University of California, Irvine and is intended to teach such learners to communicate with clearer and more accurate pronunciation of American English. It helps to improve their speaking ability with practical examples and explanation from professional teachers.

There are 4 courses in this program, where learners understand and practice the sounds of American English that might sometimes be confusing.

  • In the first course they learn the consonant sounds of American English
  • In the second course they learn the vowel sounds of American English
  • In the third course they learn about the things that give English its special “music,” for example, how to stress the right syllable in a word, how to make your voice go up and down in a natural-sounding melody, and how to naturally connect sounds and words.
  • The final course involves a project where learners take a test, review all the sounds of English, analyse a speech, and share advice on improving pronunciation with other learners

In each course learners get to practice an effective technique called shadowing to improve their pronunciation of sounds. All these practical exercises enable learners to be understood and also to understand others in real-life oral communication.

Key Highlights

  • Achieve clearer, more understandable pronunciation of American English to communicate easily and effectively
  • Learn and practice the consonant and vowel sounds of American English that are particularly tricky and easy to confuse
  • Learn the features of pronunciation such as stress, rhythm, and intonation that help to improve listening comprehension
  • Each course provides practical advice from successful English learners
  • Improve your pronunciation by practicing realistic dialogues and other interactive exercises

Duration : 4 months, 5 hours per week
Rating : 4.8

5. English for Business Networking by University of Washington (edX)

Online Courses by University of WashingtonNo matter where you live, chances are that English is important for your career and so is networking. In this certificate program developed by University of Washington, you will learn English language and business networking skills to improve your ability to make connections and find the job you’re seeking. You will learn English grammar and vocabulary to identify and expand your social networks.

The program comprises of 4 self-paced courses that are carefully crafted to help you identify and grow your network. You learn to effectively write emails to follow up with your new connections and you participate in key networking activities like elevator pitches, informational interviews and networking events. Topics covered in the course curriculum include:

  • Basics of networking
  • How networking can help you reach your professional goals
  • Writing effective emails
  • Using your skills to attend a networking event
  • How to introduce yourself in English and keeping a conversation going
  • Capstone project that involves conducting an informational interview

Key Highlights

  • Learn essential skills for networking in English that help to improve your ability to interact with other business people
  • Understand how to identify your goals for networking, your network and your unique skills and characteristics
  • Learn how to use social connections, email and conversational strategies
  • Learn to Use LinkedIn and business cards to make and maintain connections with your network
  • Learn to write professional emails to make new contacts and follow up with people in your network

Duration : 7 months, 3-5 hours per week
Rating : 4.6

6. English Speaking Complete: English Language Mastery (Udemy)

Udemy Online CoursesThis English language course offered on Udemy aims to develop English speaking fluency and supercharge your English language skills. It is a complete language course for beginners to advanced and takes you from spoken English novice to English language master. You’d be learning vocabulary and real native expressions. You’ll also learn shortcuts to speaking English fluently and improving your pronunciation. Also included is a complete grammar course that is easy to use and understand.

There is a range of quizzes and practice activities throughout the course for you to apply your learnings. Live dialogue recordings around common conversation topics help to improve listening skills and even speed up speaking skills.

The course has been created by David Morris, a UK qualified teacher with years of experience both in UK and internationally too. He has helped thousands of students build and develop English language fluency.

Key Highlights

  • Improve your vocabulary, grammar and English language skills
  • Listen to a range of conversational recordings in real-life English environments
  • Master fun phrases and advanced vocabulary for English Speaking
  • Improve your speaking with pronunciation tips
  • Range of listening tests and quizzes to build English conversation skills
  • Full lifetime access to the course materials along with all future updates and new lessons
  • Risk free learning with 30-day money back guarantee from Udemy

Duration : 43.5 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.6

Best Korean Language Courses

7. First Step Korean by Yonsei University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Yonsei UniversityThis is the most highly-rated and sought-after Korean language course available on Coursera. It has been developed by Yonsei University, Seoul and is delivered by Seung Hae Kang, Associate Professor in charge of Korean Education as a Foreign Language at the Graduate School of Education at Yonsei University. It is an elementary level course, so you don’t need any prior knowledge of Korean to enrol.

The course introduces learners to the basic principles of Korean, including the writing system and vocabulary for common occurrences. It covers speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills.

The course is structured as five individual modules, with each module comprising of 4 different units. The fourth unit in every module is a review session to go over all the things learned in the previous three units. Each unit covers dialogues, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, exercises and role-plays. At the end of each unit, is a quiz to test the abilities of the learner and also review the content.

The modules cover the following topics:

  • The Korean Alphabet
  • Greetings and Introducing
  • Family
  • Time & Date
  • Daily Life

The course content is free to audit, but if you enrol for paid version, you get access to student forum, where you can discuss anything, ask questions and connect with other people trying to learn Korean language.

Not only does the course educate you in how to read and write Korean but you will also get brief Korean history lectures. It provides a solid foundation in preparation for further study of Korean.

Key Highlights

  • Learn the Korean alphabet or Korean writing system called ‘Hangeul’
  • Understand the principles of how each Korean letter was invented
  • Learn to introduce yourself and greet a person in Korean
  • Learn the days of the week in Korean
  • Learn Korean vocabulary surrounding daily lives topics
  • Listen to Korean conversations, in context, directly from native speakers
  • Flexibility to start anytime and go at your own pace

Duration : Approx. 18 hours
Rating : 4.9

8. Learn to Speak Korean 1 by Yonsei University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Yonsei UniversityThis is another excellent Korean language course offered on Coursera in partnership with Yonsei University. It enjoys a stellar rating with over 350,000 learners already enrolled. Though this is a beginner level course, it is aimed at students who are familiar with the Korean alphabet, Hangeul. It provides the language skills essential for daily interactions with Koreans while living in Korea. The course is taught by Sang Mee Han, a Professor at the Korean Language Institute, Yonsei University.

Through this course, students learn basic but essential Korean phrases and expressions, what they mean, how they are pronounced, and the formal and informal way of saying each expression.

The course is organized as six modules, each comprising of five units. Each unit includes vocabulary lessons, grammar and expressions, conversation practice, video clips, quizzes, a workbook, and vocabulary lists. Additional learning materials are also provided. The vocabulary lists are accompanied by English, Chinese, and Japanese translations. The modules cover the following topics:

  • How to introduce your friends in Korean
  • How to introduce your hometown in Korean
  • How to ask others to eat together and how to respond to similar suggestions
  • How to order food and make requests at a restaurant
  • How to introduce places to shop
  • How to make purchases at various types of stores

Key Highlights

  • Excellent for beginners looking for formal and structured Korean classes online
  • Learn the skills to have a real conversation in Korean
  • Lessons cover how to introduce one’s friends and hometown, how to order food, and expressions used in shopping
  • Flexible timelines that allow learners to learn part-time at their own pace
  • Audit coursework for free; Get a verified certificate of completion by opting for paid version

Duration : Approx. 32 hours
Rating : 4.9

9. Complete Korean Course: Learn Korean for Beginners (Udemy)

Udemy Online CoursesThis Complete Korean course is the highest selling and most recommended Korean language course on Udemy. It offers a very comprehensive guide to mastering the basics of Korean, and takes learners through the first steps of their Korean journey, from absolute beginners to an intermediate level.

The course lessons cover everything from teaching how to read and write in Korean to pronouncing the words correctly, to forming words and sentences to express yourself and describe the world around you. It also provides several cultural tips about how to use your Korean language skills correctly in the complicated social rules of Korea.

The course curriculum explores major aspects of the Korean language such as vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, formal and informal variants, basic sentence structures etc. It gives learners a strong base to further build skills as a Korean speaker. It covers the following in detail:

  • 600+ most useful vocabulary words
  • How to read and write in Korean
  • Useful everyday phrases
  • Basic sentence structures
  • Building blocks of Korean grammar
  • Proper Korean pronunciation

Upon completing this Korean language class, you will be capable of greeting people, giving and receiving directions, telling the time, ordering food and drinks at restaurants, expressing your feelings, your likes and dislikes, creating sentences, and forming questions at ease in Korean.

This course is an excellent choice for anyone planning to travel to Korea for tourism or business or studies or any professionals looking to expand and diversify their business in Korean market.

Key Highlights

  • Master the basics of Korean language from scratch
  • Learn Korean phrases useful in real-life situations
  • Learn to pronounce words correctly without hearing them first
  • Learn many cultural tips
  • Learn to navigate multiple types of everyday situations and converse in everyday topics in Korean
  • Get lifetime access to course materials and a certificate of completion

Duration : 41.5 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.7

10. Korean for Absolute Beginners 1 (Udemy)

Udemy Online CoursesThis Udemy Korean language course created by Keehwan Kim is ideally suited for those who are starting to learn Korean for the first time. The first goal of the course is to teach the Korean alphabet Hangul, so by the end of the course, learners are able to read Korean all by themselves. This systematic approach to learning Hangul sets up the learners for success and act as a baseline for the rest of their learning.

The course curriculum starts with teaching Hangul, how hangul is written into syllable blocks, and then guides learners through all the consonants and vowels in Hangul. It also teaches writing Hangul and students can download writing sheets to practice writing Hangul by themselves. Once Hangul is mastered, it then guides learners through basics of Korean language. It discusses the sentence structure in Korean language and explains the basic difference between English and Korean.

Students learn the following in this 7-hour course:

  • Read and write Hangul alphabet
  • Basic grammar and Korean sentence structure
  • Explain what honorific language in Korean is and its importance when speaking to Koreans
  • Learn the use of be-verb in Korean and begin to form basic sentences

The course content is interactive with several reading and writing practices throughout the course.

Key Highlights

  • Step-by-step approach to learning Hangul and the basics of Korean sentences
  • Master the important Korean grammar concepts in a structured and systematic way
  • Feel completely confident reading, writing, and speaking with some introductory Korean phrases
  • Speaking and writing practices and drills
  • Ideal for absolute beginners

Duration : 7 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.8

11. Introduction to Korean by Hanyang University, Seoul (Futurelearn)

Futurelearn Online CoursesThis Korean class is offered by Hanyang University on Futurelearn platform. The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the language and culture of Korea, so that learners can have real Korean conversations.

This course consists of a series of lectures that are designed in a way so that by watching and listening to the videos, students will learn and speak not only Korean language but also experience the culture. It covers Korean phrases, greetings, vocabulary, numbers, spelling and grammar. There are multiple lectures on greetings, introductions, ordering food, planning for weekend activities, setting up times to meet etc.

Key Highlights

  • Learn basic communication in Korean language
  • Get a taste of Korean culture
  • Learn common Korean words, phrases, and expressions used in real-life situations
  • Learn and apply your understanding of Korean culture
  • Excellent for beginners with no prior knowledge of Korean language

Duration : 6 weeks, 3 hours per week
Rating : 4.5

Best Spanish Language Courses

12. Learn Spanish: Basic Spanish Vocabulary by UC Davis (Coursera)

Online Courses by UC DavisOffered by University of California, Davis on Coursera, this specialization is one of the most popular courses for learning Spanish online. It enjoys a stellar rating with more than 107K enrolments. The program is designed for beginners who have no prior experience in Spanish.

This is a self-paced, 5 course series specialization and focuses on developing sets of vocabularies that form the foundation for a broad understanding of the Spanish language. It starts with the basics, including common expressions, grammar and pronunciation, and works towards building a functional vocabulary of the 1500 most commonly used Spanish words and phrases. The topics covered in the courses are:

  • Spanish Vocabulary around meeting people, family & friends, places and weather
  • Common cultural experiences of the Spanish-speaking world
  • Talking about markets, food, leisure and daily routines
  • Vocabulary around sports & pastimes, travel, politics, living arrangements
  • Vocabularies in the areas of dining, fashion, professions and careers

There are a number of exercises and practice quizzes along with a good amount of reading lessons to help learners build a working Spanish vocabulary. The practice quizzes help to cement the concepts learnt. The participants are encouraged to keep practicing the language outside of the course as well.

During the course of the program, learners are required to demonstrate their language skills through a short written piece and an oral presentation to be graded by their peers. The final Capstone project involves preparing a written travel to a Spanish speaking nation for an extended period of time for either business or pleasure travel.

Each course in the program provides around 16-18 hours of learning, and the entire program can be completed in 5 months or less with around 5 hours of effort per week.

Key Highlights

  • Learn the basics of Spanish
  • Build a working vocabulary of 1,500 of the most used words and phrases in Spanish
  • Interactive activities, including speaking, reading and writing exercises to cement the understanding
  • Peer-reviewed assignments and community discussion forums to connect with fellow learners
  • Excellent for anyone who wants to be able to read, write and speak Spanish for personal, travel or business use

Duration : 5 months, 5 hours per week
Rating : 4.6

13. Professional Certificate in Basic Spanish by UPValencia (edX)

Online Courses by UPValenciaThis Basic Spanish certificate course has been developed by University of Valencia, Spain and is available on edX. It is aimed at conversational Spanish and introduces everyday Spanish for getting around with Spanish speakers or in a Spanish speaking country. The program is exclusively tailored for English speakers.

In this certificate program, you will learn and explore the Spanish language and culture. It introduces everyday language and includes activities to practice all four language skills: reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension and speaking. It gives you a general understanding of common words and phrases as well as basic grammar, Spanish pronunciation and conversation skills, allowing you to communicate in everyday situations.

The program comprises of three courses that cover the following topics:

  • The alphabet and numbers
  • Using the verb to be; Basic conjugation
  • How to describe your nationality, your likes, and your family
  • Vocabulary related to work life, family life, leisure, city life and outdoor life
  • Vocabulary related to daily routine activities

The training program uses an innovative language learning methodology that allows you to develop your language skills with interactive exercises and practices involving everyday situations. Throughout the program, you can make use of cultural notes, reference materials, and grammar explanations.

Those interested in becoming conversational in Spanish while learning about the culture will find this course both useful and interesting.

Key Highlights

  • Gain proficiency in the basics of Spanish
  • Learn basic grammatical structures in Spanish
  • Learn regular and irregular Spanish verbs in present, past and future
  • Learn to introduce yourself in Spanish and hold basic conversations
  • Intended for beginners who have had little to no exposure to Spanish

Duration : 4 months, 4-5 hours per week
Rating : 4.6

14. Spanish for Beginners. The Complete Method. Level 1 (Udemy)

Udemy Online CoursesThis Udemy Spanish learning course has been designed by Peter Hanley. Peter has created THE METHOD that provides a unique and effective approach to language learning for beginners, as it dramatically reduces the time taken to get the basics down. Over 25 years he has helped tens of thousands of students to learn languages using this accelerated learning method.

The course quickly constructs a solid foundation of Spanish language using simple building blocks, that are constantly repeated and recycled in new contexts and combinations. When learners are repeatedly exposed to new words and structures, in a variety of situations, they are able to absorb them much faster and better. This helps them to perfect their pronunciation and conversational skills in a relatively short span of time.

This Spanish class comprises of 20 video lessons of spoken Spanish. After every lesson there is a series of written exercises as well an optional musical task. The entire emphasis of the course is laid in engaging learners in a spoken dialogue without the need for a pen or paper.

Key Highlights

  • Expertly designed, world-class methodology that builds up and practices the Spanish language skills step-by-step
  • Learn and practice thousands of practical phrases for daily use
  • Experience rapid progress, without the need to memorise or study in the traditional sense
  • Excellent fit for complete beginners or those with limited knowledge of Spanish language
  • Risk-free course with 30-day unconditional money back guarantee from Udemy

Duration : 4 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.7

15. Spanish for Successful Communication in Healthcare Settings by Rice University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Rice UniversityThis course offered on Coursera by Rice University teaches the relevant language skills to be able to successfully communicate in Spanish in healthcare settings. Though the course seems targeted to a specific group, the knowledge it imparts can be applied in a variety of different situations. The course is quite useful for anyone working in the healthcare industry who wishes to relocate to a Spanish speaking country for a job or just anybody looking to stay in a Spanish speaking destination for long term.

This course is one of the most comprehensive training programs on the subject with more than 60 virtual classes, tons of reading materials, plenty of quizzes, exercises, and interactive practices. It is organized as a series of 4 modules, each one focusing on a topic related to the physician-patient interaction. Each module contains four lessons; on grammar, vocabulary, the dynamics of the spoken interaction, and aspects of sociocultural relevance. It is expected that learners reflect, complete activities, and even get extra practice on their own time in each lesson.

The course modules cover the following topics:

  • Simple words for everyday topics including colors, numbers, conversational phrases, family names
  • How to formulate questions
  • Names for basic body parts and important organs
  • Strategies for active listenership in Spanish
  • How you should address different individuals
  • Common grammatical structure used to give instructions
  • Vocabulary related to pain, symptoms, medical histories, insurance, and patients’ feelings
  • Explaining a procedure or treatment, such as the manner, the time, and the amount or frequency
  • Names for some frequent diagnostic tests

By the end of this course, learners have a strong foundation in basic medical Spanish that they can build on further.

Key Highlights

  • Learn how the Spanish language is used in the context of healthcare interactions
  • Learn the basic anatomy in Spanish
  • Interactive exercises to help you practice new vocabulary
  • Gain awareness about Latin American culture

Duration : Approx. 168 hours
Rating : 4.8

Best Chinese Language Courses

16. Chinese for Beginners by Peking University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Peking UniversityWith China becoming a business hub, interest in Chinese language and culture has also peeked. Many people who visit China for travel or business or studies, find it extremely useful to learn some basic conversational Chinese. This course available on Coursera is a great fit for such beginners who want to explore and learn Chinese for basic communication. It impart beginner concepts, from basic grammar to tones to vocabulary words. It has been developed by Peking University, China’s top educational institution, and is delivered by Liu Xiaoyu, Associate Professor of School of Chinese as A Second Language, Peking University. Liu has conducted several training programs related to Chinese language across US, UK, Europe and Asia and also authored several books on the subject.

This Chinese course introduces learners to phonetics and daily expressions, so that they can build a basic understanding of Chinese Mandarin and make basic conversations of daily living. The course is structured as 7 weekly modules. The topics and situations for the lessons in the course are selected from real-life scenarios and can be used for everyday communications. Topics covered in the course include the following:

  • Chinese Mandarin phonetics
  • Vocabulary related to exchanging personal information such as how to introduce yourself, including name, nationality, identity, and discussing your family
  • Vocabulary related to describing daily schedule, including numbers, time, periods, and some corresponding actions
  • Chinese main courses, fruits, vegetables and meat, as well as drinks
  • Vocabulary related to shopping, such as pricing, size preference etc.
  • How to give directions and how to speak about transportation
  • Talk about temperature, seasons, and personal health
  • Vocabulary related to hobbies, sports, TV programs, and some other activities related to the internet, reading, music, and travel

Along with the video lessons, there are plenty of reading materials and exercises and practice activities that make the journey of learning Chinese easy and fruitful.

Key Highlights

  • Elementary level course with no requirement for prior exposure to Chinese language
  • Gain valuable Chinese language skills, including grammar, speech and communication
  • Learn to make basic conversation around daily life
  • Suitable for beginners who want to learn Chinese language and culture for travel or business
  • Easily digestible lessons with practice exercises

Duration : Approx 21 hours
Rating : 4.8

17. Learn Chinese: HSK Test Preparation by Peking University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Peking UniversityThis Learn Chinese specialization by Peking University offers a step-by-step guide to learning Chinese. It is one of the best training programs to pass the HSK (1-3), which is the most important Chinese proficiency test.

The specialization intends to help learners gain the skills to understand and use simple Chinese phrases which meet needs for communication and gain ability to further their Chinese language studies. It introduces them to everyday language and includes activities to practice all four language skills of reading, writing, conversation and comprehension.

The four courses in the specialization are as follows:

  • Chinese for HSK 1 – It imparts knowledge of using Chinese in everyday life and covers more than 150 commonly used words and about 50 key grammar points.
  • Chinese for HSK 2 – It imparts knowledge related to expressing your views towards some simple and common daily life topics and covers more than 150 new words and about 62 new grammar points with relevant pictures and examples.
  • Chinese for HSK 3 Part I – It covers more than 300 new words on the basis of HSK1c and HSK2 and more than 60 new grammar points.
  • Chinese for HSK 3 Part II – In this course students learn about HSK level 3 test, its requirements and become familiar with types of questions asked. It reviews the word learnt previously in 3 courses and includes a lot of practices and sample tests.

By the end of the program, learners gain knowledge about Chinese culture and basic Chinese characters and are able to communicate in Chinese at a basic level in their daily, academic and professional lives.

Key Highlights

  • Improve your Chinese language skills effectively and systematically
  • Ace HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) for levels one, two or three
  • Have a practical grasp of Chinese to allow you to converse confidently in Chinese
  • Includes plethora of exercises, practices and HSK test papers

Duration : 7 months, 6 hours per week
Rating : 4.8

18. Learn Mandarin Chinese by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityThis specialization is offered in partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a leading research university located in Shanghai, China. The instructors include Wang Jun, associate professor of linguistics and An Na, lecturer of Contemporary Chinese, Chinese Literature and Culture.

The program aims at helping students learn Mandarin Chinese to be able to communicate in real-life situations with ease. It also helps students to pass the HSK level 1 or 2, which is the only official proficiency test of Chinese language.

There are three courses in this specialization that build skills of Chinese language followed by a fourth capstone project where learners are required to complete a few tasks of using Chinese language in simulated real life situations. In addition to the video lectures, the courses include several short plays, interactive exercises and cultural tips to help learners build and practice fundamental skills of oral Chinese in real-life circumstances.

Upon completing this Chinese training course, learners have added 1000 words and 75 language points in their Chinese vocabulary around handling 30 real-life situations.

Key Highlights

  • Beginner’s course of mandarin Chinese for those who want to learn Chinese from scratch
  • Get guidance on taking and passing HSK test
  • Flexible timelines that allow to choose your own pace of learning
  • Verified shareable certificate upon completion of the program

Duration : 6 months, 4 hours per week
Rating : 4.8

19. Professional Certificate in Mandarin Communication (edX)

Online Courses by MandarinIn current times, Mandarin Chinese is becoming the new international language of business. This Mandarin certificate program on edX is unique as it teaches you the Mandarin Chinese for business so you can communicate well professionally.

The program is very comprehensive with 5 self-paced courses, which offer an in-depth introduction to the Chinese language.

  • First course is Chinese Essentials, which lays down the foundational skills for communication in Chinese including tones, pinyin, grammar, characters, and basic structures all within the context of a business environment.
  • Second course is Mandarin Chinese Level 1, which covers basic language skills to talk about eating, shopping, and getting around in Mandarin speaking countries.
  • Third course is Mandarin Chinese Level 2, which builds vocabulary for describing people and objects, making comparisons, and speaking about opinions.
  • Fourth course is Mandarin Chinese Level 3, which tackles different topics in dynamic business scenarios with extensive vocabulary and compound sentence structures.
  • Fifth course is Business Chinese, which focusses on daily business communication skills, and teaches how to react in several business scenarios.

The program places a strong emphasis on topics for business issues and career development. Learners get ample of opportunities to practice speaking and listening with professional language teachers.

Key Highlights

  • Learn basic language skills for business scenarios in Mandarin-speaking countries
  • Get a professional certification in mandarin communication
  • Learn the most concise and standard business Chinese
  • Learn new Chinese vocabulary and useful phrases
  • Learn basic vocabulary for communication on daily life topics, such as hobbies, food, numbers, movies, sports, and health
  • Acquire the skills to talk about some current affairs in Mandarin Chinese, such as trade fairs and tariffs

Duration : 7 months, 4-10 hours per week
Rating : 4.6

20. Chinese language for beginners : Mandarin Chinese HSK1-HSK3 (Udemy)

Udemy Online CoursesThis Chinese language course is a best-seller and highly rated course on Udemy. It teaches Chinese language from scratch and is suitable for anyone taking the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) exam. It includes HSK1, HSK2 and HSK3, and goes from totally beginner to HSK3 level.

In the course learners practice both speaking and listening, understand the most useful Chinese grammar rules and learn commonly used words and phrases. The course employs scientifically proven teaching methods to facilitate accelerated and effective learning. Learners are not forced to memorize frequently used words or sentences. Instead, they’re encouraged to figure out the structure of the language and the basic grammar.

It is a very comprehensive course with around 26 hours of video content, plethora of articles and downloadable resources. Coursework is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1 – Learn new Chinese words and sentences
  • Part 2 – Learn a conversation or a story
  • Part 3 – Review and homework

Through story learners are able to practice reading and listening skills and improve their grasp of Chinese. Course also includes flashcards which that help to review and practice words and sentences from the lessons in an easy way. Every lesson has downloadable audio files, so one can listen to them offline, on the go.

Upon completing the course, learners are able to manage most communication in Chinese when traveling or living in China.

Key Highlights

  • Learn Chinese language with lessons made by real teachers
  • Gain confidence in using most common Chinese language words and phrases
  • Quickly learn to make Chinese sentences yourself
  • Excellent fit for all Chinese language learners, whether or not who want to take the HSK test

Duration : 25.5 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.6

21. Étudier en France: French Intermediate course B1-B2 by École Polytechnique (Coursera)

Online Courses by École PolytechniqueThe course is offered by École Polytechnique, an esteemed University in France. It is aimed at students wishing to pursue their higher education in France. It not only allows them to have the required level in French to take courses in the French higher system in terms of language skills, but also helps them adapt to their new environment in the best conditions.

The objectives of the course are not just linguistic, but also cultural and practical. It explores life in France and in the French-speaking world through its cultures, literature, films and television news. Students are able to better understand the French higher education system.

The theme of the course is that you’re going to study in France so you learn the vocabulary, situations and grammar you may need to implement if you were to actually go to France. Each week deals with a different aspect from just arriving to France, to integrating into society and all the way to living in France. The 6 weekly courses cover the following:

  • Week 1: Arrive in France
  • Week 2: Adjusting to life in France
  • Week 3: Become a student in France
  • Week 4: Attend a class
  • Week 5: Communicate and integrate
  • Week 6: Living in France

Through these courses, students work on oral and written comprehension, expression, grammar and vocabulary of French language. There are several quizzes and exercises to test learners’ knowledge. They also become part of a community discussion forum and connect with fellow students enrolled in the program.

Key Highlights

  • Improve your French skills both orally and in writing
  • Understand how the French higher education system works
  • Get a glimpse into the lives and the culture of French
  • Be better prepared to adopt to a new life in France
  • Opportunity to participate in debates and discussion in forums

Duration : Approx. 46 hours
Rating : 4.8

22. Russian for beginners А1. Русский язык: A1 by Saint Petersburg State University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Saint Petersburg State UniversityThis specialization on Coursera is offered in collaboration with Russia’s eminent institution, Saint Petersburg State University. It is intended for absolute beginners who want to learn the Russian language from scratch.

In the program, learners are introduced to the basic theories and rules of Russian phonetics and grammar and taught basic conversation vocabulary, so they gain ability to read simple texts and hold conversation on everyday topics such as family, travel, hobbies, personal activities, and holidays.

There are four courses in the specialization and they cover the following:

  • Structure of the Russian alphabet
  • Vocabulary, phonetics (pronunciation), grammar of Russian language
  • Main Russian verbs of movement as well as their conjugation in the Past, Present and Future tense
  • Parts of speech, case system, and sentence structure
  • New words and commonly used phrases for navigating real-life situations

All courses include extensive video and audio materials; reading, listening and vocabulary exercises to enhance the learning process.

Key Highlights

  • Learn how to write and read in Russian
  • Learn how to pronounce Russian words and recognise particular sounds and words in speech
  • Includes examples of simple dialogues in Russian
  • Learn more than 150 new words and conversational phrases for everyday communication
  • Hundreds of exercises for learners to apply the knowledge they learn on the course

Duration : 4 months, 3 hours per week
Rating : 4.6

23. Japanese for beginners 1 by Saint Petersburg State University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Saint Petersburg State UniversityThis course has been developed by Saint Petersburg State University and provides a glimpse into Japanese way of thinking and view of the world through the Japanese language. It teaches how to read simple texts in Japanese and write using the hiragana and katakana scripts as well as the kanji characters. It provides extensive materials on Japanese grammar, phonetics, writing system and communication etiquette. Through this course learners build basic vocabulary in speech and are able to use it in everyday communicative situations. They are also able to form their own sentences using the provided grammar material.

The coursework is divided into 5 weekly units that include the following lessons:

  • Basics of phonetics
  • Basic grammar of Japanese
  • Basics of Japanese pronunciation
  • Structure of the Japanese sentences
  • Hiragana script
  • Katakana script
  • Rules of voicing and invoicing in the katakana script
  • Skill of writing Japanese letters and characters
  • Japanese for everyday communication

Key Highlights

  • Learn to read and write in Japanese
  • Build Japanese vocabulary consisting of more than 200 words
  • Practical exercises for learners to apply the new knowledge
  • Build a solid foundation on which to base advanced learning of Japanese language

Duration : 4.0
Rating : Approx. 23 hours

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