7 Best MOOCs for Language Learning

Learning a new language from scratch is an exciting and sometimes daunting process, but the rewards and benefits make it totally worthwhile. In addition to advancing your communication skills and career, learning a new language can lead to more success in your social and romantic life. A recent survey from language app Babbel suggest that majority of those in the US and the UK believe that speaking more than one language makes a person more attractive, and 9 out of 10 of those surveyed confessed that they were willing to learn a new language in pursuit of love.

To help you jump-start your language learning journey, we scoured through course offerings from popular MOOC providers and online course aggregators, and hand-picked our top 7 free language learning MOOCs for absolute beginners. Save our recommendations and your own resources to your Degreed profile so you can start learning anywhere, anytime, at your own pace.

1.Fastbreak Spanish: Save Time and Memory

This course is geared towards those looking to boost their Spanish speaking skills over a short period of time. Many students mentioned that the course progresses relatively quickly, but the instructor dedicates a good portion of the course on correcting pronunciation mistakes and introducing repetition drills to perfect your speaking pace and flow. Most of the courses are split into short videos (<10 minutes); perfect for those always on-the-go.

2.Tsinghua Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People

Produced by the most prestigious university in China, this course has been widely popular among Chinese language learners and even made its way to Class Central’s Top 50 MOOCs of All Time list. We highly recommend this class; not only for its value but also for its well-designed curriculum that centers around real-life situations. With the help of this course, learning one of the most difficult foreign languages just got a lot easier.

3.Introduction to Dutch

If you’re trying to pick up a less conventional but relatively easy foreign language, why not give Dutch a shot? This course from University of Groningen is specifically designed for English speakers, and thus draws heavily on the similarities between the two languages. This Class Central Top 50 course also draws a huge crowd of beginner-level Dutch learners across the world, making it simple and easy to practice Dutch on a regular basis. Classes start this November so don’t miss out!

4.Introduction to Italian

We chose this course over other similar offerings based on the reputation and expertise of its institution. Universita per Stranieri di Siena is one of the only two public universities in Italy that are international-student oriented. The school’s curriculum is centered around only two subject areas: Italian language and Italian culture. This course focuses mainly on colloquial conversation, making it a great choice for those who are thinking about visiting Italy for work or pleasure.

5.Basic French for Everyday Life

With over 260,000 students enrolled in the last 4 years, this popular course is a proven valuable resource for those who intend to learn French from scratch. Although the structure of this course is more rigid than other similar offerings, its emphasis on vocabulary and grammar provides students with a solid French foundation.. Note that this course also requires a larger time commitment compared to other conversation-based classes, so it’s a better option for those who are serious about achieving their language learning objectives.

6.Paroles de FLE (Francais Langue Etrangere)

Ask yourself, “when was the last time I spoke French?” Don’t feel embarrassed if your answer is 8th grade, because we’re here to help you pick up where you left off. This course from Universite de Nantes helps beginner-level French learners improve their grasp of the language by providing a full-on immersion experience. This means that the entire course will be taught in French and requires the ability to understand basic French conversation. Still not sure? You can take an official assessment test here and find out if you’re ready.

7.First Step Korean

Adventurous? K-pop fanatic? Foodie? Asian beauty guru? Travel enthusiast? If any one of those words describes you, you should consider learning Korean with the help of this course. Catered to learners with no background in Korean language, this short 5-week course covers basic reading, writing, listening and speaking. Free Korean language learning resources are difficult to come by, but for those who are also interested in the cultural aspects of Korea, don’t forget to check out this series of lectures from the Cyber University of Korea.


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