Where to Find Free Foreign Language Lessons Online

By on August 25, 2009

If you are interested in learning a new language or improving your existing skills, there are many free online resources that can help. A number of schools, including MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Utah State University, have begun to offer free foreign language courses online. Free lessons can also be found through the BBC and the many foreign language learning networks that have cropped up on the web. This article provides a list of 15 places to find free foreign language lessons online:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers over 60 courses in foreign languages and literature. Users can find courses in Spanish, Chinese, Spanish, German, and Japanese.

The Open University – The Open University’s modern language unit features courses for Spanish, German, English, and French. Courses are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level language learners.

Utah State University – Utah State University offers several free online courses in languages, philosophy, and speech communication. Two courses that are particularly popular are the Chinese I and Chinese II language courses.

Carnegie Mellon University – The Open Learning Initiative at the Carnegie Mellon University features two courses in Introductory French. These video-based courses include activities and self-guided materials.

BBC – BBC offers video and audio courses for 36 different languages. Course options include quick language fixes, all-in-one courses, tips, and conversation tools.

FSI Language Courses – Developed by the Foreign Service Institute, these courses cover 38 different languages and provide lessons in MP3 format.

eLanguageSchool – One of the largest multiple language learning institutions on the web, eLanguageSchool provides courses for learning 10 different languages. Courses cover the basics, grammar, phrases, practice, and exercises.

Open Culture – This site features podcasts for learning 37 different languages. The podcasts can be listened to on your computer or downloaded on to a MP3 player. Open Culture also features an instructional podcast on how to teach yourself a foreign language.

Word2Word – Word2Word provides links to hundreds of different free learning courses for 119 different languages. Links are sorted by language so that you can easily find what you’re looking for.

Livemocha – Livemocha is a great place to find free foreign language lessons. This site offers free online courses, over 160 hours of lessons, and tips from native speakers.

Internet Polyglot – Internet Polyglot offers free tools and lessons for over 20 languages. Within this site, learners can find free user-created lessons as well as handy memory tips for retaining tricky foreign vocabulary words.

LifeClever – LifeClever offers links for learning over 35 languages through iTunes. To listen to the 926 available courses, you can browse podcasts/education/language/courses within iTunes, or if you already know the language you want to learn, simply click the link on this web page. – After signing up for a free account, gives you access to podcast lessons covering a wide range of languages. Along with podcasts, members get daily audio and video lessons, lesson discussions, and an opportunity to connect with other learners.

Free Language – Free Language is a quality site that provides many different free learning resources to discover and explore foreign languages. Resources include lessons, podcasts, audio and video, articles, and resources for studying and teaching languages.

MyHappyPlanet – MyHappyPlanet provides user-generated language lessons from users all over the world. Language learners can also use the site to build conversational skills through chats with native speakers.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes for, an online college resource.


Please allow me to recommend our website 🙂 will be a FREE language learning website combined with social networking where members will be able to:

– LEARN: do the lessons online anytime, anywhere

– TEACH: get help from native speakers and help other members to learn their native language

– COMMUNICATE: chat with people around the world to practice the language and make friends

The lessons were actually developed by ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) which ensures their quality.

The site will be ready in 2 days and people that pre-sign up before the launch will become VIP members so go ahead to http://www.hello-hello.c

Sarah Gontijo on Aug 26, 2009 at 6:06 am

Why not mention with vast language learning resources and unique functionality available free of charge?

Steve Kaufmann on Aug 26, 2009 at 7:01 am

Darn, Sarah and Steve, you guys are on top of this stuff!

Street-Smart Language Learning on Aug 30, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for this list! It’s easy to forget things like university websites that offer their courses online. Additionally, I really like LiveMocha

There are also a few websites out there that offer courses online through an online classroom. Here are a few:

eduFire (
Pretty good community here. Huge variety of subjects and a friendly atmosphere.
(probably my favorite, although the others are good too)

WiZiQ (
The virtual classroom here is pretty innovative. All the tools of a real classroom and more.

Myngle (
Pretty solid curriculum and good rating systems for teachers and students.

Happy Learning! 🙂

Jay Garcia on Aug 31, 2009 at 5:42 am

Great post, Karen! Very helpful. Thank you!

Mary on Sep 01, 2009 at 8:07 am

Great post, Karen! Very helpful. Thank you!

Mary on Sep 01, 2009 at 8:07 am

Thanks for your suggestions Sarah and Steve – these are both great sites!
I have already registered and hope I will find friends who also learn the languages I learn 🙂

Mariana on Sep 01, 2009 at 8:13 am

Great post, Karen! Very helpful, thank you!

Mary on Sep 01, 2009 at 8:17 am

I can recommend the site for free language lessons (French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese)

Michael on Sep 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Thanks for the list .Dis sites are realy help me a lot for language learning.

Maccy on Sep 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm

great post dear!! This listing is very helpful for everyone,u guys r doing great job.

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greetings, I can’t find your contact information but your layout design looked off on firefox and IE. Anyways, i just suscribd to your rss.

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Please allow me to recommend a great website for learning Russian

Everybody’s welcome!

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Betty on Jul 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

good information. i think people really should force themselves to learn more languages & to be self-educated nowadays.

Ariadna on Aug 11, 2010 at 8:14 am

To learn foreign languages online first we need to know about that country and no. of other local languages use in that country.

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Mervin Maines on Sep 08, 2010 at 9:21 pm

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gemstone pendant on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Thank you Karen for a great post. As the creator of Internet Polyglot I am happy to see it in this list of very useful language learning resources. I will be glad to hear from you more – whether it’s a good word or suggestions or critique, any feedback.

Mikhail Gavryuchkov on Nov 06, 2012 at 6:52 pm

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