What is the other language that you can speak fluently apart from your mother tongue and why is it English? Guess I got that one right! There is a reason this language is considered to be the universal language spoken all around the globe in the 21st century. We live in a world where different languages are spoken in different areas of the world. This causes a certain language barrier when it comes to understanding people. This is why people practice English. Some countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have English as their first language while the countries like Germany and France don’t. Yet we find them speaking English. This is because it is extremely important for a country to have English speaking people. This helps them in a lot of ways. For instance, the tourism sector. When people worldwide visit your country, it’s vital that they understand what one speaks about their own country. And that close connection is only possible when both the parties are speaking the same language. A lot of times other people act as translators for the people who do not know English.
With the time passing by as fast as it can, every country in the world is making an effort to make the people learn English from a future perspective. Many schools in a non-English speaking country are making it mandatory for their students to learn the language right from the age where their learning capacity is at the highest. Like any other language, one has to start from the basics of the learning curve of English. Words, numbers, sentences, and then the complex parts keep on adding in. I think there is no perfect when it comes to English. It’s just something that you keep on learning on a daily basis. You come across new words every day that add to your vocabulary and you start using them. You mess up sometimes but that’s a part and parcel of learning every language, and that is why you can never fully learn it. This is why people are not expected to know a higher level of English, but just enough so they can converse with absolutely any person on this planet. Most people choose to learn the language through an online platform. These days, people know better from a computer device as that is preferred to on-campus classes. The benefits of learning English are: –
- Ability to communicate through a universal language
- Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities are enhanced
- Trades in the business sector can be effortlessly carried out
- Technology tends to use English as a base for the software
- Talking to other people from other countries and getting to know them and their culture.
Here are a few free online courses and programs for the people who wish to pursue English:
1. English for Scientific and Academic Purposes (Open Learning)
Most of the times we are in a fix that we need to understand the language in order to use it for certain purposes. For some, it is an academic achievement and for some it is a necessity to use it in the best way possible in order to present their learning in a specific format. The English for scientific and academic purposes program is taken up by the people who wish to gel their abilities of speaking and writing. Few advantages of this course include:
- Understanding the importance of writing and presenting the structure
- In-depth learning to command the language and use it for professional purposes.
- Enhanced vocabulary and communication boost.
This course is provided by the People’s friendship university of Russia on Openlearningplatform. The course consists of 6 modules and after finishing, you get a certificate of completion. This flexible course has almost 450 people enrolled already.
2. Cross-cultural communication strategies in The English Language Classroom (American English)
It is not a hidden fact that it is a necessity for the people of the world to come together when it comes to tackling global problems like climate change, pollution etc. And there is a dire need for something that brings them close. Yes, apart from humanity, the English language is what brings them close. It is the communication that takes place between people regardless of the cast and race that keeps them together. Few things that are under the spotlight in this course are:
- Improved cross-cultural interactions
- Raise linguistic and cultural awareness among people
- Helps unite cultures and bond with their ideologies
The program comes in a text and video format by the American English which is managed by the Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs of United States. Additional resources include a Peace corps handout to understand the topic in depth and a forum article for further reference.
3. English composition I and II (Saylor)
We communicate in English with ease now because of the structure and the construction of the language that we learned when we were little. It is a command that you get to understand what part of the word you should say and where you should put it exactly in the sentence. And that is what makes this course so special. It is a complete level of teaching that provides a base and guideline for your communication. Some peculiar things about this course are:
- Attain knowledge about writing in English
- Understand the Power-writing method and citations to be used
- Learn basic research concepts and thesis writing
This course is provided by Saylor Academy. The composition I course is of 32 hours while the more advanced composition II course is of 101 hours. After every course you can take an exam after which if you pass, are given a free certificate. In case one manages to not clear the exam, there is a waiting period of 7 day before you can give your next attempt.
4. English for Career Development (Coursera)
We associate English to career development much less than it actually is. English and career sort of go hand in hand in the modern world. You might be supremely skilled in something but if you are not able to explain that using words, then you are in a bit of a pickle. Almost every stage of you career involves English in some ways or the other and that is where this course comes into picture. Few things this course teaches are:
- Understanding to write a cover letter
- Attaining knowledge about the language used in interviews
This course on Coursera is provided by the university of Pennsylvania. It is a 40-hour course that is entirely free and online. Brian McManus and Robyn turner are the two language specialists that preside over this course.
5. Assessment of English Language Learners (Canvas Network)
Most of the time, we think about the ones who learn the language. But what about the people who actually teach them. Even they need to be updated on every little detail about teaching that happens in this ever-changing world. And this program specifically does that. Few aspects of the program are: –
- Improve teaching practices for the learners
- Develop new courses which are intriguing and educative
- Understand the results and improve on them
This course that is provided by the Canvas network concentrates on the teachers or educators that are non-English speaking. Well, non-English at the initial stage for starters. It’s a 12-week self-paced course that will give you a certificate of completion.
6. English for the Workplace (Futurelearn)
Language comes in facets. You cannot swap the English that you speak in a party with the English that you speak in a workplace. There are certain set of rules and protocols and things to say and not to say when it comes to your workplace. Few of the details in this course are: –
- Learning vocabulary used in a workplace
- Business-oriented communication technique
- Evaluate your language skills.
This course which is provided by Futurelearn lasts for 4 weeks with 2 hours of weekly study. Course can be helpful for non-native English speakers seeking job opportunities.
7. English for Media Literacy (Alison)
Living in a world of social media is not as easy as you think. Everyone has an opinion on everything and everyone wants to speak about everything! But most of the times what goes on in the brain cannot be typed in front and if you mess up somehow even unintentionally, it is a place that will show you no remorse. Which is why you have courses like these. This course in particular gives helps you in:
- Identifying what you choose to speak on media
- Tips and hacks of social media
- Understanding today’s social media situation
This course on Alison online learning platform is a 3-hour course with 6 modules in total. It is offered by the University of Pennsylvania.
8. Preparing to Network in English (edX)
Networking, the part where you meet a lot of extroverts to form our own big friends circle! English is important when it comes to you engaging on a social level to form contacts in the industrial sector. Few of the tricks this course teaches us are:
- Building a rapport with the people you interacted with
- Expanding your network with speaking skills
- Identifying your strengths and improving them
This course is provided by the University of Washington on the edX online learning platform. This course is a total of 6 weeks of study with 3-5 hours dedicated for each week. The course is free but you need to pay for getting the certificate that will be globally recognized.