With over 1.2 billion native and non-native speakers, English is the most widely spoken language in the world.
It has evolved since its first known usage in Medieval England from Old English to Middle English to Early Modern English.
English uses the Latin script alphabet along with English Braille and is in the West Germanic language family. If you want to learn to speak English, please read this review of EnglishClass101 by Innovative Languages.
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EnglishClass101 Review: Summary
EnglishClass101 is free for seven days when you register. After signing up for EnglishClass101, you get to use the entire library of lessons including videos and podcasts. You can choose to learn American English, British English or both at one time. Native English speakers host every class and lesson.
There are four levels to choose from including absolute beginner, beginner, intermediate and advanced speaker. Take the quiz to find out where you should begin your study if you are unsure. Whether you know a little or a lot of English, you can start at the right level and advance toward becoming fluent. Other features included with EnglishClass101 are:
- PDF cheat sheets
- Apps for mobile phones and tablets
- Word and Phrase lists
- Three-minute lessons
- Four subscription levels
- Interactive learning tools
- Modern and interesting classes
- A structured pathway of lessons for each level
Some other key features that really stood out to us:
- Full line-by-line transcripts and lesson notes
- Flashcards, word bank & ‘word of the day’ emails
- Vocabulary lists, dictionary & most common words list
Pros of EnglishClass101
Pro #1: Learn to Speak British and American English
Though both American and British English can be understood between the two, there are some small but important spelling and cultural differences. EnglishClass101 makes sure that you are aware of these small differences by offering lessons taught by native British English and native American English speakers.
Pro #2: Modern Content
The lessons do not use old, outdated or irrelevant material. Instead, you will find modern information and conversations spoken as they are in real life. You will be taught the way a native English speaker talks so you can immediately fit in when you begin speaking English.
Pro #3: On-The-Go Learning
Download the application on your mobile to learn anywhere you are. You can listen to a podcast while riding the train home from work or watch a video lesson on your lunch break. EnglishClass101 makes it easy to learn to speak English with access to your program wherever you go.
Pro #4: Large Lesson Library
EnglishClass101 offers one of the largest lesson libraries out of all language learning programs. You will be able to watch and listen to thousands of videos and podcasts for hundreds of hours. If you only need a quick refresher for upcoming travel, you can find phrase lists and videos just for that. If you plan to speak fluent English, you can use the structured lesson plans.
Pro #5: Lots of Very Engaging Content
Running into walls with your English studies is inevitable and happens to everyone – sometimes you just really need to mix things up in order to refire your passion again for language learning. One of the best things we found about EnglishClass101 is that there’s not only a wide range of diverse and interesting topics, but every single lesson includes either video or audio content (or both). This is the core idea behind EnglishClass101, and it does wonders for your language skills. Ask anyone who’s mastered the English language and they’ll say TV & music is what got them to where they are. EnglishClass101 is the next best thing.
The native speakers use role play, dialogues, interviews and several other engaging techniques to make the lessons light-hearted, interesting and fun. Gone are the days of falling to sleep during English class! Having a range of speakers not only exposes you to lots of different speaking styles and accents, but also keeps the whole vibe feeling fresh and interesting. The lessons also cover some really useful and fun topics.
For example, you can learn how to ask someone out on a date or even take a virtual tour of Washington DC. Simply browse through the lesson library and select whatever takes your fancy. The ‘pathway’ (set of lessons) will be automatically added to your dashboard for you to start tracking your progress and working through each lesson.
Cons of EnglishClass101
Con #1: Some English Required
It is difficult to make a program for all the different languages people who want to learn English might use, so English is the only language used for pronunciations and explanations. It is almost necessary to have at least a little background in English to be able to understand even the most basic lessons.
Con #2: Little Feedback
There is little feedback to know if you are progressing well unless you pay for the PremiumPLUS subscription plan. With this plan, you have access to your own teacher and personalized learning plan. Without it, it can be hard to know whether you are making the correct choices.
Features of EnglishClass101
Multiple Learning Pathways
EnglishClass101 has hundreds of different ways to begin your learning with different pathways. You could choose the curated path for the most structured way to become fluent in English. Likewise, you can choose pathways like All About American Culture and Society, British English Reading Comprehension and Speaking Perfect English at a Restaurant. This allows you to customize exactly how you want to learn English. The lesson library has the added ability to filter pathways based on video/audio, and also on the skill type – whether you want to focus on English conversation, reading & writing, vocabulary, grammar or culture. You can also sort all the pathways based upon popularity, the newest lessons or alphabetical order.
Upon signing into EnglishClass101, you will be taken to your dashboard. This is where you can check your progress, change your expertise level and store your learning pathways. Your dashboard is the main area of EnglishClass101 and here you can find information on the newest lessons added, the latest news and new vocabulary and phrase lists.
Videos and Podcasts
Video and podcast lessons operate in a similar manner. The enthusiastic instructors slowly go over the lesson which often begins with the most common questions. For example, you will practice asking the question “How are you?” Then, you will answer that question with an appropriate response. The instructors give multiple responses to these questions because this is what you would see in a realistic conversation.
All lessons are followed with detailed cheat sheets that go over what you just learned and add any relevant cultural or societal information that might apply to the situation. These can be printed and reviewed later. In case you didn’t fully catch something, the full transcripts are provided for you to read along to, if you wish. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find the comments section. Here you can ask any question related to the lesson if you have any problems, and the team is very quick to respond.
Flashcards are an interactive way to practice vocabulary and use spaced-repetition to help you memorize the words. Words are slowly spoken and you can also hear them used in sentences. You can also keep track of how many words you got right.
You will find many opportunities to review your pronunciation after each lesson. You can even record your voice to playback and compare with an instructor’s to make sure you have your English down. Many times you will hear words used in different sentences so that you get an idea of how it should sound in different word order.
Word of the Day, Key Phrases & Vocabulary Lists
To help keep you motivated and your vocabulary ticking along, EnglishClass101 offers a number of valuable tools and features to help you build up a large vocabulary pool.
You can sign up to a free email service where they’ll send you a new word each and every day. Little and often is always the best way to study a language, so this is a really great idea. They always provide several examples of how the word should be used in a sentence to ensure you get the right context. This makes learning new vocabulary a breeze, since our brains are wired to remember pictures and stories far more than simply isolated words. In case you miss a day or two, you can always go back to it by clicking on the section from your dashboard. From here you can scroll through all the previous word-of-the-day’s.
If you need a common phrase quickly, the key phrases section could come in handy, though we found it to be quite limited in scope. Still, it’s always a bonus. Our favorite vocabulary section, however, were the vocabulary lists. Are you a list person? Here, you can choose any topic from star wars day to new year’s resolutions and you’ll find as many as 50 words neatly packaged up into categorised lists. You can scroll through all the related words/sentences, practice your pronunciation with the record function, and add your favorites to your word bank.
Core 2000 Word List
Finally, the 2000 most common words section is a great supplementary tool. When learning a new language, especially English, you always want to focus on the most common words to save wasting your time learning the language that no one hardly uses anymore. This list provides the most common words that are spoken today in the English language. You can filter all 2467 words based on categories such as hobbies, transport and business to supplement your vocab learning. Most words come with a plethora of examples and can be easily added to you word bank or a personalised flashcard deck for you to practice at a later date.
Who Should Buy EnglishClass101?
EnglishClass101 is a great asset for anyone trying to master the English language. This can be a difficult language to learn with varying rules, so we feel people who would benefit the most from EnglishClass101 include those who:
- are self-motivated and dedicated to learning
- have time to put toward studying and learning
- are looking for a structured approach for steady progression
- want to become fluent English speakers with a native accent & correct pronunciation
- want to quickly learn English phrases for travel
- plan to expand the business to the United States, Canada, the UK or Australia
- have an English speaking partner or family
- are someone who enjoys visually engaging content or who learns best through audio/video content
Who Should Not Buy EnglishClass101?
On the other hand, it is hard to find a language program that is perfect for everyone. Those who might not benefit from EnglishClass101 include those who:
- prefer the help of an instructor
- prefer to attend live classes
- do not have time for study
EnglishClass101 vs. Competitors
In order to give a fair review, we must include some thoughts on other language programs. Though you can find many ways to learn English online, not all programs are as comprehensive as the others.
EnglishClass101 vs. Transparent Language Online
Transparent Language Online offers over 100 languages and English is one of them. This program costs about $25 per month and that includes games, learning pathways and English materials for 25 different native languages. It also offers speech recognition technology to compare your pronunciations to that of native speakers.
EnglishClass101 vs. Pimsleur
Pimsleur promises to teach you to speak English with intermediate fluency in just 30 days. It claims to work by teaching English (for Spanish speakers) in the same way little children learn their native tongue: by listening and repetition. It is about $15 per month and for that, you get access to tons of podcasts. You can listen anywhere you have access to the internet or download them for later.
$8/month $2.80/month (using our coupon link)
- Printable lesson downloads
- Access to the complete audio archive
- Access on mobile, desktop computers and tablets
$25/month $7/month (using our coupon link)
The Premium Subscription includes all the Basic Subscription features plus:
- Lesson quizzes
- Spaced repetition flashcards
- Comprehensive word and phrase lists
- Bonus content
- Audio transcripts
Premium PLUS Subscription
$47/month $16/month (using our coupon link)
The Premium PLUS Subscription includes all the Basic and Premium Subscription features plus:
- Periodic professional assessments
- Persona learning pathway
- One-on-one instruction with a native speaking instructor
EnglishClass101 Review: Conclusion
Overall, this program is one of the best ways to learn how to speak English. It is affordable and comprehensive, allowing you to learn at your own pace. The lessons are both challenging and engaging, teetering along the fine line between being too flashy and trendy on one side of the spectrum, and too heavy and textbook-focused on the other.
The uniqueness of the program lies in the fact that you can fully customize your learning pathways. Whilst this may be unsettling or even overwhelming for some, we see it as a massive advantage. It keeps the learning fresh and interesting – which is one of the main challenges all language students face (getting bored!) As you progress through the main level pathway, you’ll have the ability to jump around a variety of interesting lessons, hitting two birds with one stone. This makes EnglishClass101 a brilliant resource for both traditional-style learners and more casual learners alike.
Whilst there have been concerns in the past about a lack of content for the higher levels, this is something that has been clearly addressed as there’s now a wealth of great content on the platform and more being added on a regular basis.
If you are serious about becoming fluent in the English language, EnglishClass101 is a secure investment.
If you use this link to sign up, you get an additional 30% off at checkout, and it also helps support our site. Note: We only recommend products that we’ve actually used, tested and liked — this is no exception.