How to choose your online English course
Although it is possible to make good progress on your own , English training is vital to staying organized and progressing effectively. She will suggest a method that will allow us to achieve our goal of becoming multilingual in English . However, with the many resources available on the vastness of the internet (and offline), it can be difficult to choose the best online English course that’s right for you .
However, learning English online is possible and many learners have already proven it!
We therefore want to devote today’s article to the important aspects for effective online English learning. You will learn everything you need and what to look for in an English course !
Use authentic content!
You have certainly already fallen into the trap of learning artificial English , only by text. It’s not your fault, because most “traditional” English courses (including school) teach us an adapted version of the language. The result is that we cannot understand the English spoken by the natives . Moreover, we end up speaking as we write! But by dint of reading only suitable texts, we will end up only being able to understand suitable English. If we only consume inauthentic content, we will never speak naturally.
That’s why the ideal online English course is packed with authentic content . I recommend that you look for training that specifically focuses on oral English , and how to understand and express yourself orally. The living language is full of idioms , slang , proverbs , things we weren’t taught in school.
As a complement to your English training, I strongly recommend exposing yourself to natural language as much as possible, consuming content that is lively, interesting and authentic. Discover our resources to practice English !
Don’t talk like a robot! Choose an
online English course full of natural expressions !
To be able to understand the English spoken by the natives and to be able to express themselves in a natural way , your course must use audio everywhere , whether you choose oral English training . 🎧
In other words, every word, every phrase, every little example will need to come with a voice recording so you can hear the correct pronunciation . One mistake you should absolutely avoid in your English learning process is satisfying yourself only by imagining or assuming how a word would be pronounced when you read it. This would result in embarrassing mistakes , like ordering “a big dick” instead of a big Coca-Cola!..
Here are some good resources for checking the pronunciation of isolated words :
The big downside is that you have to look up every word yourself . There is no system or progression. So, again, these resources are a great addition to your English training , but they cannot replace it.
Phonetic transcriptions everywhere
We have already seen that it is absolutely essential that your English course has audio everywhere so that you don’t end up with a bad accent. Having audio everywhere is a great way to avoid the trap of learning incorrect pronunciation, but it’s not always enough.
Audio recordings are useful only if our ear is already able to distinguish and hear different sounds . One shortcoming that many learners have is that they don’t know all the sounds of English. Did you know that there are 14 sounds in American English that don’t exist in Indian English? You can perhaps imagine that if you are not aware of the existence of a sound, it will be impossible to distinguish it within a word or a sentence.
That’s why you also need to familiarize yourself with English phonetics ! The three main aspects of English phonetics that are missing from Indian English and that you need to become familiar with are:
- The sounds of English (watch out for the 14 sounds that don’t exist in Indian English!)
- The tonic accent
- Sentence accent
It is quite simple to get acquainted with the theory. On the other hand, to learn to use all of this in an automated or fluid way, so that you no longer need to think about it, you have to be constantly confronted with it .
For this reason, it is extremely useful to have phonetic transcriptions everywhere , to not only hear the correct pronunciation, but also to be able to analyze it with a visual aid.
The optimal solution would be to have phonetic transcriptions written in the International Phonetic Alphabet (or IPA ). This is the standard system for representing the pronunciation of words. To learn the symbols you’ll need to read English phonetic transcriptions, you can check out:
- Our interactive infographic to learn the sounds of American English 🖱️
To sum up, a good online English course should have plenty of phonetic transcriptions to help you get used to people’s natural way of speaking, to strengthen and use both your auditory memory (through recordings) and your memory visual.
Trying to hear a sound you don’t know is like
trying to find someone you’ve never seen!
English training to suit your schedule
You need a lot of practice to reach an advanced level in English . The problem with most English courses is that they only focus on one level. One can find English courses for beginners or for advanced learners, for example. However, the courses that will allow you to go from a basic level to an advanced level are not so numerous.
Concretely, if you want to reach the C1 / C2 level in English (and this is usually what we aim for when we say that we want to become “multilingual”), you need about 1000 -1200 hours of practice .
You can imagine that’s quite an investment and, since we all have different schedules, it can be difficult to find an English course that you can combine with your own. All of this means that ideally you can work on your English on your own schedule . The solution would therefore be to find distance English training.
A flexible online English course not only means you have to be able to choose when you go to study, but also where . Even if it is true that face-to-face English lessons have a good dynamic, it is often complicated to combine them with work, family, etc. Most professions have fixed work periods, so it’s refreshing and important to be able to choose when and where you go to study .
Besides, I recommend that you practice your English several times a day . For example, having several small sessions of around 15-20 minutes is much more effective than having one long session of 2 hours. It’s much easier to stay focused and work optimally and it’s better for our memory: if we space out our sessions, it will strengthen our memory (we’ll come back to this point).
Flexibility is important for learning English !
Everything you need, in one place
We have already said that we must devote approximately 1000-1200 hours of our time to the practice of English, to master it. But wait ! Before you buy dozens of grammar books to fill in all those hours of practice, know that the way you’re going to practice is still quite flexible . The “traditional” learning of vocabulary and grammar is very important and cannot be replaced, but that does not mean that it is the only thing that can be done to reach 1000 hours of practice.
You can also find ways to practice English while having fun : listening to music , watching films and series in original version, reading books , comics , etc. ! The possibilities are limitless. This is why I recommend that you discover our section dedicated to resources for practicing English and use them as a complement to your training.
As for English training, it must also include a large number of resources and be complete. It is not enough to just cross words and expressions using the language, you also have to be able to understand and remember them! This is why, ideally, the English course you choose will contain enough resources for you to learn to use the language independently and from there, to gradually begin to consume and understand content. natural in English.
It’s absolutely great to dive into the vast amount of content the English language has to offer, but it can also be frustrating and difficult. For this reason, your online English course will serve as a lifeline so that you can finally start living the language !
All online English courses should offer some variety of content
Learning in context
We need a certain number of words to be able to understand and express ourselves effectively . The magic number is 5000 ! You need to master the 5000 most common words of the English language to be able to communicate fluently.
Attention ! There is absolutely no point in memorizing all these words individually (and it’s boring!). If you study isolated words, it will prevent you from understanding them or being able to use them in a real context.
Instead, always learn in context! Some useful resources:
- Wiktionary to check the meaning of a word or phrase.
- Youglish to find sample sentences and learn vocabulary in context .
- FrequencyList.com : a site where you can discover the 5000 most common words.
As with all free resources, the problem is that these will only allow you to check the meaning, pronunciation and usage of words that you have searched for yourself. In other words, it ‘s up to you to plan and decide what to study .
Remember… and never forget again
Learning 5000 words is no child’s play! We not only need to organize ourselves to learn them, but we also need to find an effective way to review them . You see, the human brain is not made to retain all the information that we try to make it swallow, we forget what we do not use to free up space for something useful.
💡 To show our brain that we have important information to remember, we have to cross this information several times . By doing this, our brain will understand that it is something important that it must remember, since it is so common.
Fortunately, you don’t have to revise the same word hundreds of times either, so you have to find the balance between revising so little that we forget the words and revising so much that we get bored (and waste our time and energy instead of devoting them to something else).
When you learn a new word, you forget it after a while. This is represented by what is called the forgetting curve. It was highlighted in 1885 by the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, in his study of memory:
The forgetting curve represents how our memory works.
On the vertical axis the strength of memory, on the horizontal axis, time.
If one revises new words at the right time and often enough, the famous American linguist Pimsleur discovered what the optimal revision intervals are :
5 seconds, 25 seconds, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, 1 hour, 5 hours, 1 day, 5 days, 25 days, 4 months, and 2 years
A good English course would therefore have a system of spaced repetitions that respects these built-in intervals. There are free sites that use such a spaced repetition system, which you could use like Anki or Quizlet .
The obvious downside is that you have to create your own flashcards by hand. So, to optimize your time and effort, I recommend that you choose an English course that teaches the 5000 most used words with a spaced repetition system built into it. This will ensure that you don’t have to think about anything other than just learning .
Use English with real people
The number of people who spend years learning English without ever speaking with a real English speaker is truly amazing! I would even say shocking: why spend all this time and do all this work if you are never going to enjoy the most pleasant side of the language, namely communicating with new people ?!
Obviously, there is no substitute for real conversations with native speakers, but where an online English course can help you is finding your words in English . If the training teaches you all the important vocabulary , in a progressive and effective way, it will allow you to learn to use many phrases automatically, without thinking about it. In addition, thanks to the natural recordings and all the phonetic transcriptions, you will have already accumulated all the experience necessary to be able to understand your interlocutor and suddenly, communicate without problem .
Here are some ways to practice English with real people:
- learn English online with a pen pal ,
- organize language exchanges (online or offline),
- learn English with an online teacher, on platforms such as italki ,
- dating in your own city .
And if you want to learn English offline , I recommend that you focus on an English course abroad . The advantage of an immersion training in an English-speaking country is obviously that you will be confronted with the real language and that you will be able to use everything you learn right away.
On the other hand, the disadvantage is that most English courses are not made specifically for Indian English speakers. Especially if you are a beginner, it would be very useful to have a method that takes your native language into account. Among other things, to emphasize the common difficulties that Indian speakers face (pronunciation, conjugation, etc.), but also, not to waste your time on easy things, since they exist in both languages ( for example, difference between definite and indefinite article .
Learn English while having fun
Learn English online while having fun … it’s the dream! And it’s entirely possible to make your dreams come true: don’t forget that English is a living language ! Moreover, it is perhaps the liveliest language in the world: so much content is produced in English every day, that it would be a real sin if you didn’t take advantage of it.
Learn English while having fun
Bonus: save time!
If you choose an English course that respects all the important aspects of learning mentioned above, you will no longer waste your time and energy trying to figure out what you need to do and study .
Such training will save you a huge amount of time that you would otherwise waste searching for information. This is valuable time you could devote to your English learning.
So you spend your time practicing English, not looking for what to do!
The training made for you?
So, we have covered all the aspects that a good online English course must have . Of course, you could find courses that combine several of these criteria, but it is in your best interest to choose one that will combine them all . This is the most effective option : if you follow an English course that has all the important criteria for good learning, you will only have to learn.
Click & Speak is an intensive online English course that will allow you to learn American English with the correct accent and have a clear understanding. In addition, it is an interactive English course: you will have to actively work to learn the content.
By combining all the points mentioned in this article, Click & Speak has earned its title as the best paid online English course . By subscribing, you will have access to:
- authentic content , chosen by real English speakers who use the language every day, reviewed by well-educated native speakers to ensure everything is top-notch;
- Audio Everywhere : All content is recorded by American actors so you can experience clear, natural, and authentic pronunciation. Specifically, there are over 30,000 phonemic transcriptions on Click & Speak ;
- phonetic transcriptions everywhere , available for all training content;
- a rhythm that respects your schedule : Click & Speak is a distance learning course, without a teacher, which will allow you to work on English at your own pace, according to your own schedule, anytime and anywhere .
- a gigantic number of resources : on Click & Speak you can find 7000 monologues and 365 dialogues, a huge amount that covers all the situations of daily life, which will allow you to familiarize yourself with everything you will need to be able to use the language in all situations;
- learning in context : all content is situational, that is to say that it has a very concrete context, which is essential for retaining it;
- a spaced repetition system : we have already seen that revision is an essential part of effective learning, so on C&S you can revise the contents respecting the optimal revision intervals;
- fun, dynamic and interesting learning : since the contents are emotional, interesting and authentic, the training can be compared to a sitcom, so you will never be bored again!
Conquer the world with all-in-one English training !
Imagine you are learning and everything you need is scattered across the whole city, it would take a long time to do it all. You would be in this situation all the time, wasting your time. The logical solution is to go to the supermarket! Or… in our case, to choose a training that teaches you everything you need in a progressive and organized way!