Language Learning: Free upcoming courses

Free Language Learning Courses


All these courses are free (although there may be a fee if you want a certificate) and provide a good grounding in the basics.

Perhaps you can use it for a taster of a language you have never tried before or as a bit of reinforcement or revision of one you already know?

These courses could be a good way to test a language out before shelling out lots of money on a more expensive course.

Anything that increases your exposure to other languages can be useful in your language learning journey!

April and May 2016


First Step Korean

(Coursera – Yonsei University)


Starts April 4th and lasts for 5 weeks with between 1-3 hours of study needed each week.

The first week of the course is already available to preview (See my posts on it here, here and here)

While the presentation is a little dry I feel that it is very clear and useful so I am planning to take the rest of this course as it becomes available. I will also continue to post learning materials here so check back a little bit later.


Chinese for Beginners

More Chinese for Beginners

(Coursera – Peking University)


While I haven’t tried either of these courses myself Peking University’s Chinese courses have a very good reputation, 1 in 3 people in the world speak some form of Mandarin Chinese and both of the courses are free – what’s not to like?

Especially for those coming from a European language background Chinese grammar is beautifully simple – may come as a relief after struggling with the subjunctive in Italian or any other form of verb conjugation in European languages!

The first course starts on April 6th and runs until June, a second running of the course starts on 20th April and most weeks after that too.

The second course starts on May 9th, with further sessions starting on 23rd May and roughly every two weeks after that.


Basic Mandarin Chinese – Level 1

(EdX – MandarinX)


This is the first of six planned courses which look like they could take you to quite a good level of proficiency in Chinese. Course 1 starts on May 2nd and is designed to last for 6 weeks but it is self-paced so you could feasibly take less or more time to finish it.


Introduction to Italian

(Futurelearn – Universita per Stranieri di Siena)


Starts 16th May for 6 weeks, approximately 3 hours needed per week

Covering topics such as: introductions, likes and dislikes, simple questions and conversation, interests, food and clothes with cultural pointers too.

Italian is the first language I truly fell in love with…and why wouldn’t you?! Enjoy!


Introduction to Dutch

(Futurelearn – University of Groningen)


Starts 23rd May for three weeks, approximately 3 hours needed per week.

My only experience of Dutch left me feeling quite intrigued as many of the words were mutually intelligible from German and English. It’s not particularly high on my language learning priority list right now but I might try this out, just to see!


Learn Spanish: Basic Spanish for English Speakers

(EdX – Universitat Politecnica de Valencia)


Self-paced course designed to last for 16 weeks.

I have just completed the very first lesson on this course and it seems really clear with lots of short videos to practice and reinforce the basics. While Spanish is not a language-learning priority for me at the moment a basic level of Spanish could only be a good thing as it is so widely-spoken across the world. I plan to check in on this course periodically and maybe complete it as a summer project…perhaps book a budget flight and give myself a deadline?


There are lots of courses out there for almost any language you can imagine – I will be adding them to language-specific resource pages as I find them.

Do you know of any free language courses you would recommend?

Have you found any of the above courses useful?

Let me know in the comments below!


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