Learn English online: top 5 free learning apps

Learn English online: top 5 free learning apps


Duolingo: The Leading Language Learning App for Beginners

Duolingo is the most popular and widely used language learning app, with over 300 million active users worldwide. Duo's key trait is a gamified approach to everything.

When you start using Duolingo, you choose your knowledge level and start off with a sequence of vocabulary learning lessons.

The app encourages you to set daily goals for vocabulary practice and tracks your progress through interactive exercises, videos, quizzes, and games. You earn rewards and advance to higher levels as you complete lessons and demonstrate your language skills.

Duolingo, source: https://blog.duolingo.com/new-duolingo-home-screen-design/

However, despite its popularity, Duolingo has its limitations. The app is not suitable for intermediate or advanced level users (B1-C1), as it cannot offer much beyond basic vocabulary and grammar practice.

Pros Cons
Engaging and interactive interface Limited to basic vocabulary and grammar practice
Offers a gamified approach to language learning Annoying notifications
Slow pace of learning without premium

ELSA Speak

ELSA Speak: Perfecting Pronunciation

ELSA Speak is a unique language learning app that specifically focuses on pronunciation practice. It is an excellent choice for intermediate or solid beginner learners who struggle with understanding proper pronunciation.

With ELSA Speak, users can practice their speaking and listening skills through conversations with AI-powered english lessons.

One of the best features of ELSA Speak is its state-of-the-art technology that works wonders for anyone's pronunciation.

The app offers personalized lessons based on users' pronunciation needs, providing targeted practice and feedback to help them learn to speak English like a native in no time.

ELSA Speak, source: https://elsaspeak.com/en/

However, it is important for students to note that ELSASpeak is not a comprehensive language learning app like Duolingo.

It is solely focused on pronunciation, not english vocabulary, and learners may need to supplement it with other resources to gain a well-rounded English learning experience.

Pros Cons
Focuses exclusively on pronunciation practice Lacks comprehensive language learning features
Personalized lessons tailored to your needs Can be repetitive
Uses AI technology to provide targeted feedback


Busuu: Language Learning from A1 to C1

Busuu is popular language learning app that offers a comprehensive online English language learning experience to users of almost all levels, from beginner to more advanced learners.

The key feature of Busuu is that it covers all skillls, that you would need, for example, to live in English speaking country. The app includes vocabulary exercises, grammar, writing, reading, and listening practice.

One of the main advantages of Busuu is its flexibility in terms of user knowledge levels and skills. You can of course start at any level, namely A1 to C1, and the app will automatically adjust to your knowledge level.

Busuu, source: https://www.busuu.com/de

However, the downside of Busuu is that it can become dull and not engaging at higher levels. The app feels more like a traditional language course, like you would get at the British Council, with the only difference being that you don't actually get the fun of real-world conversation.

Nevertheless, for a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to language learning, Busuu is a solid choice. Its free courses are our top pick for now, as it suits all the different language knowledge levels plus allows you to practice all the aspects of learning English together.

The premium subscription is relatively cheap here too.

Pros Cons
Comprehensive language learning Can be dull and monotonous at higher levels.
Suitable for all levels
Features conversation practice.


Babbel: Everyday Conversational Skills

Babbel is a language learning app that is quite similar to Duolingo and Busuu. However, Babbel sets itself apart by focusing mainly on providing users with everyday conversational skills. With this app, you can learn basic, English language phrases, and 13 other languages, including Spanish, French, and German.

Babbel offers a range of course-like exercises and free lessons that cover various topics and real life situations, like meeting in restaurant, getting to know someone, etc. Additionally, the app offers real lessons with different tutors, which can give you an edge in your learning.

Babbel, source: https://wccftech.com/babbel-language-learning-subscription-discount/

In our opinion, Babbel doesn't have any significant drawbacks, except that it can easily become boring if you aren't really motivated to learn

Pros Cons
Everyday conversational skills Can become boring
14 different languages available
Lessons with tutors


Memrise: Personalized Learning with AI Chatbot

Memrise is an innovative language learning app that features a powerful AI chatbot, allowing users to personalize their learning experience.

The app's AI chatbot, something of a reworked ChatGPT for folks wanting to learn new languages, offers an endless resources for tailored language learning practice, making it a great choice for those who prefer a personalized approach.

One of Memrise's main strengths is that rarely can it become boring, with artificial intelligence in charge, you will always be entertained.

Memrise includes a variety of videos and exercises to help you improve your English grammar skills. Memrise also offers 23 different languages to learn, making it a great choice for those interested in learning multiple languages.


However, Memrise is mainly focused on beginners and may not be suitable for those looking for intermediate or advanced language learning. As of the time of writing, the app also lacks speaking practice, which may be a drawback for some users.

Pros Cons
AI chatbot Mainly focused on beginners
Engaging content Lack of speaking practice
23 languages to choose from


In conclusion, we have explored some of the most popular language learning apps available for English learners. Duolingo, Busuu, Babbel, ELSASpeak, and Memrise offer unique features that cater to different learning styles and needs.

Duolingo provides a game-like experience with gamified exercises and is ideal for beginners. Busuu offers a comprehensive learning experience for all levels, while Babbel focuses on conversational skills with real-life scenarios.

ELSASpeak is the go-to app for perfecting pronunciation, and Memrise provides endless tailored language learning practice with its AI chatbot.

Thanks to these language learning apps, learning English online for free is now possible.

However, it is important to note that these apps have limitations and cannot replace real-life language immersion or language classes with a teacher.

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