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Learn a Foreign Language

67 courses

Are you planning a vacation or a move to a different country? Perhaps you enjoyed a language at school and wish you’d kept it up. There are many reasons for wanting to learn a new language - and just as many benefits! Research has shown that speaking more than one language boosts your brain power, opening new neural pathways. Scientists have also found that bilinguals are better at remembering and multitasking than monoglots (people who speak just one language). Having another linguistic string to your bow may also slow the onset of dementia, make you a better decision maker and improve your critical faculties. The British Council rates Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic and German as the most important languages for English speakers to learn in today’s world. Speaking one of these, or another foreign language, can open the door to new careers, relationships and opportunities and look great on your CV. So if you want to speak Spanish, pick up Portuguese or learn German (and many other languages), all you need to do is register for your Alison account, select a course, and say ‘bonjour’, ‘nǐ hǎo’ or ‘ciao’ to a whole new world.

Top Free Online Languages Courses

Focus on French

With 280 million French speakers in the world, you should have plenty of opportunities to practise this beautiful language, whether you want to use it for work or holidays or are prepping for exams. Our free online French lessons cover everything from the basics of everyday conversation to more challenging interactions so that you can engage ‘en Français’ with confidence.

View all Lingua francese Courses

Learn German

German is among Europe’s most important languages for business and academic purposes. It is not as difficult as many people think if English is your mother tongue. Both languages have many words in common, such as ‘house’ and ‘haus’. Sentence structures are also similar in that usually the subject comes first, then the verb, then the object, as in ‘I love you’ and ‘Ich liebe dich’. With the German economy being the largest in the European Union, it’s worth learning this fascinating language for a truly ‘freundlich’ reception.

View all Lingua tedesca Courses

Speak Spanish

One of the world’s most widely spoken languages, Spanish is considered among the easiest to learn and a perfect gateway to other languages. Along with French, Italian and Portuguese, it’s known as a Romance language and its phonetic pronunciation makes it most accessible for beginners. Take our free Spanish lessons and improve your communication skills on holiday or at work.

View all Lingua spagnola Courses

Practise Portuguese

Many people study Spanish as a gateway language but why not learn Portuguese instead? It is similar in many ways and widely spoken, from Portugal to Brazil and parts of Africa. It’s a rich, musical tongue and you’ll reap rewards from speaking it, whether you want to get the most out of carnival time in Rio or simply do business in Brazil, one of the world’s Top 10 economies. 


View all Portoghese Courses

Chinese Courses

Learn Chinese, the world’s second most popular language, with our free courses. Chinese is fascinating to westerners and not as difficult as you might expect. The Chinese writing system, known as Hanzi, uses SVO (subject-verb-object), the same as English. To add to the intrigue, Mandarin is a tonal language, so the meaning of a word changes with the pronunciation. Our free Chinese courses will teach you those all important tones, so let’s go or ‘zǒu ba’ as they say in China, and begin learning today.

View all Lingua cinese Courses

Learn Japanese

Japanese has a reputation for being difficult to learn but in fact it is less complex than many western languages. While you may baulk at the Kanji writing system, in many other regards it is not difficult to learn Japanese. There are only five vowel sounds and there is less emphasis on tonal pronunciation than in Mandarin, so you don’t need to worry about the meaning of your words changing if your pitch is slightly off. There are many reasons to learn Japanese, not least to find out more about this fascinating culture, to do business with one of the world’s largest economies, or to simply understand the dialogue in your favourite anime.

View all Lingua giapponese Courses

Discover Arabic

Explore one of the world’s most important cultures when you take our free Arabic lessons. Spoken by more than 400 million people across the Middle East, north Africa and beyond, this ancient language is challenging but worth the effort. Learn Arabic and you’ll discover how to decipher beautiful calligraphy and get the knack of writing from right to left. Whether you want to be able to use it at home or abroad, for friendships or work, Arabic is a fascinating and rewarding language to begin.

View all Lingua araba Courses

Learn Italian

If you’ve studied Latin or speak Spanish, Italian is a breeze! With a basic grasp of the language you will find a whole new level of enjoyment when visiting this beautiful country, touring its incredible heritage sites or simply immersing yourself in its vibrant culture. If you love the arts, history, fashion, food and high end cars, learn Italian and you can only enhance that appreciation. It also looks great on your CV.

View all Lingua italiana Courses

Conquer Korean!

Korean culture is taking the world by storm. Whether you are a fan of K-pop and K-drama, the local cuisine, from kimchi to Korean Fried Chicken, or Korea’s world-leading technology, there is a lot to discover. Perhaps you are planning a trip to south-east Asia, or are simply interested in finding out more about the culture. Our Korean language courses will give you an excellent grounding, teaching you the basics of everyday communication and etiquette along with the Hangul alphabet for reading and writing Korean.

View all Lingua coreana Courses

Speak Russian

With 258 million speakers, Russian is the eighth most spoken language in the world. The first step to getting acquainted with it is mastering the 33 letters of the Cyrillic alphabet, which is derived from Greek. Once you’ve got the hang of that, it’s not as difficult to learn Russian as you might think, especially if you learn by listening to it spoken. Our Russian language courses are aimed at young learners and emphasise the spoken word.

View all Lingua russa Courses

Teaching English as a Second Language

English may be the most widely spoken language in the world, with 1.35 billion speakers, but it is far from easy for non-native speakers to learn. If you are interested in teaching it as a foreign or second language, it’s essential to get some training under your belt. ESL (English as a second language) is for teaching non-natives in an English speaking country while TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language) refers to teaching in a non-English speaking country. Our free courses  will explain how to communicate clearly, help you devise lesson plans and teach you how to manage a classroom. If you plan to travel, having TEFL training can open the door to many work opportunities.

Learn English

If you want to learn English, visit our English Language Hub. There are courses for everyone from complete beginners to more proficient speakers who want to improve their grammar and vocabulary. The universal language is difficult to learn but our first rate English speaking courses will help you every step of the way.

English for Thai and Russian Speakers

People from Thailand and Russia get a helping hand to master English in these video-based courses. The closed captions appear in English, Thai and Russian making the lessons easier to follow.


If you are thinking of dipping a toe into a language, this section includes one-off courses which are not part of a set. Why not learn Swedish, which is the most useful of the Scandinavian languages to learn? As well as being spoken in Sweden, it’s widely understood in Finland and can help you understand Norwegian and Danish too. Learn Turkish and get more out of your visit to this beautiful country. Or if you would like to visit the many islands of the Philippines or converse with someone you know, why not learn Tagalog, the official language of the country. For another interesting foray into foreign tongues, take our course in Tamil, which is widely spoken not only in Sri Lanka, but also in Singapore and parts of India. Or how about British Sign Language? Fans of the UK series Strictly Come Dancing are rushing to learn it after deaf actor Rose Ayling-Ellis stole the nation’s heart in 2021.

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