Wish you had perfect English grammar? Learn English language skills and pronunciation in our top 10 online courses.
In My Fair Lady, Lerner and Loewe’s scathing musical commentary on class, the priggish Professor Higgins intones: “An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him – the moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him!”
Class distinctions are fuzzier now than in Higgins’ time, but correct English grammar still has the power to enhance one’s image – and you don’t need to be writing bestsellers or giving a TED Talk to benefit from it.
Jennifer Ayling is an SEO content writer who writes blogs for companies, boosting their profile by providing their audience with expert guidance. Many of her posts rank on the first page of Google – no mean feat, given the importance the Google algorithm places on authoritative and trustworthy writing.
“Good grammar is important because it makes your written and verbal content easy to follow and understand, showing readers you value their time,” says Ayling. “It improves your credibility and leaves people with a positive impression; your readers are more likely to trust and connect with you as a result.”
Whether you want to write essays or simply avoid confusion while texting, check out our top ten courses to perfect your English grammar.
1. Master English grammar with University College London
English Grammar: All You Need to Know is a brand new course from University College London. Over six weeks, you’ll build good grammar from the ground up, starting with word classes – nouns, adjectives and verbs – and finishing with advanced concepts such as the indirect object, inversion and clefting.
Whether you plan to teach English as a second language, analyse texts or simply write better emails, this course is open to anyone who wants the personal and professional benefits that come with perfect English grammar.
2. Prepare for your PTE speaking assessment with Macquarie University
The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is the world’s first computer-based English test, which uses artificial intelligence to accurately assess a candidate’s English skills. PTE Academic is accepted by the UK, Australia and New Zealand governments, as well as by over 3,000 universities and colleges.
Sydney’s Macquarie University has designed the course Practise Your PTE Academic Speaking Skills for students who want to know how to improve grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation specific to the PTE speaking test.
By running through some practice questions, you’ll identify potential areas for improvement and gain confidence in speaking. It is recommended that you have an intermediate level of English to take this course.
3. Write better academic essays with the University of Reading
Writing an academic essay or dissertation requires both big-picture thinking and the laser-focused attention needed to proofread every sentence for grammatical errors. You’ll also need to understand the “style guide” of your specific institution and how to create citations without risking plagiarism.
University of Reading’s highly reviewed course, An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study, covers all of this, plus how to interpret essay questions and take notes. You’ll also develop your research and reading skills, so you won’t be stuck for ideas once you sit down to write. You’ll need an IELTS level of 5.5 or above to take this course.
4. Teach grammar more effectively with University College London
The new national curriculum in England requires pupils to learn English grammar from primary school onwards. Most adults in the UK, however, were not taught the rules or terminology of English grammar but instead acquired them through experience and intuition. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to explain them to others.
English Grammar for Teachers has been designed by University College London for primary, secondary and further education teachers in the UK. In this course, you’ll learn the updated terminology of the national curriculum and how to teach grammar in a way that is fun and engaging for students of all ages.
5. Learn English grammar through TV shows with Chasing Time English
To develop perfect English grammar, you need to take your English learning out of the classroom and into the real world — and in the course, Watch Television to Learn Upper Intermediate English from New Zealand-based Chasing Time English, you’ll do exactly that.
You’ll be watching the addictive TV drama, Fortune, which was created by the Chasing Time founders and focuses on a different aspect of the English language every week.
After each episode, you’ll discuss the vocabulary, common phrases and grammatical devices used by the characters, improving your English naturally and effortlessly. It’s recommended that you have a minimum CEFR level of B1 to take this course.
6. Integrate grammar into your English lessons with University College London
Is it possible to make grammar lessons fun? University College London’s English Professor, Bas Aarts, certainly thinks so — and by the end of this five-week Teaching English Grammar in Context course, you might just agree with him.
On this course, you’ll learn to teach grammar with contextual flair by showing how grammar works in real-life applications such as poetry, non-fiction and narrative.
Through this innovative teaching method, students will learn how grammar influences meaning and effect rather than simply studying a set of rules. This course is designed for teachers of primary, secondary and further education in the UK.
7. Become more British with the British Council
At a certain point in your English studies, you may decide to focus on a specific version of English. British English comes with plenty of idiosyncrasies – not to mention hundreds of regional dialects – and can be difficult to master without guidance.
Learn English with the British Council in Exploring English Language and Culture, which covers four aspects of British culture — language, music, countryside and literature.
Each week’s lesson will also cover a different aspect of English grammar, so by the end of the course, you’ll not only know more about Shakespeare and Roald Dahl, but superlatives, comparatives and passive voice. The course is for non-native English speakers with a CEFR level of B1 or above.
8. Prepare for IELTS with the British Council
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the best-known of all English tests. It is recognised by more than 11,000 employers, universities and schools across the world, including 3,400 institutions in the USA. IELTS is the most popular test for those looking to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
Wondering how to prepare for IELTS at home? Look no further: FutureLearn’s Understanding IELTS ExpertTrack from the British Council is your complete guide to success. It comprises four IELTS preparation courses: covering speaking, reading, writing and listening.
In fact, the British Council are joint owners of IELTS — so you know you’re getting the most accurate information straight from the source. In each course, you’ll find a description of each part of the test, plus tips and strategies for gaining the best possible score.
Each individual IELTS course duration is three weeks – you can either enrol in the entire 12-week ExpertTrack or take the courses that best suit your needs.
IELTS course fees can be extortionate, but you can access the entire ExpertTrack through a monthly FutureLearn subscription and potentially save thousands of pounds. Additionally, you’ll be able to complete your IELTS preparation at home without the need to travel to a campus.
9. Learn STEM vocabulary and grammar with Macquarie University
Learning STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is difficult enough, but for non-native speakers of English, it’s made even more challenging by the highly specific vocabulary and grammar needed to understand and articulate these complex topics.
Macquarie University’s ExpertTrack, Learn English to Study STEM Subjects, comprises four courses covering each of the STEM subjects, which you can take individually or all at once.
The courses cover advanced concepts such as artificial intelligence and mechanics, and focus on skills specific to university life, such as group work and academic texts.
You’ll also learn strategies for recording and revising new vocabulary. This ExpertTrack is useful for any prospective student or teacher of STEM subjects and is recommended for learners with a CEFR level of B1 or higher.
10. Master English punctuation with Whitireia New Zealand
Even native English speakers are rarely taught correct punctuation in school – yet, these seemingly insignificant marks make all the difference if you want to be taken seriously.
If you’d like to stop confusing there with they’re and finally understand how to use a semicolon, enrol in Understanding English Punctuation, provided by Whitireia New Zealand.
This two-week course is designed for both native and non-native speakers of English and uses quizzes, interactive activities and downloadable resources to take an in-depth look at English punctuation.
You’ll examine commas, semicolons and colons, as well as en dashes, em dashes and hyphens. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to write both academic essays and Facebook comments with increased clarity.
By taking one or more of these courses, you’ll be on your way to writing and speaking with good grammar, fluency and authority.
But if you’re not at the intermediate stage yet – or if you’d like to take your learning even further – check out our full range of English language courses on FutureLearn, from beginner basics to advanced concepts.