In selecting English learning software for our lineup, we not only chose physical software – programs that require a disc and installation onto the computer – but also included web-based programs. The web-based learning solutions allow students to access lessons and activities from any internet connection and even from mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. We eliminated any software programs that were free or require additional purchases such as workbooks or DVDs to complete the course. Several of the products offer workbooks and DVDs as supplemental learning resources, but they are not required to complete the lessons. You can read more about English learning programs in our articles.
From this list, we were able to find 10 standout English learning products and web-based ESL applications for beginners as well as advanced speakers. Here is what we found.
Best ESL Software for Beginners
Many individuals who want to learn a new language know very little about that language. Several of these applications are best for beginners who may know just a handful of vocabulary words. Rosetta Stone is one of the best options for beginners of the English language. It starts by teaching the student vocabulary words instead of going through lists of words that the learner must try to understand.
Rosetta Stone immerses learners in the language. It uses fundamental features such as reading, vocabulary, speech recognition and writing to help students learn and understand the language. It also doesn't use other languages to translate the English words. This prevents leaning on the translations to make it through the lessons. In addition, it uses videos to send users into the English language virtually.
Rosetta Stone English helps its students learn English through an interactive system of incremental advancement in the language. Learning English in Rosetta Stone occurs through three core components: You learn, practice and play to reinforce what you've learned. The Rosetta Stone learning method is about absorbing English. It starts by teaching words instead of vocabulary lists. There's also speech recognition technology to help with English pronunciation.
Best Learning English Software for Advanced Speakers
When learners of the English language are intermediate or advanced speakers, they don't want to waste time going through basic vocabulary words and learning basic grammar. English Live is an excellent option if students already have a solid foundation in the English language. When they first start the application, they will take a small assessment to see where they are, and the program then sends a study plan to meet their specific needs. Plus, students can work with live coaches and attend group lessons online that can help them build the confidence to converse with anyone in English.
Another strong choice for advanced speakers is Exceller. Exceller provides dozens of apps that are available to purchase and download onto mobile devices. These apps focus on certain aspects of the English language such as pronouns, verb tenses and vocabulary. Users can choose what parts of the English language they want to work on without paying for an entire program.
English Live is an online English learning program that helps its users quickly and easily learn the English language. You can use this ESL application 24/7 from any internet connection. This program offers private classes, group conversations and lessons that are not only designed to improve listening skills, but also reading, writing and speaking skills.
Exceller is a web-based learning English program to help you perfect the English language and become a better communicator. This program is designed for individuals who already have the basics of the English language down but still want to improve and become more fluent in the language. It uses reading, writing, listening and speaking methods to help you more easily learn English as a second language.
Best Programs for Learning English Online
There are multiple web-based English learning applications, but one that stands out is Transparent Language. This program allows learners to follow a structured and detailed lesson plan or work at their own pace. There are numerous activities to prevent the lessons from becoming boring, such as unscrambling sentences, matching and filling the blanks. This application also helps users learn reading, writing, speaking and listening in English, which makes them more comfortable in everyday situations among English speakers.
Transparent Language is designed to help anyone learn English quickly. This is an online learning English application, so you don't have to worry about long downloads or losing CDs. It lets students set their own pace and learning methods; you don't have to follow a limited and structured plan, like some other applications require.
Best for Self-Paced Learning
Not all English learning software features a structured lesson plan. Some programs, such as FluentIQ, provide just a series of topics and learning resources that students can read at their own leisure. However, they will need to be fairly familiar with the language for this to be beneficial.
FluentIQ is an online English learning application designed to help you master the English language. This program is all online, so you don't have to worry about long downloads or physical software discs. You can test your English with just an internet connection. However, this program isn't designed for beginners to English learning. It is for learners who already understand the basics of the English language and want to test and stretch their skills.
Best for Structured Learning
Other applications may provide a structured lesson plan with lessons that the learner must complete before moving on to the next. With these types of programs, there are usually numerous levels with multiple lessons in each level. These lessons become progressively complex and difficult to complete.
Instant Immersion is one product that is worth consideration for students who learn and study best this way. However, some products that feature a structured lesson plan allow students to skip lessons if desired. The ability to skip lessons is a large benefit, particularly if the user already knows the content being taught.
Instant Immersion has core features and tools to help its students learn English. You can practice reading and speaking English in this ESL software. It's broken into multiple levels. The first begins with reading and writing basic vocabulary words. The second and third levels become progressively more in-depth by adding both common and rare phrases and dialogue.
One critical component of learning English is learning to communicate with other English speakers. Students may learn a bunch of vocabulary, but unless they can speak it correctly and fluently, they will still be difficult to understand and won't be able to communicate clearly. Interactive activities on these programs enhance the excitement of learning a new language and make studying and learning more enjoyable, especially if users plan to spend hours learning a language.
One of the most popular interactive activities on these programs is working with a live coach. This option is available on a handful of online English learning applications and allows students to have a videoconference with a native English speaker. Typically, these coaches work with users on what is being taught in the lessons or discuss items covered in previous lessons. These coaches can help with pronunciation, fluency speaking and grammar.
Another popular option is group classes. Some programs set up a group class with a native English speaker as the moderator where students can communicate with one another. Learners can ask questions, get tips and simply practice with one another. One of the best applications for interactive activities is English Live. This learning English software provides plenty of options to ensure learners get all the practice they need to become masters of the language.