Language learning apps and online courses – our shortlist

In today’s global marketplace, learning a foreign language is a great way to set yourself up for success. Who knows what interesting work projects, clients, and promotions you could access as a result? And that’s before we even mention the workplace skills – such as empathy, creativity, and problem-solving – that you’ll develop as a byproduct of language learning.




Assuming your answer is a resounding ‘yes’, it’s time to turn your attention to the best online courses and apps for the job. Well-suited to the demands of busy work schedules, you’re sure to find your perfect learning tool among our shortlist.


  1. Duolingo is a popular, free language learning app that offers courses in over 40 languages. Its bite-size lessons have a strong gaming feel to make language learning engaging, fun, and effective. Taking a functional approach, this app focuses on what learners want to do with a language – e.g., order food at a restaurant – rather than getting tied up with the rules of grammar.
  2. Babbel is a subscription-based language learning app with courses in 14+ languages. Its courses are designed to teach language skills for real-life scenarios using spaced repetition to consolidate learning and personalised learning plans.
  3. Memrise is an AI language app that offers students personalised language used in real-world contexts based on their specific interests. They can see new words used by native speakers in thousands of authentic videos to reinforce learning. And they can put their new language skills to the test in different scenarios using AI. Available in 23 languages, Memrise claims to ‘bring[s] you the experience of living abroad, at your fingertips.’
  4. Rosetta Stone offers language learning solutions in 30 languages. It uses an immersive approach that aims to simulate the way that people learn their native language – with pictures and sounds in context but no translation. The paid-for software offers a range of features, including speech recognition technology. Students also have the opportunity to access live online tutorials with native tutors.
  5. Open University (OU) language courses cater to online learners of all levels. They are available as degree modules or can be studied on a standalone basis. Successful students, taught by experienced language instructors, gain internationally recognised certificates, diplomas, and degrees. Multiple language courses are offered to students of French, German, and Spanish. Italian and Chinese courses are currently available as short courses only,
  6. Local community colleges are not to be forgotten in the context of language learning. Depending on your learning style and availability, it could be that the old-school option of attending in-person language classes is best for you. Search Google to find out which colleges near you run adult language courses.
  7. The British Council offers a range of English language courses for non-native speakers. One of its key purposes is to ‘develop a wider knowledge of the English language.’ It embraces that with gusto in the form of online and in-person courses which are taught by qualified language instructors to adults, children, and teenagers.


To sum up, there are many high-quality apps and courses that will help you take your language skills to the next level. The only way to find out which one is best suited to your specific needs is to probe and prod the above options, take your pick and then dive right in. There’s a lot to play for so why not get started right away?!


For further tips relating to language learning for the workplace, please get in touch. And if you’d like to find the perfect company in which your skills and talent can thrive, we will deliver. ABL Recruitment has over 30 years of experience in the industry and long-standing relationships with 400+ companies worldwide. So we will quickly connect you to great job opportunities that you might not otherwise hear about. And we’ll help you nail the interview. What’s not to love?! Please pick up the phone and give us a call today at 020 7092 3911 to brainstorm the options!