Free Foreign Language Courses Online

Online Foreign Language Courses for Credit

While free online courses can include much of the same content as traditional classes, they usually don't award college credit. There are, however, online credited options available to students who'd like to test out of introductory foreign language courses. offers one such option. For a fraction of the time and expense it takes to complete a traditional class, registered members can access video lessons and self-assessment quizzes included in the Spanish 101: Beginning Spanish course. Free lesson transcripts are also included to help students master the basics of Spanish vocabulary and grammar. Listed below are just some of the chapters in this course:

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Free Online Non-Credited Foreign Language Courses

First Year Chinese I at Utah State University

Students can learn basic writing, pronunciation and speaking techniques in the language. Taped speaking lessons, video lectures, writing lessons and grammar sheets are the available tools with which students formulate, practice and hone their skills. A textbook and two writing/exercise books are recommended for this course.

Creole Language and Culture at the University of Notre Dame

The emphasis here is on reading and writing in the Creole language, as well as social and cultural understandings of Haitian and Caribbean histories, economies, religion, music, film and politics. The free course follows a specific textbook, and mp3 (audio) files of lectures are available online. Films and music recordings are also recommended, and a list of additional reading is provided. The course is geared towards those considering professional or volunteer work in Haiti or other Caribbean countries. Although this is a self-directed course, the professor is willing to evaluate students via Skype or webclassroom.

Introduction to French at Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon's French course relies on 15 videos to introduce learners to basic French idioms, pronunciation, grammar and cultural aspects. Each lesson follows the following structure: introduction, a video dialogue, listening and repeating, grammar, sounds, speaking, cultural learning and activities to test comprehension. Students are encouraged to spend six to eight hours a week on this course. A resources list provides links to various French-related websites with information on French-English dictionaries, international keyboard shortcuts and French verb conjugation tools.

German I at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT's introductory German course allows students to study the fundamentals of the language and gives them a look at Germany and its culture. The three textbooks used for the class are listed, and students can download handouts on grammar and learning exercises. Examples of real student projects are also available. After having a firm grasp of the language, a resources list includes audio and video links to various German print and broadcast news stories.

Rundblick: Beginners' German at The Open University

Structured as a virtual journey to countries where German is spoken, this course will introduce students to the society and culture of Germany, while learning the fundamentals of the language. Through audio and written lessons, the students familiarize themselves with various social situations, such as ordering food in a restaurant and simple conversations. By the end of the course, they should have a grasp of basic grammar and be able to read simple German and extract the meaning.

Japanese I at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This free course consists of six lessons designed to equip the self-learner with an active understanding of the Japanese language with the ability to easily carry on a conversation. Students will learn to write 56 Kanji characters and master the basics of grammar. Study materials include audio exercises and a pictorial vocabulary guide. Students can also review exam study guides and practice quizzes.

Portuguese I at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Taught entirely in Portuguese, this free introductory course focuses on basic vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing with an emphasis on Brazilian Portuguese. Three textbooks were used, and others are recommended. Students can download assignments and study materials and practice the language through a free website. Links are also provided to Brazilian magazines and music.

Review of Elementary Spanish at the University of Michigan

Students become familiar with the Spanish language and culture through this course, which teaches grammar and vocabulary through learning exercises that utilize conversation, reading and writing. Provided with this free course, which is offered by the Open.Michigan program, are downloadable podcasts on Spanish grammar. Students can also visit a webpage, entirely in Spanish, that reinforces vocabulary and grammar skills. No reading materials or other resources are provided.

Spanish: Espacios publicos at The Open University

This online course consists of elementary learning exercises such as true/false and multiple choice questions to help students build and use Spanish vocabulary and grammar skills. The course also focuses on Hispanic culture and being able to interact comfortably in cities and environments where Spanish is the primary language. In order to complete the lessons, it is recommended that students obtain a Spanish dictionary and grammar textbook.

Croeso: Beginnners' Welsh at The Open University

Students can learn the fundamentals of the Welsh language, how the language differs in various parts of Wales and some facts about the culture and society through this 4-hour series of lessons. This course is for students who want a practical knowledge of Welsh. Audio clips emphasize basics that occur in everyday conversation, such as counting and general questions. Some quizzes are provided for practice in reading and writing.

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