Many universities offer online English courses, also known as English as a Second Language, including the University of Arizona and Sacred Heart University. While universities charge for the instruction, there are many websites that offer lessons at no charge.
One free website that offers English as a Second Language is www.english-online.org.uk. The site offers English language courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels, including a separate course just for children. The site includes video tutorials, exercises and tests. The beginner’s course is divided into 13 parts, with each part containing grammar, functions, vocabulary and dialogue. All parts are available, so that a student can go at her own pace in any lesson order she wants. Sacred Heart University’s online ESL course is a more rigorous and organized program. It first requires a placement test, which is designed to measure the student’s current English language ability, and.offers an individualized learning plan based on the placement test results. The program consists of four levels, each containing about four months of coursework. The university estimates that students will need to spend about five to seven hours on the coursework each week. The levels are divided into units with each unit including presentations and activities in listening, speaking, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. Instructors are available through the online classroom and also by email or Skype. As of 2015, each program level costs $480, for a total of $1,920, plus an application fee of $40 and a $65 fee for the placement test.