By Michael Cristiano Last updated:
EnglishClass101 claims it is “the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn English.”
It also says that you can “start speaking English in minutes with audio and video lessons.”
But is it all true?I made it my mission to see if it is.
There actually is a lot of real English audio and video that EnglishClass101 provides to get you speaking right away, but EnglishClass101 may not be as easy as they say.
It turns out that you already need to know some English to use it. There are also a few missing elements that you might be looking for in a language learning program.
I’ll walk you through everything so you know what to expect if you sign up.
Description: An audio- and video-based English learning program that's part of the Innovative Language family.
Languages offered: English.
Offer price: Some free content; monthly subscription from $8/month up to $47/month
EnglishClass101’s main strategy is to teach through audio podcasts, videos and written language tutorials. It can be a great resource for those that already have some knowledge to work with. The English is authentic, the vocabulary tools are helpful, and the vast amount of content is incredible, but I would look to another resource to practice your speaking and writing and I’d pass on the Premium PLUS subscription.
- User friendliness - 9/10
- Delivers on promises - 9/10
- Authenticity - 9/10
- Value for price - 7/10
- Diagnostic test starts you out with the right content for your skill level
- Thousands of lessons available
- Has helpful vocabulary building tools
- Features authentic, real English speech
- Not suitable for absolute beginners
- Lacks writing and speaking practice
- Premium PLUS features may be false advertisement
- Innovative Language Review
- English Learning Tools
- English Listening Practice Resources
- What Is EnglishClass101?
- How EnglishClass101 Works
- Features of EnglishClass101
- Thousands of Lessons
- Tools for Growing Vocabulary
- Real English Speech
- Features for Premium Users
- EnglishClass101 Review: Does It Work?
- Areas to Improve
- Alternatives: How Does EnglishClass101 Compare to Other Programs?
- The Verdict: Should You Use EnglishClass101?
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
What Is EnglishClass101?
EnglishClass101 is made by a company called Innovative Language, which has become one of the biggest language learning companies since its founding in 2006. In fact, Innovative Language offers over 690 language learning applications for smartphones today.
While the focus of this review is Innovative Language’s EnglishClass101, the company also creates programs for learning other languages and has options for over 40 languages.
You can read our general review of Innovative Language here.
Innovative Language Review: Is It Worth the Cost?
Is Innovative Language really worth the cost? Read our Innovative Language Review to discover what you’ll really get out of this language learning software. You’ll learn…
When it comes specifically to EnglishClass101, the program claims to be a well-rounded language course, offering practice in reading, listening and writing.
In fact, before signing up, EnglishClass101 gives you a look at everything they have to offer:
EnglishClass101’s main strategy is to teach through audio podcasts, videos and written language tutorials. It uses all three of these methods to help learners master the English language.
Many of EnglishClass101 videos are free to watch on YouTube and you don’t even need a subscription to use them as study material.
How EnglishClass101 Works
I signed up for the free trial and all throughout my experience, I found EnglishClass101 very easy to use.
When you first start the program, you take a diagnostic assessment to see where your English level is at. The assessment had 36 questions, so I found that it wasn’t too tedious but just enough to give the program an idea of where you are at with your skill. The questions are mostly fill-in-the-blank questions, so it was pretty straightforward.
The results of this test will place you in the best pathway that will help you progress on your learning journey.
The “pathways” that EnglishClass101 provide are essentially the various levels of English proficiency that you can achieve. EnglishClass101 has five of these levels: Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate and Advanced.
For the purpose of this review, I completed my assessment in a way that would place me into the “Absolute Beginner” pathway. This way I could see what the app looks like and progresses even from the lower levels.
Each “pathway” has various courses. Some courses are general courses for learning common vocabulary and useful grammar in English. Others are more specific and focus on specific topics such as business, wellbeing, travel, or school.
After choosing a course, each lesson starts with an audio or video about a certain topic. The audio clip or video is pretty short, normally around three to five minutes.
After the audio clip or video, a word-by-word written script of what was said in this video or audio clip is provided. This makes it easy to follow along and pick out important words and ideas.
Following the clip/video and transcript, there are notes on the lesson that include helpful tips and tricks for learning new words and using them properly. There are also grammar and culture notes in this section that help you communicate with and understand native speakers.
Finally, there is a commenting feature that allows learners to write comments to each other or to employees of the EnglishClass101 course. I liked that this provides some interaction with other learners and allows you to seek help or leave your thoughts with those that work on the program.
There are also assessment lessons that have multiple choice questions. The questions focus on grammar and vocabulary that have been learned in earlier lessons.I was happy to see that the lessons build on previous ones.
Features of EnglishClass101
Thousands of Lessons
One of EnglishClass101’s best features is that it offers so many courses and lessons for learners.
Each pathway provided by EnglishClass101 includes dozens of courses, and each course has between 25 and 100 lessons. Further, courses focus on a specific skill and goal.
All of this means that you’ll never run out of things to learn or get bored when learning with EnglishClass101. This makes it a useful program for learning English on a long-term basis (for a long time). I’m not sure you’d get through every single lesson offered by EnglishClass101 even if you spent an entire lifetime on it!
Tools for Growing Vocabulary
EnglishClass101 doesn’t just offer lessons and courses for learning multiple levels of English, they also offer many tools to help you learn and master new vocabulary.
I noticed that there are two types of vocabulary building tools. There are the basic vocabulary tools that are for everyone. These include a tool that emails you one English word per day, a couple vocabulary lists for learning new words, key phrases lists, a list of the 100 most common English words as well as an English dictionary. I liked that some of these tools are unique and not really offered by other language learning programs.
Premium users are able to access even more cool tools like flashcards, a word bank and a list of the 2000 most common words. The flashcards use what is called a “Spaced Repetition System.” This helps your brain review new words and phrases at the right time so you don’t forget them.
Real English Speech
I was happy to discover that all of EnglishClass101’s audio and video clips feature native English speakers.As a native English speaker myself, I was happy that this wasn’t textbook English—a formal version of English I would never use. EnglishClass101 teaches English as it is actually spoken in everyday conversations.
Best of all, you can also follow courses for both British & American English. This allows you to choose the accent and dialect of English you want to learn.
Features for Premium Users
Like many English learning programs, EnglishClass101 has different subscriptions for learners available at different prices.
A Basic subscription gives you access to all lessons and some of the available vocabulary building tools.
A Premium subscription gives you access to flashcards with a “Spaced Repetition System,” a list of the 2000 most common words and word lists. It also gives you “Bonus Lesson Content.”
A Premium PLUS subscription offers even more. For starters, you get a “Professional Assessment” in which a real English teacher will test your English to find out your level. After that, you get a “Personalized Learning Plan” that will tell you what to learn based on what you already know. Best of all, you get 1-on-1 instruction with a real English teacher or tutor that can personalize your learning and give you feedback for what you need to work on.
It is worth mentioning that other users have found Premium PLUS to be false advertising. Many have said that the “Professional Assessment” is not by a teacher, but rather a computer. Further, the 1-on-1 instruction is a text conversation with someone, not interactive speaking.
EnglishClass101 Review: Does It Work?
There are quite a few highlights to the EnglishClass101 learning program.
To start, I was delighted to see that the program uses real English speech. Often programs use automated or computer voices—or no English speech at all—so it was nice to see that EnglishClass101 uses audio and video of real English speakers. This will be helpful for all English learners so they can hear how English really sounds.
I also thought that the vocabulary tools were well-made. The flashcards with Spaced Repetition System technology are fantastic for retaining new vocabulary. The word lists, dictionary and word-of-the-day feature are also useful for learners.
In my opinion, the biggest highlight is that there is so much included in EnglishClass101. There are literally 1000s of lessons across 100s of courses. You will never run out of things to learn and lessons cover a wide range of topics.
Areas to Improve
Even though there are good things about EnglishClass101, there are some things that need improvement.
Most importantly, it seems to me that you need to know some English to start using EnglishClass101. It starts off with complete English sentences and there are no translation tools to change between English and your native language. I recommend that learners build a bit of a basis for English before starting to learn EnglishClass101.
I would suggest that you start with a program that actually has content for complete beginners. This way you can figure out the basic vocabulary and grammar structures then use EnglishClass101 to further your skill level. For example, FluentU English has videos for those with zero knowledge of English.
Using a program like this will expose you to native English and get you started on your learning journey. Even once you have learned enough to start using EnglishClass101, you can continue to use FluentU in conjunction with EnglishClass101 as their content is extremely helpful at all points of the learning journey.
I also noticed that EnglishClass101 lacks real writing or speaking practice. Sure, you get to fill-in-the-blank with multiple choice words, but that’s not practicing how to write in English. Even the “Comments” section at the end of each lesson is disappointing and doesn’t really help you practice these skills in the way you need to.
Also, there is no way to speak out loud with anyone—not even with the 1-on-1 instruction in Premium PLUS. The best way to learn English is by having real-time conversations, but this is not a feature that is included in this program.
Speaking of Premium PLUS: it is not worth it. It seems that what is being offered is not what EnglishClass101 is advertising. I don’t recommend spending money on the plan as you can get the best parts of this app with the other plans.
Alternatives: How Does EnglishClass101 Compare to Other Programs?
With so many options for English learning programs available, it is easy to find other resources that compete with EnglishClass101.
One thing that EnglishClass101 does that really boosts their performance is use more video and audio tools. I noticed that EnglishClass101 uses more video and audio than Rosetta Stone, Babbel and Busuu. EnglishClass101 also has more written tutorials than these programs.
When looking at apps, I found that EnglishClass101 has more information than Duolingo and Memrise. Those programs might give you words and sentences to translate, but they don’t really explain why certain grammar rules are in place. EnglishClass101 provides a little bit more detail and context as to why things are the way they are.
While the extra detail can be great, it may also make it more difficult to use EnglishClass101. If you are an absolute beginner, the full English videos, audios and written tutorials may be hard to follow.
Lastly, we should note that the program is entirely in English. A course taught in your native language may be a better starting point if you have zero experience with English.
The Verdict: Should You Use EnglishClass101?
In short, yes. I believe that you should use EnglishClass101 if you already have a little bit of English knowledge. The app is incredibly thorough, making it a great tool for learners; however, learners first need to build a base in English elsewhere.
The English is authentic, the vocabulary tools are helpful, and the vast amount of content is incredible. I think that you can learn a lot from EnglishClass101, even if there are some things that the program could improve upon.
With that said, I don’t recommend paying for Premium PLUS. Many users have suggested that Premium PLUS is a lie, and you shouldn’t spend the money on it. I think you can get a lot from this app’s basic or premium plan when it comes to writing and vocabulary practice, but I would look to another resource to practice your speaking and writing.
EnglishClass101 may not be the starting point for learning English, but it can be a great resource for those that already have some knowledge to work with. Its native speaking content is a great asset and the great amount of content gives you plenty of options to study whatever you want to. Check it out!
EnglishClass101 is a good app to learn English. The audio and video lessons are interesting and cover a wide variety of topics. There are more lessons for beginners and intermediate level than for advanced speakers.How to learn English 101? ›
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes. ...
- If you are in an all-English-speaking environment. ...
- When you are out and about or online and you see new words or phrases, take a photo so you can check later.
- Practise every day. ...
- Practise the 4 core skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
The Verdict. Babbel is a good resource for learning vocabulary, everyday phrases and constructing basic sentences – especially for complete newcomers and beginners in a language. If you're learning Spanish or French, you can get a lot more out of it, as these courses take you to an advanced level.How much does it take to learn English fluently? ›
A beginner can learn English in a year. That's pretty fast, although not as fast as some of the crazy 15-day promises you see online. Specifically, a year is the average amount of time it will take an adult to become fluent enough to work in English if he starts out as a beginner and studies at least 5 hours a day.Is C1 English enough for work? ›
C1. C1 students are considered proficient speakers. They should be able to perform complex work- or school-related roles using their oral or written communications skills. They can easily understand any type of oral statement, whether in person or on video, at any pace and/or speed.What is a passing grade for English 101? ›
A grade of "C" (2.0) or better is required to satisfy the upper division writing requirement. [A grade of "C minus" (1.7) or lower is not a passing grade.]Is English 1010 hard? ›
Teaching ENGL 1010 can be an exhausting experience. There are loads of papers to be graded, and 1010 students oftentimes require additional assistance to navigate their way through the college experience.What can I expect from an English 101 class? ›
English 101 is an introductory writing course; the course will cover all fundamental principles of writing, and will stress the three stages of the writing process (prewriting, writing, and rewriting). Grammar exercises will supplement writing instruction to provide you a review of current usage.Has anyone become fluent using Babbel? ›
You will most likely not become fluent with Babbel. It's a solid language app and can give you a strong foundation in your target language, but to achieve fluency, you'll need to use other resources. While it won't help you become fluent, Babbel can help you improve your language skills.What app is better than Babbel? ›
Duolingo. This free app is widely regarded as the best alternative to Babbel, and we agree. While there is a paid version of Duolingo that users can sign up for to access additional features, most find that the free version does a great job of teaching the ins and outs of a new language.
Duolingo offers over 20 languages, so you'll have over twice as many language options as Babbel. Compared to Babbel, Duolingo's main weakness is that it doesn't have example conversations. However, if full conversations aren't your thing, Duolingo may be an ideal alternative to Babbel.How long does it take the average person to learn a new language fluently? ›
The next and most accurate answer is that it can take anywhere between three months to two years to learn how to speak, write, and read in a new language fluently.How many years does it take to become fluent? ›
True language fluency requires consistent effort and time, and while 500 – 1,000 hours may seem like a lot, a typical person could probably invest that level of time over 12 – 18 months, with the right study schedule.How long does it take for an ELL student to become fluent in English? ›
Findings corroborate prior cross-sectional research suggesting that the development of full proficiency in a second language typically takes 4 to 7 years. However, after nine years in the district, approximately one-fourth of students had not been reclassified.Is there a big difference between C1 and C2 English? ›
You can expect to encounter more complex, nuanced texts and questions in C2 Proficiency compared to C1 Advanced. However, both tests are at a high level and success in either qualification will be accepted as proof of English proficiency by most universities.Does C1 mean fluent? ›
SKILLS AT LEVEL C1
He/she can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for the right expression. He/she can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
C1 Advanced Scale Scores.
|Cambridge English Scale Score||Grade/CEFR||CEFR level|
40% for English and two other subjects. a minimum of 30% for three of the remaining subjects.Is English 100 a college level? ›
The activities and assignments in English 100 bridge the gap between high school and college material, helping you become a college scholar—analyzing text structure as well as the author's motives writerly techniques.Is C a failing grade? ›
A grade of C or better is required to earn a Passed; a C- or below will earn a Not Passed grade. A grade of C- may satisfy many requirements (e.g., General Education, elective) but a Not Passed grade will not earn any credit or satisfy requirements.
English 101 is an entry-level English class that most college students take their first semester in college.Is English standard easier than advanced? ›
Yes, English Standard will take less effort and less of your time. And yes, English Advanced requires more commitment in terms of time and effort. But there is a reward for this. Having said that, students should not take on English Advanced if they feel it is too much work or that they won't get the marks.How can I pass English Comp 1? ›
- Hone Your Writing Skills. Writing well means writing concisely, clearly, and effectively. ...
- Learn Basic Grammar. ...
- Know How to Craft a Compelling Essay. ...
- Use Sources Thoughtfully. ...
- Build Upon Feedback.
How long does it take to learn English?
|Level of English (CEFR)||Number of hours of instruction|
|A2 to B1||300 hours|
|B1 to B2||200 hours|
|B2 to C1||200 hours|
|C1 to C2||200 hours|
English 101 is a course required at many colleges where students develop their expository and persuasive writing skills through various writing experiences. Many research techniques and writing skills are introduced and reinforced as students produce papers and assignments about complex topics.Is English 101 a freshman class? ›
Welcome to English 101—sometimes called freshman English or college composition. It's the one course that almost every first-year student in every American college and university is required to take.Is Babbel harder than Duolingo? ›
Final Thoughts On Babbel Vs Duolingo
Babbel is harder for beginners and it might be better to use it after getting acquainted with the language. Compared to Duolingo it pushes students to write more than read and has a far more conversational approach, almost entirely teaching in the form of conversations.
The biggest difference between Babbel and Duolingo is the approach to language learning. Babbel is a better option if you want traditional language instructions through modules and lessons. By contrast, Duolingo works great if you need a playful, gamified experience.What level of fluency is Babbel? ›
Based on the Common European Framework of Reference standards, Babbel claims to offer lessons that range from A1 (beginner) to C1 (proficient) levels. In the German version, the lessons are split into newcomer, beginner and intermediate levels.Is Rosetta Stone cheaper than Babbel? ›
In conclusion, Babbel is a little cheaper than Rosetta Stone. Babbel includes explanations and translations in English whereas Rosetta Stone uses your target language almost exclusively. They can both be a bit repetitive and the audio recognition software is not very reliable.
The best free app for learning a language is Duolingo, hands down. We recommend it enthusiastically no matter your level or language goals, as it has just about everything. It's available as a web app and mobile app, and it works well whether you're a total beginner or already have experience.Is mango or Babbel better? ›
Mango Languages and Babbel are both high-quality language learning apps. The choice between the two comes down to what you want to learn. Mango Languages offers a large number of languages, while Babbel is limited to the more popular languages. Babbel's courses teach you to become conversational more quickly.Is Babbel better than Mango? ›
After using and testing each program, I personally prefer Babbel. Mango Languages has a lot going for it with their color coded sentence structures, pronunciation analysis tool, and quick-hit lessons, but overall, I just found Babbel to be the more engaging and effective app.Is there a free version of Babbel? ›
While not all content is available in the free version of Babbel, it does include access to 40 lessons. As a result, you get significantly more content from Babbel's free app than some other language apps that also have a free and paid version.What do you expect to learn from English 101? ›
What is English 101? English 101 is a course required at many colleges where students develop their expository and persuasive writing skills through various writing experiences. Many research techniques and writing skills are introduced and reinforced as students produce papers and assignments about complex topics.Is English speaking course worth it? ›
Learning English could be beneficial in all aspects of your life and enrolling in a good English speaking course can help you speak correct English and that too fluently. However, it is very important to choose the right English speaking course for yourself to ensure you do not waste your time, efforts and money.Which is the best app to learn English perfectly? ›
- Rosetta Stone – Most Versatile App. ...
- FluentU – Best Media-based App. ...
- Hello English – Best App for Intermediate Learners. ...
- Duolingo – Most Fun App. ...
- HelloTalk – Best Conversational App. ...
- Babbel - Best Practical App.
This is about the classes that everyone has to take. One version has 101 devoted to response essays, and 102 devoted to research papers. The idea is to develop the skills of structure and exposition, and then to learn to include evidence systematically.What is English 110 in college? ›
Introduces representative works from major genres, develops students' close reading and analytical writing skills, and promotes appreciation and critical understanding of the cultural, historical, and aesthetic qualities of literature.What do students learn in 11th grade English? ›
Students will be actively engaged in reading for comprehension, recognition, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation. Students will read, comprehend, and analyze poetry. Interpret, analyze, and evaluate poetry. Read for recognition by reading fluently with expression, smoothness and pace.
How long does it take to become fluent in English, to be more specific? The common consensus states that it typically takes anywhere between 70 and over 1100 hours to learn conversational English. The time really depends on the level that you want to reach.Is it hard to speak English fluently? ›
Fluency is the stage of learning a language when things just “click.” It takes a lot of time and effort to reach this level, so many people don't think it's realistic. But, thousands of people reach English language fluency every year, and with enough determination, you can too!Which is the No 1 English learning app? ›
Duolingo is the world's most popular English learning app today and a highly recommended app for English beginners. With over 500 million registered users, learning with this free English learning app is fun and addictive.What is the best app to become fluent in a language? ›
Apps like Duolingo, Fluent Forever, and Lingvist are great for learning the basics of a language.What is the easiest app to learn English? ›
- Rosetta Stone – Most versatile app. ...
- FluentU – Best media-based app. ...
- Hello English – Best app for intermediate learners. ...
- Duolingo – Most fun app. ...
- HelloTalk – Best conversational app.