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Coursera is an online learning platform that offers courses, specialisations and degrees by working with universities and other organisations to teach students through video lectures, peer-reviewed assignments and community discussion forums. When you complete a course, you receive a sharable electronic Course Certificate to show your achievement.


The language courses offered with Coursera range from learning basic Chinese to advanced Arabic, allowing you to filter by language level, job title and course type. Once you have selected your preferences, you will be shown a list of different courses from various providers, displaying course length and the average verified user rating out of five. You can also ‘View Syllabus’ to get a better sense of what the course includes.


One of the things that I liked in particular when choosing a course with Coursera was the week-by-week breakdown of precisely what you would be learning by embarking on the programme. Not only does it tell you exactly how many hours you will have to do each week, it lets you see what the videos will be about, how long the quizzes are and how long each will take. This helps you to decide exactly what course you would like to partake in and allow you to manage your time around the lessons.


Coursera is very flexible and is available to any one who is in possession of a computer and internet connection. However, what used to be free courses are now being charged for, with prices varying from $25 to $99 per programme. Although this is still significantly cheaper than traditional language lessons, the experience is not face-to-face, nor are they tailored specifically to you with the help of a personal mentor. Similar content can be found elsewhere on the internet for free, meaning it is a good idea to question how much of a difference paying will make to your learning.

  • Filter results by selecting course type, language, and level
  • Wide selection of different courses with breakdown of what exactly is included in the syllabus
  • Flexible and accessible to all with computer and internet connection
  • Courses can cost up to $99 and do not include face to face interaction or chance to ask questions directly to a tutor