The 8 Best Online Grammar Classes of 2020
- Best Overall: Coursera
- Best Runner-up: EdX
- Best for Shorter Courses: Udemy
- Best for a Creative Approach: Skillshare
- Best for ESL Learners: Cambly
- Best for Multiple Languages: Duolingo
- Best for Young Kids: ABC Mouse
- Best for Elementary School Kids: Grammaropolis
Learning grammar is one of the most fundamental parts of learning any language. Fortunately for language learners of all ages and grade levels, there are plenty of online grammar classes available right at your fingertips. Keep reading to see some of the best options for learning grammar online, no matter what specific needs you’re hoping to address.
Best Overall: Coursera
For variety and quality, it’s hard to beat Coursera, which specializes in making college courses from top universities worldwide available to learners without having to enroll. Coursera has more than 100 courses under its “grammar” category, mostly for English language, and covers topics from the basics of grammar to more advanced courses on composition, writing and communicating for specific purposes (such as academic writing or business communications), and even grammar for TESOL certification.
Students can enroll in each individual course separately—although there are a handful of specializations or tracks that collect several courses together—and each class is handled differently in terms of time commitment and price. Courses typically include video lessons and lectures, practice assignments, readings, and evaluation opportunities to test your skills.
Although Coursera does run on a cycle system, once a student is enrolled for a particular session, courses are largely self-paced. While courses can run in the hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours, many of Coursera’s grammar classes are currently available for free.
Best Runner-up: EdX
EdX is the perfect blend between top-tier courses and easy access. The platform includes several classes focused on learning grammar skills, as well as full-fledged programs (small groups of courses with a common goal, like a miniature version of a college major).
For the most part, EdX’s grammar courses are part of its language offerings. The majority are for English language learners (or students looking to brush up on specific skills like essay writing or writing/speaking in business contexts), but there are also ones focusing on grammar in other languages.
Great news if you’re considering EdX: Most of their courses are free—to take, at least. If you’re taking a grammar course to brush up skills on your own, you’re good to go, but if you’re taking them for more formal reasons, the “verified certificate” of completion costs about $49 per course.
Like Coursera, classes do start on an enrollment cycle, but once the session begins, students can pace themselves and take things as slow or as fast as suits their schedule.
Best for Shorter Courses: Udemy
Many of Udemy’s grammar courses are relatively short, in the range of one to 10 hours each.
The site has a great deal of leeway when it comes to the courses offered—instructors can create and upload their own classes, which means that students can choose from more general lessons or ones that are highly specific to a single concept like verb tenses or sentence structure. The sheer variety means that there’s almost certainly a class to address every student’s needs at any point in time, and there are plenty of options even for short lessons to address smaller questions.
Because Udemy is more of a portal for instructors than a standardized platform, courses often include a wide range of styles and elements. Students are likely to come across lectures (both audio and video), helpful readings, practice activities, tests, and more. For those who aren’t quite sure if a specific class is for them, Udemy has the option to preview classes and also offers a 30-day refund if students feel a course definitely did not meet their expectations or needs.
Since each class is an independent product, they're also priced independently, so prices for lifetime access to a single course can range from very cheap (roughly $10 to $15) to pricey (about $200 or more). Most of the straightforward grammar courses run on the lower end of the range, but there are some longer classes or recommended groups of courses that may cost more.
Best for a Creative Approach: Skillshare
The appeal of Skillshare is its smaller-scale and more specific focus, often with a more creative approach to straightforward subjects like grammar.
With classes broken down into relatively short, bite-sized bits of video, audio, and activities, Skillshare’s grammar courses are easy to tackle and fun to get through. There are courses for pretty much every style, whether you prefer a no-frills video series teaching different parts of speech and usage concepts, or colorful, quick guides to different word groups in a variety of languages. The site encourages creative approaches to learning, so it’s perfect for students who are looking to engage a little differently with their learning.
Instead of paying per course or per hour, Skillshare has a subscription model that allows unlimited classes. Subscriptions cost about $19 per month, or roughly $99 for a year (which gives a discount, making the cost around $8 per month). Several of the grammar courses offered on the site also have free samples—for example, a first lesson or segment is available without signing up.
Best for ESL Learners: Cambly
For ESL learners looking to tackle grammar in practical contexts, Cambly has a refreshingly casual approach.
The service eschews the formality of a classroom in favor of direct language practice, where students who have learned some English and need help perfecting grammar and vocabulary can practice with native English speakers through live chats. It’s not necessarily a from-scratch class, but more of a setting for students to put their skills into practice and get in-the-moment tips. Conversing with normal English speakers, rather than fully structured classes, is the name of the game.
That being said, Cambly actually does offer "regular" courses that are geared toward specific needs or topics. Courses include English for business purposes, vocabulary for topics like technology, hobbies, and food, and other conversational, practical topics that combine vocabulary lessons with grammar review. It’s very much a real-world-focused type of class.
Pricing depends on how frequently students plan to use the service: Choose from two, three, or five days per week and 15, 30, or 60 minutes per daily session.
Best for Multiple Languages: Duolingo
Learning grammar is one of the most important parts of learning a new language, and Duolingo’s approach integrates grammar lessons seamlessly into the larger process of language learning.
Rather than teaching an exclusive “grammar” course, Duolingo incorporates its grammar lessons alongside courses in vocabulary and other practice skills. For adult learners tackling a second (or even a third) language, which is the site’s main demographic, it’s an effective way to keep learners attentive.
Duolingo’s format is based on a "tree" of skills, with new ones unlocked as previous ones are mastered through practice challenges. It also allows (and actively encourages) students to revisit past concepts to stay sharp, and it permits students to spend as much or as little time on lessons as they wish.
At the time of publication, the site offers roughly 37 languages and counting, including Indigenous languages, all completely free of charge.
Best for Young Kids: ABC Mouse
The app-based ABCMouse is one of the most popular options for young kids who are just learning the basics of reading. The interactive system features thousands of activities that teach kids the basics of phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. There is a section for older kids getting into more complex topics, but the main focus is on kids aged 2 to 8 getting the basic ones down for a strong foundation.
Through 10 levels on the "Step-by-Step Learning Path," lessons use fun activities and games to teach in a way that’s perfectly designed for the attention span of young children. While it’s not specifically targeting grammar, it’s a series of "classes" that give kids the kind of foundation they need, so that they can understand basic rules of English before getting into the nitty-gritty.
The program starts with a 30-day free trial, but from then on, it costs around $10 per month—but customers who purchase a year-long subscription can get a discount of almost 50%. The classes featured on the app are actually pretty wide-ranging: Not only do students encounter language lessons, but also math, science, and the arts at age-appropriate levels.
ABCMouse is a great choice for giving young learners a fun and educational start on grammar.
Best for Elementary School Kids: Grammaropolis
Kids who are starting to learn grammar as its own subject may find that the playful but thoughtful Grammaropolis strikes just the right balance between games and learning.
Mini-courses are available, focusing on every major word group, starting with simple word types like nouns and verbs, and working up to concepts like how to use prepositional phrases. Classes are packed with quirky songs and videos that teach grammar concepts in ways that are sure to stick in kids’ memories, plus, plenty of practice and quiz opportunities to test students’ knowledge. There are even standalone “specialty” quizzes to keep growing and learning beyond the basics.
New students can sample the site’s classes for free: The "nouns" course—called a "neighborhood"—can be accessed in full free of charge. After that, the site offers three different membership tiers for about $4 per month, roughly $20 per year, or around $40 for lifetime access. Subscriptions also allow for multiple users, so a family with multiple kids can use one access for everyone, and the classes will keep track of individual progress.
How We Chose the Best Online Grammar Classes
Learning grammar is fundamental, but it’s often folded in with other parts of learning language, reading, and writing. As a result, many of the classes we’ve selected have a broader scope than just grammar. That helps open it up, though, since anyone from young children to professionals may need a boost with their grammar, either in their native language or in a foreign one. Grammar classes here often tie in with other concepts like vocabulary and overall language fluency.
Online classes have the bonus of being able to be a little more flexible than traditional, physical classrooms, so we’ve tried to focus on that as well. Several of the platforms we’ve featured allow students to pace themselves and learn at their own rates, even in interactive games or projects. Everything from game-based platforms to more formal lecture-based classes are included here, so, hopefully, students of any learning style can find a course among our picks that suits them.
Coursera earned the title of best overall for its free classes and its wide selection of offerings under its “grammar” category. And, ABC Mouse and Grammaropolis were our top picks for kids.
What Is an Online Grammar Class?
An online grammar class is a course that teaches grammar concepts for fully remote learning. They may be focused on specific grammar concepts in a given language, but they often are combined with other language and writing skills. Grammar courses may be geared toward anyone from young kids learning simple ideas for the first time to adult professionals who could use a grammar review to improve their communication skills.
How Much Do Online Grammar Classes Cost?
Online grammar classes, like most online learning, can have a pretty wide range of prices. Grammar courses tend to be a little shorter and a little cheaper than online ones in other, more specialized topics (say, a computer science course). As with most online learning platforms, grammar courses are usually available through one of two options: Subscription platforms that offer overall access for a time-sensitive fee or per-course platforms that require students to pay for every class they take.
What Features Do Online Grammar Classes Have?
Online grammar classes typically focus on learning and applying grammar concepts in practical contexts. Classes or apps geared toward younger learners may be more concerned with games and activities to actually teach the concepts, without worrying about teaching the theory behind them, while courses for adult learners are likely to have more of a theoretical base that requires analyzing how grammar works, not just what it does.
Features might include lectures—either video or text-based—along with practice activities in the form of worksheets, readings, and/or games, plus, quizzes to continually evaluate progress. Most classes on these platforms are self-paced, so students can typically work at their own speed and on their own time. Grammar learning builds on itself, so students may wish to revisit older concepts as they learn; most of these courses do allow this kind of review of past lessons.