BBC Learning English Course Information

BBC Learning English

Welcome to our site. We hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Currently we have seven courses and a selection of feature items available. Over the next few years we are planning to create additional full and short courses at all levels of English. 

All our courses are designed to work on mobiles, tablets and desktop computers - so wherever you are, you will be able to enjoy studying English with the BBC Learning English team. If you are using a desktop, you can download audio mp3 files and pdf transcripts.

Over the next few months we plan to add new types of materials and new functionality to the website. 

English You Need

This course will help you improve your ability to understand and use English as it appears in everyday life. Session 1 brings you top tips for studying English and taking exams while in Session 2, News Review shows you how to use the language from news headlines in your everyday English. We answer Learners' Questions about English in Session 3 and we bring you top tips from The Teachers' Room in Session 4. And to round each unit off, we take a key word from the news and show you how to say it properly in Pronunciation in the News in Session 5.

Towards Advanced

This is a course for learners of English who are studying at a relatively high level. It is designed to help you become an even better speaker and to help you move towards a near-native level of English. In English Masterclass you can find tips for understanding English as it is really spoken, and see how words and phrases are used in authentic news stories and headlines in News Review. We bring you multiple uses of key vocabulary items in our story programmes and Tim's Pronunciation Workshop is up and running!

Upper Intermediate Course 

If your level of English is around C1, this video-based 30-unit course brings you the tools you need to take your English further. Dan and Finn have got lots of precious 90-second nuggets of information in English Class, while over in Stop Saying, Tim and Helen help you correct those little mistakes that stop your English sounding more natural. We take a good look at the words making the news in News Review - and the big stories of the week crop up in LingoHack. And after all that excitement, we've got functional English on the menu in our drama series The White Elephant

Intermediate Course

If you are studying English at intermediate level or thereabouts, this course is for you. There are a total of 30 units in the course, with 5 sessions in each Unit, including 6 Minute Grammar, 6 Minute Vocabulary and drama. We'll also bring you lots of articles, audio and video clips alongside materials created specifically for you by our in-house team of language experts, so that unit by unit, session by session you will be able to improve your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and comprehension of written and spoken English.

Lower Intermediate Course

If your level of English is around lower intermediate, this course is for you. There are 30 units in the course. Each unit is based around a particular topic and explores grammar and vocabulary related to that topic as well as helping you to improve your skills and pronunciation. You can find all our most popular features including 6 Minute Grammar6 Minute Vocabulary, and News Report, as well as lots of interactive materials based on original BBC audio and video, created just for you by our in-house team of language experts.

Shakespeare Speaks

Shakespeare Speaks is a brand new series of 20 animated, voiced shorts produced by BBC Learning English in partnership with The Open University.

Popular English phrases and expressions, coined by William Shakespeare yet still very much used today are brought to life, explained and practised by The Bard himself with the help of a cast of imagined characters from Shakespeare’s life and times.

Each episode explains the meaning and use of a well-known modern English expression that originally appeared in Shakespeare’s work, such as:

o The world’s mine oyster
o A tower of strength
o In a pickle
o All that glisters is not gold
o As dead as a doornail


This section of the website is mainly for our higher level learners. Here you'll find our most popular programmes. Pick up a bunch of new words with our weekly topical chat 6 Minute English. Find out the meaning of real English expressions - that don't always make it into the dictionary - in The English We Speak. Catch up on the news with News Report and our video news product LingoHack, which brings you authentic BBC News every Wednesday. And drama lovers can find our versions of some of the world's best-loved dramas such as Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

In the Features area, you can also find our Pronunciation section, bringing you plenty of videos and activities to help you improve your pronunciation, whatever your level!

English My Way

The Learning Circles are a chance for you to help your family and friends learn English. You are the group leader. Follow the links in each session to download the different materials. They will take your group through the everyday English they need to survive in the UK.

There is a Trainer's Guide that will tell you how to run a Learning Circle and twelve fun sessions. With each one, you can learn new words with flashcards, watch and discuss videos about everyday life, discuss how to solve problems, learn some useful everyday phrases and play some games to practise what you have learnt. Have a great time!

In the first session you will find a video guide for group leaders on how to run a Learning Circle. This will explain what to do at each stage of the Leader's Session Plan.

Learning Circles are part of English My Way. If you would like to find out more, or to recommend classes to a friend or member of your family, visit this site.

Get in touch

We are interested to hear what you think about the site and the types of materials that you would be interested in. Please feel free to write to us using our contact us form.