The 5 Best English Pronunciation Courses online

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What makes the best English pronunciation course?

Let’s face it, there are a lot of English pronunciation courses available online nowadays.  A number of the big YouTube teachers have released pronunciation courses and as online learning has become more popular, big course providers like Udemy and Teachable have an army of tutors selling their wears.  There are English language and pronunciation focused schools like Improve Your Accent and English Like A Native with online pronunciation courses.  So, here is the killer question: What makes a good pronunciation course?  In this article, we’ll look at the key areas to consider and rate the top providers out of 5 in each area.  If you’re considering taking a Pronunciation course, either to speak English more clearly, to change your accent or to master your acting skills, you should read this article in full to help you to make the right decision on where to invest your time.

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What are the areas to consider when identifying the best English pronunciation course?

1. Range of content provided

Many courses available are just videos to watch, particularly on the big platforms or from social media teachers.  We’ll look at the diversity of content provided in the courses and whether they are interactive or not. 

2. Quality of content

Within the consideration of quality, we will be considering the teaching style, engagement, quality of videos, the content of the lessons and the extensiveness of the material (does it cover just the basics or a more holistic syllabus)

3. Structure of the course

There is a huge amount of good quality information and teaching on pronunciation on YouTube, but, you’ve got to find it.  While it remains a wonderful, free resource, there isn’t a lot of structure – arguably there’s none!  At the other end of the spectrum, you have a bespoke course, tailored to your needs.  

4. Guidance/personalisation

While good course structure is essential, pronunciation students will approach from very different places, depending on their level of experience and language background.   Some students will be native English speakers, looking to change their pronunciation or gain a new accent.  While other students will be non-native English speakers with different challenges dependent on their mother tongue and the accent of the region of their country. 

5. Practice and interactivity

Perfecting your pronunciation doesn’t come from just absorbing information.  It requires learning, mouth muscle training, ear training and above all, PRACTICE!  We’ll consider which courses provide a range of interactive exercises to help you learn and practice. 

6. Value for money

Value for money is not the same as price.  Value for money considers what you get for what you pay for.  This is an important leveler when it comes to assessing the best English pronunciation course

Each area will be scored out of 5 for a total mark out of 30.  We’ll share our top 5 pronunciation courses with you below.

See the top 5 Pronunciation Courses now!

Can you really improve your pronunciation with an online course?

The short answer is – YES!  You can do a huge amount to improve your accent or perfect your pronunciation and speak more clearly and fluently through online, self-led learning.  There are a few key areas, however, that will have more bang for your buck and those are, firstly, guidance/personalisation and, secondly, interactivity and practice.  More than anything, perfecting your pronunciation requires practice.  Online courses can provide hundreds of hours of self-led guidance and practice for the same price as just a few hours of 1-2-1 teacher-led learning.

Use a Pronunciation course to speak with a British accent

What should you expect from an English Pronunciation Course? 

The most basic English pronunciation courses should, at a minimum, cover the core sounds of the accent you are learning (for example, British Received Pronunciation or General American English).  In the British RP accent, there are 44 phonemes (sounds) covering single vowels (monophthongs), double vowels (diphthongs), and consonants – you can find out more about these 44 phonemes in my article about the International Phonetic Alphabet.  In addition, there are consonant clusters, connected speech and intonation that should be covered in a good pronunciation course.  Courses limited to these key areas are a great place to start, however, it should be understood that these are the basics.

More advanced pronunciation courses go on to focus on developing speaking clarity, confidence and fluency.  The best courses will continue on to training that is traditionally taught to actors and public speakers, like muscle training, ear training, building familiarity with the language/accent and providing learners with increasingly challenging speaking tasks that will make day-to-day conversations a walk in the park.

Let's compare British vs American words and their spelling.

Should I choose an American or British English Pronunciation Course? 

Whether you choose an American or British English pronunciation course is entirely up to you.  The British vs. American accent is a hotly debated question amongst English language usage but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter.  You choose whatever is your preference, whatever accent you feel most comfortable with, the accent that you’ve already built confidence and familiarity with or the accent of the country you live in already, or would like to move to one day.  If you’re still stuck, here’s a video on why you should choose the British accent.

Which accent should I learn if I choose a British pronunciation course? 

The only reasons you should learn a specific British accent are: 

  1. You live in a particular city/region and have no intention of moving in the future (e.g. London, Manchester, Scotland)
  2. You particularly like a specific accent and want to be able to speak English in that accent

Outside of those two reasons, if you wish to speak English with a British accent – or don’t know what accent to choose – the recommendation has to be to learn the British RP Accent.  The British RP accent (Received Pronunciation) is generally considered to be the Standard British Accent and has a number of benefits that will aid your learning.  You can find out more about why you should learn the British RP Accent in my article about Accent Training

If I do a pronunciation course online, how do I know if I’m improving?

It’s usual for online courses to provide you with shadowing exercises for you to imitate the speech of the English pronunciation coach (this is why it’s important to choose your teacher carefully!).  Most students can understand whether they are closely imitating the teacher or not and therefore, you will notice your improvements over time, especially if you record and keep your exercises for future reference.  It’s important to record yourself and listen back so that you can give yourself criticism.  

You can usually achieve 80-90% of your improvements yourself, with a good online course and plenty of practice materials and effort.  However, the last 10-20% may need additional support and expert feedback.

Improve your accent with a pronunciation coach or an English pronuncitiation course online.

Which is the best English pronunciation course?

We’ve reviewed many of the available English pronunciation courses available online and have scored them for you.  You can see our 5 best English pronunciation courses below and why they have made it into our top list.

Overall Winner:  English Like A Native

English Like A Native (ELAN) is a deserved winner with the highest overall ranking and 5 stars in almost all categories.  We’re a huge fan of Anna’s accent (head pronunciation coach) and if we ended up sounding like her from the wide range of shadowing lessons, we’d be quite happy!  Where ELAN really stands out is the level of personalisation and practice provided.  For the cheapest expert assessment we found, you can get a 5* rated Pronunciation Assessment that her students rave about.  The assessment tells you exactly where you need to focus your time and energy and links directly to the course (for course students) where you can start your training.  The cherry on the cake for us is the extensive practice sessions provided in the ELAN Community, from live lessons to conversation classes.  Bravo.

Best Overall: English Like A Native

Range of Content: With 189 lessons covering everything and a range of learning resources (including 5000 audio files), it’s the most comprehensive course available.

Quality of Content: With high quality videos, exercises, audio & images in every lesson, there’s an abundance of high quality content available.

Structure of Course: This well structured course offers warm-ups prior to each lesson and the lessons are guided by the head pronunciation coach, Anna, using beautiful videos.

Guidance/Personalisation: ELAN has solved this requirement, in our view, fantastically.  For a very competitive £49.99 you can complete a Pronunciation Assessment.  The detailed feedback links directly with the pronunciation course, creating a bespoke plan.

Practice & Interactivity: Another stand-out area.  ELAN provides live classes within a community.  You can join drop-in sessions, additional pronunciation classes and practice your new pronunciation in a natural way in the conversation club.

Value for Money: The ELAN course is not particularly cheap, but for what you get, it’s excellent value for money.  

Find out more: Pronunciation Course & Pronunciation Assessment

English like a native is the best overall pronunciation course

Go to the #1 Pronunciation Course Now!

Improve your accent is the runner up in the category for the best English Pronunciation course online.

Overall Runner Up – Improve Your Accent

Range of Content:  Improve Your Accent offers one of the best ranges of content across a complementary collection of learning materials. 

Quality of Content: The quality of resources on the course is undeniably of the highest quality.  The clean and fun layout and animated, responsive materials makes video based courses seem thoughtless in comparison.

Structure of Course: A well structured course using a range of materials, thoughtfully created. 

Guidance/Personalisation: This pronunciation course uniquely orders the content depending on the home country of the student.  Although this no-doubt helps learners overall, it’s not as useful as a bespoke assessment.  There are also assessments and 1-2-1 sessions available, however, they are relatively expensive. 

Practice & Interactivity: This course is full of practice and interactivity and alongside the English Like A Native course, is the only other course to provide live lessons.  However, the live lessons are much less frequent and based on 1-2-1 feedback (if you can get in the hot seat) rather than conversation practice. 

Value for Money: Good value for money, however, relatively expensive vs. our overall winner with £195 for 3 months, vs. £120 at English Like A Native. 

Find out more: Improve Your Accent

Best Free Courses: YouTube

Range of Content:  There is a huge range of videos available on YouTube from a diverse range of teachers covering a wide selection of accents.  You couldn’t ask for more diversity and you can probably find all that you need if you know what you are looking for.  Understandably, all lessons are video only. 

Quality of Content: There is almost as much range in quality as there is in choice on YouTube.  It’s a mixed bag and the higher the quality, usually, the more limited the availability of the content is.

Structure of Course:  There is usually no structure and you’ll have to muddle yourself through your own syllabus. 

Guidance/Personalisation:  There is no guidance or personalisation available. 

Practice & Interactivity: Some of the lessons may require you to practice along with the teachers, but there is no interactive content or feedback mechanisms. 

Value for Money – It’s free (as long as you don’t mind the adverts)

Find out more: YouTube Pronunciation Video Example

English Pronunciation course online free.
Speak more clearly is the best American English pronunciation course online

Best for An American Accent – Speak More Clearly

Range of Content: Speak More Clearly offers a range of accents to learn, including an American accent.  They cover all the basics, and with their focus on speaking training, are excellent for native and non-native speakers. The courses offer a range of video and audio media to learn from.

Quality of Content: High quality videos and audio from teachers who are experts in their field.  You’ll not go wrong with these guys.  Our only slight gripe is that of the 112 lessons, only 44 have video.

Structure of Course: The course is well structured.

Guidance/Personalisation: There is the option for an assessment and 1-2-1 coaching but it is considerably more expensive than with English Like A Native.

Practice & Interactivity: Outside of the video and audio lessons, there isn’t additional practice and interactivity available.

Value for Money: While excellent quality materials built by leaders in the industry, the course pricing is a monthly subscription, each month equivalent to the one-off payments of some video courses on Udemy. 

Find out more: Speak More Clearly

Best on a budget – Udemy

Range of Content:  Like YouTube, Udemy has a range of courses created by a range of pronunciation coaches.  The price, length and content also range quite widely so it’s advised to take reviews seriously and look for trustworthy guidance on which one to choose. 

Quality of Content: As mentioned, there is a range of courses with varying quality.  You can certainly find a great pronunciation course, however, by the very nature of the platform, all courses are limited to video only. 

Structure of Course: All courses follow a structured series of videos to follow. 

Guidance/Personalisation: There is no option for guidance or personalisation. 

Practice & Interactivity: There is no option for guidance or personalisation. 

Value for Money: There are some great courses covering the basics for a very reasonable price.  Just make sure to pick the right one. 

Find out more: Udemy 

The best budget pronunciation course is udemy

The views expressed in this article are subjective and those of the author.  The author has undertaken a thorough analysis of the information publically and freely available about the courses included.

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