Free Online Linguistics Courses

You can study linguistics online via free courses offered by universities in the U.S. and the U.K. These courses include introductory studies to orient you to linguistic theories, and specialized subject topics are also available. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Free Online Linguistics Courses

Linguistics investigates the science of language from various aspects, including biology, physiology, psychology, anthropology, and education. There are many free online linguistics courses that can introduce you to the technical vocabulary, studies, theories, and models of linguistics. In addition to studying English linguistics, you may study online courses in foreign language linguistics.

These courses typically include a series of lectures that are split up into modules or weekly lectures. Some of the course content may be text and image based, but other courses include video recordings of university lectures.

MIT OpenCourseWare

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare (OCW) offers an entire spectrum of free online linguistics courses spanning the undergraduate and graduate levels. If you are seriously interested in studying linguistics, this is the ideal place to find about 40 available courses, which were taught between 2001 and 2017.

The courses typically include a syllabus and a list of textbooks and reading materials. Some materials are downloadable, and others may be purchased at your choice. Some of the courses have lecture notes, slides, PDFs, assignments, and exam study guides.

You can take foundational classes covering topics in phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Two of the courses at the undergraduate level are:

  • Language Acquisition
  • Linguistic Studies of Bilingualism

MIT OCW also provides access to advanced and niche courses at the graduate level, such as:

  • Language Processing
  • The Lexicon and Its Features

If you study the linguistics laboratory courses, you may need certain analysis tools and software to complete the assignments.

OpenLearn

The Open University in the U.K. makes available about 1,000 free courses through its OpenLearn program. You can study a linguistics course called ''Understanding Language and Learning.'' It's rated as a level 3 advanced course that will take approximately ten hours to complete. There are nine modules, covering topics such as:

  • Cognitive and social processes of learning
  • The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
  • Bilingual education
  • The L1/L2 dichotomy

Anyone can enter and overview the course, but if you create an account, you can enroll in the course and access the full educational materials and tools. These include diagrams, visual resources, video, audio, digital activities, and discussion boards. These tools engage you in the learning process and help you interact with the material.

You can also download the course materials to a PDF or to a Kindle, making it easier to study anywhere and anytime. Upon finishing this course, you get a statement of participation.

UCI Open

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) has an OpenCourseWare system called UCI Open. It provides a free online course called ''Language and Literacy (English).'' The materials available for this course are sixteen lectures, which are distributed with one or two a week over ten weeks.

These lectures are video recordings of a professor teaching in her classroom, so you can feel like you're participating in a class: viewing the slideshow presentation, listening to the professor's lecture, and hearing the student discussions. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Understanding language and literacy
  • Morphology
  • Orthography
  • Semantics
  • Syntax
  • Spoken discourse
  • American dialects

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
      • Masters - English
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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  • Ashford University

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Full Sail University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia