English lessons for the modern world
Online lessons and a supportive community to help you finally reach your goals in English
New lesson sets with video, audio, and transcripts released twice each week
Interactive forums and live video calls to enhance your learning
Web-based listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, and writing exercises
What people are saying about Plain English
Four reasons why you'll love Plain English
English students from over 160 countries love learning with Plain English. What will you like best?
The world is your English classroom
Plain English lessons are about what’s going on in the world. We talk about politics, music, movies, business, technology, travel–you name it.
Leave the boring textbook passages behind and come talk about the world with your new friends in Plain English.
Use what you learn right away
Theory is good, but we know why you’re here: you want to speak better. Our lessons are about giving you the tools you need to express yourself in English right away.
Check out our library of over 500 expressions and phrasal verbs and you’ll start sounding like a native in no time.*
Lose the fear of writing and speaking
It can sometimes be intimidating to speak in a new language. Our supportive community and live members-only video calls are the perfect place for you to get over your fear of speaking and writing.
Practice with us in a safe environment and you’ll have the confidence you need in the real world.
Learn to understand English at full speed
Our audio lessons are available at two speeds: slower, learning speed and native speed. Listen to the one that’s right for you, and check your understanding with our translated transcripts.
Your new listening strategy: start with the slow version, move to the fast version, and gradually stop using the transcripts.
* that means “really soon”!
Meet your two newest English-speaking friends
Hate the lonely feeling of practicing on apps? Jeff conducts the audio lessons in an engaging, personable way. Both Jeff and JR are active in the forums and live video calls.
Jeff conducts the audio and video lessons and answers your questions in the community.
JR keeps the conversation going in our community, produces the lessons, and manages the web site.
I have eliminated my frustration and have finally started to enjoy this language! Thanks Jeff and JR for all you do.
A high-tech English membership for the way we live today
Plain English is the best online program to help you go from ‘intermediate’ to ‘advanced.’ Here are the features that will help you reach your goals in English:
your own voice
Join us for a free webinar
There has never been a better time to learn English! But how do you know which are the best online tools for learning English in 2020? Join us for a live web class and we’ll share the latest tips and advice for beginners through advanced English learners.
Hmm…you may have noticed a few changes around here! Come join Jeff and JR for a webinar that takes you inside all the new features of PlainEnglish.com. You’ll see how to access all your favorite features, plus get a behind-the-scenes tour at all the new features available to both free and Plus+ members.
Start building your confidence in English
Pick a plan (one is free!) and make today the day you learn to love English
Plain English is perfect for anyone who knows some words, has studied English in the past, but is not yet fluent. You’re perfect for Plain English if…
- …you want to improve your listening
- …you want to expand your vocabulary
- …you want to improve your confidence in English
- …you want to advance in your career by improving your English
- …you want to improve your pronunciation
- …you sometimes have trouble expressing complex ideas in English
- …you want practice writing
- …you want to meet other people to connect with in English
- …you have some questions you’d like answered
A Plain English lesson includes:
- Audio lesson (~10 minutes) about one current events topic
- Audio lesson about one common English expression or phrasal verb that appeared in the current events lesson (~10 minutes)
- Slow and fast-speed versions of both audios
- Full transcripts, including ~100 words or phrases translated to Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Chinese, Italian, and French.
- A ~10-minute video lesson with English subtitles about how to express complicated ideas in English.
- Video lesson slides for reference & practice
- Learn the Lingo: The definition of one example of informal speech used in the main lesson.
- Flash cards: Five words from the main lesson in a private Quizlet flashcard set, which you can access from our web page or the Quizlet app
- Record your own voice: Record yourself reading a sentence in English and compare your pronunciation to Jeff’s
- Dictation: Listen to a sentence and write every word. Then check your work to see how you did.
- Lesson quizzes: See how much you understood from the main lesson.
- Fill in the blank: A great way to practice your prepositions and verb tenses.
New lessons come out every Monday and Thursday, so you’ll never be bored!
We release new lessons each Monday and Thursday at about 6:00 a.m. in the United States. You’ll never be without great new English lessons!
Plain English has grown rapidly since we were founded in 2017. Most members listen to the new content, but we also have a rich history of lessons going back to 2017. Here’s what we have in our archives:
- Over 250 current events lessons, ~10 minutes at slow speed audio
- Over 250 English expressions, ~10 minutes at slow speed audio
- Over 250 text-based definitions of informal words and phrases (we call it “Learn the Lingo”)
- Over 75 of the current events and English expressions lessons also have fast-speed audio
- Over 75 video lessons
- Lessons have instant translations to over 7 languages. The languages have been added over the years. The ones with the longest history include Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and French. We have more recently added support for Japanese, Italian, and German.
- Interactive exercises are available for new lessons (after #250)
We release new lessons each Monday and Thursday and every new lesson has all the current features, including our interactive exercises:
- Lesson quizzes
- Fill in the blank
- Write what you hear
- Record your own voice
In short, there’s plenty for you to do as a new member of Plain English!
Our live calls are a lot of fun! Jeff and JR lead a discussion in English about a recent lesson topic. All members on the call have the chance to talk. If we have a lot of members on the call, we split up into smaller groups so everyone has a chance to practice. There’s no pressure and no reason to be shy. It’s a great way to practice your speaking and gain more confidence!
We schedule these one or two times per month and they are included in the Plus+ subscription.
This rarely happens, but we understand that Plain English may not be right for you. Simply send us a note within 30 days of signing up to receive a full refund, no questions asked.
Yes! We have lively forums in which you can ask any question in English. There’s no limit to the number of questions you can ask, but we do have community guidelines.
For example, you can ask, “How sure is ‘pretty sure’?” But you can’t ask, “Teach me everything about the future tense.” That would be too hard to answer in just a single response!
Jeff and JR respond by writing answers in our community forums, but you might get lucky and receive a video response, too.
If you sign up for a free membership, you’ll have a special home page with the most recent lessons. You’ll also get access to:
- Lesson libraries, where you can explore previous lessons
- Free courses & challenges, including our coronavirus writing course
- Learn the Lingo, more vocabulary practice