Beginner English: which are the best courses?

I have a friend who is just starting to learn English. Which are the very best courses on LingQ for complete beginners, please? Thank you!

Hi protorich,

I’d say, you friend should start with the “Mini Stories”.
And then continue from there (i.e., with what interests him / her, esp. non-fiction texts at the beginning).

Here’s a “How to”:

As soon as your friend reaches a low intermediate level, (s)he should have a look at “” (by Jeff McQuillan / Lucy Tse), which can be combined with LingQ.

Or even shorter (from absolute beginner to high intermediate / low advanced learner):

  1. LingQ “Mini Stories”
  2. LingQ + ESLpod
  3. LingQ + Netflix
  4. LingQ + longer non-fiction texts such as Harari’s trilogy, which is interesting and easy to digest.
  5. LingQ + contemporary fiction

Peter - thank you so much for such a detailed reply. Much appreciated!

1 Like

Personally, I’d go YouTube before Netflix for several reasons:

  1. YouTube videos are generally shorter in length (so easier to do as lower intermediate)
  2. You can read while listening and actually click on words you don’t know (the only option for this for Netflix is to have two screens or use a third party software like Language Reactor)
  3. You can download the audio onto your phone to relisten to it (not possible with Netflix without a third party software and some faffing)
  4. Talking-to-the-camera YouTube videos often have a higher word density and can often be treated like podcasts
  5. YouTube videos are generally off the cuff and unscripted

Obviously, you have to be selective in your choice of YouTube videos, but the ability to download the audio onto your phone to relisten to it later is a real winner. Also not requiring a second screen or the extra hassle of using a third party software to read while listening makes life so much easier.

For Netflix, I either just listen without subtitles or use Language Reactor.

The issue with using Language Reactor is (1) I don’t have my own, customised definitions from the LingQ database (which are better than the Language Reactor ones), (2) New Words are not highlighted, because it’s not connected to the LingQ database, (3) I have to import the episode into LingQ later to add 1x read, and mark the Known Words and some common LingQs. This is quite tedious. Even without the bug that I can’t mark words as Known from the Vocabulary section of a lesson on Android, it’s still tedious. You have none of this faff if you just import YouTube videos.

Honestly, using LingQ with Netflix is somewhat tedious. Hence why I just prefer to use it as listening practice.


Thank you very much!

Hi nfera,

good points!

But after > 2000 dialogues from, you can simply skip the Youtube part and directly go to Netflix :slight_smile:

However, you are right: dialogues from YT or other podcasts are also a good choice.

“Honestly, using LingQ with Netflix is somewhat tedious.”
Not when the LingQ browser extension works. Just click, add the Netflix subtitles to LingQ, go through the unknown words / word groups and enjoy the show. That’s it.

1 Like