Has anyone tried edX courses?

I have just come across this learning resource. I looked at first for language learning courses, but soon realised they are all at beginner level. Then, I searched for “Spanish” and found quite a large number of courses “en español”. These courses are all designed for native language Spanish speakers, but, on listening to an introductory video, I found the speaking clear and not too fast for me to understand almost everything! I’m going to try “De la granja a la mesa: La seguridad alimentaria en la Unión Europea”. All the courses are taught by videos, with full transcripts available. I think these could be a very useful language-learning resource.

Here is the link to the Spanish courses.

You could search yourself for courses in other languages. If you are a reasonably advanced learner, why not give it a go?


Wow these actually seem to be very useful! I’ve only looked at it for a few minutes, but from what I’ve seen there is a TON of content! 6 hours a week for 6 weeks? That’s an insane amount of content on one topic. Plus there’s a lot! Thanks for linking this!

I have done a lot of courses on edX, Coursera and FutureLearn (the three biggest MOOC platforms) - I have about 50 certificates. Most of these were done in English (my native language), but some of them were in other languages. Spanish is my best foreign language, but even so I was still quite proud of myself for passing the Egiptología course on Coursera, which was not easy, even for native speakers. I’ve done a few other courses in other languages but that one was my favourite because the topic was the one that interested me the most of the foreign-language courses I’ve taken. Recently I haven’t done many MOOCs after being a bit MOOC-crazy in 2004-15.

Overall I agree that MOOCs can be an excellent resource for language learners because you often get transcripts of videos (and some are even aimed at language learners, such as the ones the British Council does for English learners on FutureLearn). I encourage my English students to do MOOCs and everyone should be able to find a topic they enjoy in English because of the wide variety of courses. One of my favourites that I recommend for B2+ students on edX is World 101x: The Anthropology of Current World Issues: Anthropology of Current World Issues

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For Spanish/Portuguese learners, there is also Miríada X, a MOOC platform in those languages. I’ve done a couple of their courses and while they’re not as engaging as the ones you typically find on edX, Coursera and FutureLearn, it’s still a great way to engage with the language.


For French learners, there’s F.U.N. I haven’t looked at the platform in a while but I checked out a couple of courses last year and I was more impressed with the quality of their courses than I was with those of Miríada X.

I did an edX course in intermediate Mandarin grammar last year. It consisted of videos of a teacher giving lectures, and had homework and tests online.

The lectures were pretty good, but the homework and tests were terrible, meaning they did a really poor job of reinforcing what had just been taught.

Because intermediate Mandarin grammar resources aren’t that great, I think it’s worth it to watch the lectures, but I would recommend not doing the other activities. In addition, I won’t be using edX for Korean (assuming it’s even an option) because there are much better resources available. Watching someone lecture in front of a class just doesn’t appeal to me any more. I’m very glad that teaching methods and resources have advanced to the point where I can say that. We live in a great era in that respect.

The way MOOC courses are taught obviously varies from course to course. Certainly, the best courses are the ones that are the most interactive and the ones that go beyond the basic lecture-quiz format. So it’s understandable that you wouldn’t find lecture-quiz courses engaging, but there are plenty of other courses (in English, at least) that are much better than that.