Links from this page to non-Coast Guard sites are provided as a customer service and do not represent any implicit or explicit endorsement by the United States Coast Guard of any commercial or private issues, products, or services presented there.
There are many resources available if you want to learn a language other than English or if you're trying to improve your English. Most of these are free. Before diving in, however, look over "The 5 Ways We Learn Languages – and Which Style Is Right for You" by Charlotte Bowen, and other articles about learning a language. And check out the web site, Language Mastery, which the author created "to help adult learners reach their foreign language acquisition goals as quickly, cheaply, and enjoyably as possible."
(I found most of the following links through the web site ZenCollegeLife. I've just put them in categories to make them easier to use.)
Foreign Service Institute (U.S. State Department) courses
Navy Knowledge Online* (Not beginner-level courses.)
Web German's portal to other language resources.
italki (voice or in writing)
Lang-8 (in writing)
Livemocha (voice or in writing)
MyLanguageExchange.com (voice or in writing)
Polyglot Club (voice or in writing)
* Language resources available through NKO are not beginner-level courses. These resources are meant to refresh or enhance abilities you already have in languages other than English.
Before you try to use the resources, make sure the pop-up blocker on your browser is turned off. (If you're on a Coast Guard workstation, click on the "Tools" button directly beneath the little magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner of your screen and select "Pop-up blocker".)
Once that's done, log on NKO (if you receive a pay check from the Coast Guard you can create an account on NKO). Then, under the "Learning" tab, click on "Navy e-Learning > Online Courses" link. A new window will open. On the left side, in the "Content" box, click on "Browse Categories", then "Foreign Language & Culture". There you'll find the following three links which may be useful if you want to maintain proficiency in a non-English language:
"Sustainment and Enhancement Language Courses",
"Global Language Online Support System", or
"Language Survival Kits".