I mentioned earlier that in September my language studies were focused on French, as I had the chance to try Lingoda.
Lingoda is an online language school that offers classes with small groups and private lessons via Skype and Adobe Connect. You can pick one of four languages: English, French, Spanish and German. The curricula and materials are based on the CEFR levels (A1-C2). When you complete a course you have the possibility to get a CEFR certificate. Classes are available 24/7, so whatever your timezone is you can book lessons at the most convenient time for you.
How did it go?
In order to write this review, I received 10 lessons credits, 5 for private lessons and 5 for group classes, so I was able to interact with different teachers and to try a number of sessions focused on grammar, speaking and writing. Though being assessed at a B2 level I was eager to fill some gaps in my grammar knowledge with a teacher, so I took B1.2 lessons.
Learning on Lingoda
Lingoda offers a rich curriculum of classes on several topics, divided into chapters. Each chapter has a theme, covers a couple of grammar points and includes lessons focused on each language ability.
You can download for free all the slides and learning materials in order to prepare for your class in advance or to review grammar/vocabulary. The topics are varied and engaging and whatever your interests are you’ll definitely find something for you.
When I first checked the topics I almost felt a bit overwhelmed: I didn’t expect such an extensive choice of themes. They range from hobbies to family, from media to politics and current events, from cultural insights on France and other francophone countries to living abroad. There are also lessons tailored to specific needs: writing a resume, applying for a job or going to an interview.
My absolute favourite thing about Lingoda is the quality of teachers I got to study with. I had lessons with 7 of them and all were prepared and experienced. They made the lessons enjoyable, effective and fun. They made sure that my pronunciation was correct, worked on my mistakes without interrupting me – one of the signs of a well-trained teacher – and they were constantly attentive to any doubts or questions I had. The approach is communicative and you are encouraged to speak as much as possible.
I believe getting full attention from a professional teacher is one of the best and fastest ways to make progress in a language, and my experience on Lingoda confirmed this idea.
For my first three lessons, I studied with the same teacher. She soon identified my weaknesses and gave me spot on tips and reading recommendations suitable for my level. Afterwards, I had two more lessons with different teachers. Both were excellent but it’s a bit of a shame because I would have loved to keep studying with the first one.
During the lessons, I received constant feedback, suggestions on what I needed to improve and how to best do it. In general, I felt that all the teachers I worked with really cared about my progress and results.
If you are interested in studying a specific topic that doesn’t appear in the regular curriculum, then you can book a customised private class. The teacher will prepare a bespoke lesson tailored to your needs.
In most group classes I worked with only one other student. Once I was the only one so I got a private lesson, and once we were four students.
This was the first time I had group lessons online and I was a bit worried it would get chaotic. In every occasion, though, the teachers flawlessly managed time, tasks and the attention they gave to each student.
The practical stuff
The website interface is visually pleasant, user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Adobe Connect, the software used for group classes, always worked well for me. I never had issues during the lessons or while connecting.
The booking system is quite straightforward: you can pick lessons for the topic or according to your time availability. When booking a class you receive a confirmation via email that lets you add it to your calendar with one click.
The price for a monthly package ranges from 79€ – 269€ and it can include private lessons, group classes or a mix of both.
You can get a 60 minutes trial class for 0,99€ to talk with a teacher who will assess your level.
What’s not great?
As I mentioned earlier I would have loved the possibility to choose a teacher and keep working with them in my private classes. It would make me feel more comfortable and motivated and I think progress is faster with an instructor that knows your needs and learning style.
Also, if you want to take a specific lesson within a group class, you will have to wait until the online school schedules that lesson. Generally you will have about three slots to choose from during the week, otherwise, you can arrange to study your desired topic in a private lesson.
Finally, if you are very tight on time this might not be the best option for you, as their plans go from a minimum of 5 private lessons or 10 group classes a month.
My experience with Lingoda was overall very positive, especially thanks to the amazing teachers I studied with. Let’s sum up:
- Outstanding teachers
- Free downloadable materials to prepare your lessons or review any topic
- Rich and engaging class curriculum
- Easy to use and to navigate
- Lessons available 24/7
- CEFR certificates available
- It’s possible to have completely customized private classes
- One cannot choose a teacher to work with regularly
- Not great flexibility when you want to book a class lesson on a specific topic
- Not recommended for people who can’t attend at least 5-10 hours of classes every month
Who is it for?
Lingoda is the ideal choice if you want to progress fast, you are committed to dedicating at least 5 to 10 hours in a month to online lessons, and ready to pay a bit more than on the most used learning platforms (but still less than you would with a private teacher elsewhere).
Ready to give it a try?
Have you ever taken group classes online? How did it go? What is the most important factor for you when taking classes online? Let me know in the comments!
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