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Saturday, January 22nd
Living Language has been around a long time - over 70 years! It's one of the longest-standing names in the DIY language learning industry and is a division of Penguin Random House.
46 total lessons across 3 levels
Living Language has content for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Hebrew. You'll get 10 lessons at the first level, and then the Intermediate and Advanced courses are broken down into multi-lesson units (for a total of 20 lessons in Intermediate and 16 in Advanced). These topics include Essential Expressions, People and Family, Everyday Life, Work and School, and Shopping. Some students who have used Living Language say that the intermediate and advanced lessons really aren't as in-depth as they expected for lessons beyond beginner; if you already have a good working knowledge of Hebrew, you will probably need to choose a different platform to really expand your fluency.
No explanation of teaching methods
How does Living Language go about teaching you to read, write and speak Hebrew? They don't really tell you! They describe their "method" as vocabulary, grammar, audio conversations and cultural notes around real-world themes (like the ones mentioned earlier), with engaging games and puzzles and an online community of language experts and fellow language learners. That's great, but it doesn't answer how the program is structured, or how you track your progress. We also noticed that any kind of speaking exercises aren't mentioned; most of Living Language's competitors give you the chance to compare your spoken Hebrew against voice recognition software to improve your accent.
No free trial or sample lessons
We think it's fair to say that Living Language isn't as transparent as it needs to be. They used to have a free resource called Language Lab linked right from their main page. We weren't even sure it was still being offered, but eventually by digging through the FAQs in the Support section, we found it. Even then, all you get are vocabulary practice games. There's no other way to see how this service teaches language: no free trial, no sample lesson, nothing. That's a huge disadvantage compared with other Hebrew lessons out there.
No refund or satisfaction guarantee
To make it worse, the company offers zero satisfaction guarantee or refund policy. If you start a $39 monthly subscription or pay for several months in advance, you can cancel at any time but you won't get a prorated refund of any payments already made. It doesn't inspire much confidence when a service offering Hebrew lessons won't show you how they teach before you sign up - and then they won't give you your money back if you don't like it!
Fewer features now, not more
And, one of the features that used to bring Living Language up in our rankings was their e-Tutoring service included with a Platinum package they carried. Unfortunately, that was discontinued back in 2018 - along with other services like their iOS app.
Choose a higher-rated Hebrew lessons platform
It's hard to find any reason to recommend Living Languages for studying Hebrew. The company doesn't seem to be putting any effort into expanding their program, providing current content, or adding more tech-savvy features to keep up with their rivals. And, with no sample lessons or a refund policy, you'll be wasting your money if you don't wind up liking what Living Languages has to offer. Even most of today's free language learning apps give you the opportunity to match your accent to a native speaker's, and this platform doesn't even go there. You're going to get a lot more for your money with one of the higher-rated Hebrew lessons packages in our review.
Unless you're moving to Israel and benefitting from the hours-long sessions at an ulpan, you'll need to find Hebrew lessons that are a good fit: for your time, your ideal learning mode, and your budget! It's not easy to get in-person lessons for all ages, especially if you don't live in an area with a university or a significant Hebrew-speaking population.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online options to choose from. Do you learn best by listening? Some Hebrew lessons place strong emphasis on acquiring the language that way: work through audio files of syllables, words, phrases and sentences and repeat after the speaker. Not your style? No problem! Choose a Hebrew language platform that makes everything into a game, from grammar lessons to writing practice and even speech recognition software that compares your recorded language to that of a native speaker.
Better yet, almost all online Hebrew lessons take great care to include cultural and historical information as you study. Hebrew has such a rich history and symbolism; you can't fully understand the language without knowing where it has come from and how it's used in context today.
As you look through the various possibilities for Hebrew lessons, it's easy to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out which one to use. Don't worry! Here are some criteria you can consider as you narrow down your choices:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for taking Hebrew lessons today. We're confident that this information will help you improve your fluency in reading, writing, and especially speaking Hebrew!
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