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Busuu Review

Sunday, December 5th

2021 Spanish Lesson Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Busuu Review 5 Star Rating

Busuu

5 Star Rating
  • Placement testing
  • Uses the standards for CEFR
  • Goal setting for motivation
  • Useful topics in their lessons
  • Writing and speaking exercises corrected by native speakers
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Busuu is a unique platform that offers quite a bit of personalization without actually being in class. They offer the typical flashcards, vocabulary words and phrases, and grammar, but they have the uncommon offering, with the Premium-Plus plan, to have a real person grade and offer suggestions on your speaking and written work. What's more, you, too, can offer to give back by doing the same for those taking classes in your native language!

Busuu has a placement test

If you're not new to Spanish and would like to know where to start, Busuu offers a placement test for Spanish. The placement test is created by a well-known education company to determine your fluency in regards to the CEFR: Common European Framework of Reference, the known European determination of fluency in a language. These levels are from A1 through C2. Other language-learning companies create their own definition of fluency or mastery levels like beginner, intermediate, or advanced, which may not transfer to anyone else's definition of such.

After the placement test, you still have choices

Once you take the test and determine your level, you'll also choose what your purpose is for learning the language: simply asking for directions, or holding meaningful conversations; and you'll tell them how much time you plan to commit daily to learning Spanish. Busuu will then make a curriculum based on that level, along with your communication goals and time allotted. Or, you can choose grammar lessons based on your language goals: Spanish for Travel, Spanish for Business, and more. So that you can get accustomed to working on your daily lessons, Busuu can send you a notification when it's time to study. You can set an alert for every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7 pm with a 20 minute lesson, for example. This way, time is always blocked out for you.

Costs

  • Basic: Free
  • Premium: $9.99 per month
  • Premium Plus: $13.99 per month

Finding the pricing and refund policy can take some effort

Encountering the price via the website can be a bit tricky. Sometimes the main pricing is listed in euros, which isn't too bad with a conversion calculator. Upon more clicking, we wanted to find prices for each of the programs, but only the "Limited Access," or "free" membership popped up. When we clicked on the "learn more" button, we were given the choice of the three programs. Make sure to get the pricing options for 1 month, 12 months, and 12 months, as the rates are discounted if you pay a year or two in advance. Note that the satisfaction guarantee is for the first 14 days after purchase. If you purchase for the 1- or 2-year plan, and decide more than two weeks in that Busuu isn't for you, you won't qualify for the refund.

The Basic plan

With the free, Basic program, you'll have limited access to Spanish lessons, which basically includes vocabulary flashcards for practice. You'll get Spanish-English flashcards, true/false questions, word matching, comprehension checks, and more to reinforce the vocabulary. You'll have dialogs to show how your vocabulary is used in context and a complete transcript of the dialog where you fill in the missing words. What's nice is they explain why words and phrases work a certain way, to help you understand the framework of the language. Although these many features are offered, you need to know it's still based only on vocabulary flashcards. We've found that if you want to be fluent, or really progress, the flashcard-plus method isn't enough.

The Premium plan

With the Premium plan, you'll have full access to the Spanish lessons, the AI-powered review, grammar lessons, and you can learn offline, when on the website. You'll also have online-only access with the Apple or Android app.

The Premium Plus plan

You can unlock all 12 languages, to learn multiple languages at the same time, which is a turn-on for polyglots (or polyglot wannabes). You can input your fluency goals and how much time you want to dedicate daily to your language learning. Busuu will then tell you when you will meet your goal if you stick to the plan. You will also receive certification from a nationally-known education company which provides you with the CEFR testing materials. Their certification indicates your perceived CEFR level of fluency. In addition, you'll have access to a community of native Spanish speakers for correction or advice on your written or spoken work.

Best Spanish Lessons

Busuu's lessons are well organized

Sometimes your writing or speaking exercises are longer and are submitted to a group of people Busuu calls "friends" , who will offer suggestions or corrections. These people may even offer helpful cultural tidbits regarding what you're writing about! This is a great and unique feature, as there are other Spanish lesson programs out there that only correct your words and any small error is just counted as wrong, without any feedback or hints. In addition, your word order may still be correct, but not how the answer key had it typed in. That is also counted as wrong, with no hints, and that can be quite frustrating. Busuu's offering of a real person providing corrections, suggestions, and perhaps some culture, is invaluable.

Practice what they suggest or what you want

After each lesson, there are activities to practice your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. The dashboard lists what's available, and you can choose what you think you need most. For example, you could focus just on speaking if you're working on your accent, or give your writing extra attention as desired. A nice feature of Busuu is that it lets you know how long each activity should take, so you know how much you can work in with the time you've given yourself that day.

Busuu's feedback on your work is from a live person!

Sometimes your writing or speaking exercises are longer and are submitted to a group of people Busuu calls "friends" , who will offer suggestions or corrections. These people may even offer helpful cultural tidbits regarding what you're writing about! This is a great and unique feature, as there are other Spanish lesson programs out there that only correct your words and any small error is just counted as wrong, without any feedback or hints. In addition, your word order may still be correct, but not how the answer key had it typed in. That is also counted as wrong, with no hints, and that can be quite frustrating. Busuu's offering of a real person providing corrections, suggestions, and perhaps some culture, is invaluable.

Speaking of culture...

How many times have you used your high school textbook phrases, only to be told, "That's not how we say it" ? For example, high school textbooks may have drilled that "Me llamo" (My name is) is the way to introduce yourself. Not necessarily so. Busuu might tell you that this phrase is too formal, and we usually say, "Soy" (I am) before our names, to introduce ourselves. Another example is that Busuu will also tell you that you don't have to say "yo soy" , or "tu eres" (I am, you are), you can omit the yo and tu, as most native speakers do. This gives you the confidence as a learner that people really may understand you and you're not using words and phrases that are awkward and mostly found only in textbooks.

You, too, can be of help to others

Just like you'll get help from native speakers of Spanish, you'll be invited to help those who are learning English! It can be fun and motivating to help others learn a language, and can help keep you motivated to continue studying Spanish.

A few small downsides

What's missing with Busuu? We'd like a little more. More opportunities to practice speaking - is there ever enough, if you want to be fluent? And more variety in the review sections. This is a common complaint of many of the online Spanish lessons, and definitely is a complaint here as well. To get the most out of Busuu, you'll definitely need the Premium or Premium Plus memberships.

It's a winner for us

Busuu doesn't make you guess what level to start at, as it has a placement test. It also tells you your level of fluency on the scale of the European language fluency system. The lessons are scaffolded to get you to your goal of fluency, and they'll even tell you when you'll get there. The learning program is straightforward and has good technology to get you there, including real people to offer suggestions to your writing and speaking answers. We believe goal-oriented people will love and appreciate the program. For all of these reasons, Busuu earns our first-place ranking among providers of Spanish lessons.

Who Offers the Best Spanish Lessons?

Have you always wanted to learn Spanish? Or have you learned some, but really want to improve your skills in order to be able to read Spanish newspapers or talk with native speakers? Do you have business associates or neighbors who speak Spanish, or have you wanted to talk in Spanish with the locals on your next trip? There are 460,000 people who are native Spanish speakers right here in the US, and 20 countries that have Spanish as their official language. No matter why you want to learn it, the question is which Spanish lessons are right for you.

With so much of our life going digital, from many of us doing our job remotely, to video chatting with our family or internet shopping, it's natural to want to explore online options for learning Spanish. There are many programs available online and through apps, and we can help you sift through them.

The Best Spanish Lessons Compare Spanish Lessons Compare Spanish Lesson Reviews What are the best Spanish Lessons Best Spanish Lesson Reviews

Spanish Lesson FAQ

Spanish, like English, is one of the most commonly spoken language that is used throughout the world. Learning Spanish can help your travel experiences, allow the opportunity for work or study abroad in a Spanish speaking country, increase your chances of employment, and more.
On average a course has about 13 to 120 hours of lesson time per level of difficulty (depending on the company).
Of course, these courses are meant to teach you Spanish without requirement of previous knowledge. If you don't know any Spanish, we recommend starting your path on learning Spanish with a beginner (Level 1) course.
Depending on the company, there are typically 3 levels that include beginner, intermediate, and advanced. No matter how much Spanish you already know, be sure to check out the specifics of each program before making a selection.
Courses to learn Spanish are self-paced and allow the customer to take their time as they complete each assigned lesson. Self-paced allows the customer to go at their own rate. For most effective learning it is recommended to plan out the courses ahead of time, and to review course material, when available.
Depending on the company and type of course, the cost can range from $39 to $450. Some companies offer combination packages that include multiple levels within the plan, rather than purchasing each level separately.
Of course, when learning any language, it is important to be able to understand the language via reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Some companies may teach only speaking and listening in some of their courses. Be sure to identify what aspects of the language each program offers.
Yes, several companies offer a customer satisfaction. Companies offer customers friendly help and confidence of their products by giving, but not limited to, 30-day trials, demo lessons, and in some cases full refund if dissatisfied of service. Make sure to check on the companies' customer satisfaction policy before committing.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

The first thing to consider is how much Spanish you already know. If you're just getting started, there are many programs whose focus is on the beginner, with lessons chock full of grammar, vocabulary, and practice. At the same time, the concentration is so heavy on brand-new students that many programs offer little to nothing for the intermediate or advanced learner.

Another important factor is your learning style and preference. Some learners like to go in the order that the experts have the lessons set up so that they can meet their language acquisition goals. Other students know that they want to pick and choose their lesson order based on their needs. For example, if the learner is going to travel in the near future, they want their first lessons focused on related vocabulary, like asking for directions and checking in at a hotel. Others are in the medical or business field, so they want to follow the language learning path best suited to their careers.

A major consideration is if repetition is okay with you, or if you will lose focus if the lessons aren't entertaining. Some learners are motivated to continue the day's lesson or look forward to the next lesson because of the fun and exciting apps that include gaming-like activities, points, badges, competitive leaderboards, and animation. Let's face it, if you're not motivated to learn, will you really stick with the program? Other students want to push forward with the traditional, square-shooting approach that feels comfortable as tried and true. Start with vocabulary and practice, add on grammar, preferably with detailed explanations in English, more practice, along with repetition and recycling of older material to solidify the knowledge base.

Once you know what level of Spanish learner you are, from beginner to advanced, your purpose of learning it, from travel to profession or just because, and if you like to be entertained or want "just the facts, Ma'am" , there are a few more aspects of Spanish lessons you may want to consider:

  • Value. Does the program offer free access that is suitable for your needs? Would you be more motivated with a monthly subscription, yearly subscription, or lifetime access? Sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes a program can give you a lot of features with a relatively low cost. Consider free membership, if it's offered. Although access may be limited it should give a good taste test.
  • The right fit. If you take advantage of a free lesson or trial period, you can get a clearer idea of how well any particular Spanish lessons work for you. No two students are alike: flashcards are ideal for some people, while others need in-depth English explanations or grammar. Some students want lessons with no frills, while others stay interested when there are colorful animations, prizes and awards for completing the daily lesson.
  • Refund policy. Once you've committed to a Spanish lesson program, are you able to get your money back if you're not satisfied? Many companies give the client up to 60 days to request a refund, but not all do. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before you commit with your credit or debit card.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated, rated, and ranked the best choices for online Spanish lessons. We're sure that with this information, you'll have what you need to make the right choice for your goals in learning, acquiring, and becoming fluent in Spanish. ¡Ya vamos!

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