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Sunday, December 5th
Bells and whistles? The most up-to-date technology and special effects? Lingoda doesn't need all that to keep the Spanish learner engaged in the lesson. Rather, Lingoda offers you a live teacher and a small class of two to four other students via Zoom. Small class size, an instructor whose native language is Spanish, a downloadable pdf for the class notes, and nothing else is needed. Take the lessons at your own pace, and you're on your way to learning Spanish!
Beginner to advanced, the European way
While some online Spanish classes create their own definitions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced, it's not easy to know where you stand in their program, or in real life. Is advanced really advanced, or did they run out of material so they just called it advanced? Lingoda, on the other hand, uses the European method of classifying your language level. The CEFR, or the Common European Reference for Languages is the international standard for describing language ability, and goes from A1 to C2. In Lingoda's Spanish, you can start anywhere, and lessons go up to B2 level. Don't be fooled into thinking that B2 won't get you very far; it definitely will. How do you know what level you're at? Take the 15-minute placement test. The test is accurate, and you'll feel confident with where you're placed. And, you'll know the name of the level you're at, as you have the CEFR descriptors.
Sprint or Super Sprint?
There are two different programs in Lingoda: Sprint and Super Sprint. In Sprint, you'll take 15 classes per month, and in Super Sprint, you'll take 30 classes per month. You have to be dedicated to get in this many classes per month! If you are willing to take a Spanish lesson every day or basically every other day, you'll be on your way to conversing in Spanish!
You can have a free, 7-day trial of Lingoda. Be aware that after the 7 days, you will be billed for upcoming plans.
Expensive per plan, not so expensive per class
For the Sprint program, they charge $650 total for three months of classes, and the Super Sprint is $1100 for three months. This is quite costly for three months of classes! However, when you figure that the Sprint program offers 45 classes in those three months, that's $14 per class. Almost nowhere can you get an almost-private lesson for less than $20 per class.
You snooze, you lose
Whichever program you choose, if you don't attend all of the classes for the month, any unused lessons do not roll over to the next month. This is great motivation for keeping up with your classes, and choosing the correct plan for your available time.
Cancelling a subscription
For the Sprint plan, you can cancel within the first 14 days of signing up. The rest of the cancellation policy is vague, and you are asked to read their lengthy terms and conditions section for more information.
No matter your schedule and available time, no worries! Lingoda's instructors have classes 24/7. When you create your account through Lingoda, you can easily filter to see the availability of the classes at your level. They have the calendar set to your time zone, so no worries if you're not travelling. If you're travelling outside your normal time zone, double check the class start time.
The class you want isn't always available when you want it
Sometimes you'll want a class and it's not convenient for your time zone. Or the class filled up and there's no room for you. Be sure to book your classes as soon as you can to get what you need.
Cash back bonus! Better read the fine print
If you complete all your classes in a 3-month period, you can receive all of your money back. Now there's an incentive to keep up your classes! If you're enrolled in the Sprint, you can receive 50% back if you attend all of your classes, and if you're in Super Sprint, you can receive 100% back for attending all of your classes! There's a 13-page document on the fine print of how to qualify for the cash back. Read it carefully, if cash back is your goal.
The classes have a syllabus, but are easy going
There's a PDF of the objectives and materials for your class, so you'll know what will be covered. You can review the material ahead of time and look up any of the vocabulary words or pre-read the lessons for the grammar instruction. The instructor might linger on an activity that the students are finding challenging, or move lightly over the ones that the class understands. You'll see that the lesson will seem to fly by, and you'll still learn the class objectives.
Are we going to be tested on this?
There are no major tests. After each class, there's an optional, quick, multiple-choice quiz to see if you have mastered the objectives. It doesn't take long, and it's helpful feedback.
World-wide native speaker instructors speaking Castilian Spanish
The instructors are native Spanish speakers, so you'll hear authentic accents. They are from all over the world, so you will hear how people from so many Spanish speaking countries speak. The class is taught almost solely in Spanish, so you will hear an extensive amount of Spanish. One aspect we thought odd is that Castilian Spanish is taught. Even though your instructor may not be from Spain, they are to teach you the language the way the Spaniards would use it. It's like Americans teaching British English, which is not natural for them. Even so, the words and grammar will be consistent, as it's all from Spain, and doesn't vary from class to class, and instructor to instructor.
No online classes available
You are at the mercy of scheduling to get the live class you want. If you want to supplement with Lingoda's online program, there isn't one. It's online via Zoom or not at all, since nothing else is available.
Nothing like in-person classes
Sometimes, there's nothing like a live, expert instructor to learn a language. Lingoda has instructors available 24/7, when you can find the desired class available, of course. The class is taught almost entirely in Spanish, the objectives are clear, the study material is included, and class size is no more than 5 students. If you are interested in trying for the cash-back program as an incentive, we recommend you read the fine print. Same for any refund: read the fine print. Lingoda, in encouraging you to take a certain number of classes per month, is a refreshing change from some of the self-motivating online programs out there. Just remember that you must be pretty dedicated to make the $650 or $1,100 three-month membership worthwhile.
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 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:
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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