Lingoda- Online Language School Review

Hallo ihr lieben

as usual, Holiday season has left us with two things; one is gonna be our faithful companion that’ll be with us for the rest of our life. No. Matter. What. The other one, well, not so much. I’m of course talking about (bigger) love handles and New Years resolutions.

“This year it’s on. I mean business. No more dabbling. I’m gonna become fluent this year.”
I’m sure at least some of you have had these thoughts and I want to be honest with you…
you’ll do it!!! You’re smart enough, you’re studious enough and you’re persistent enough!
And if you’re one of the ones who want to step up their learning… I might have just the right tool:

Lingoda

Lingoda is essentially an online language school, offering courses through Skype (and Adobe Connect).
And I think in that segment,Lingoda is actually one of the best you can find.  So let’s take a look…

Now, I have to confess… when they first approached me, I wanted to do some trial classes to see if I liked it or not. But then I had Skype problems, then time problems and then motivation problems. I have never taken any Skype lessons anywhere and I’m not learning a new language at the moment. I didn’t really feel like I could judge whether it’s any good for you and so I ended up never taking a trial. But two of you guys did :).
Two readers, Marion and Micah, who with trial accounts I gave away a couple of months ago, left really great detailed reviews, so we can get a clear idea of Lingoda.
Did they like it? Hell yeah. But before we get to that, let’s look at the “specs” of Lingoda real quick.

Lingoda – what is it?

As I said, Lingoda is an online language school but compared to a normal school, it is MUCH more flexible, because it has a modular system.
You pay a fixed amount per month which is converted into lesson credits. With these credits you can then freely book a given number of  classes, group or individual. There are different plans you can chose from. For 149 Euro for instance you could book 15 group classes AND 2 one-on-one sessions within 30 days. Each class is one hour long, so with this plan for instance you’d get the hour for roughly 9 Dollars (you could also go for just private classes, then you’d be at about 20 Dollars an hour). A PRETTY good deal, in my opinion especially when you consider that the group classes are very small (5 people max, usually less), which allows for a lot of interaction.

Marion:

“… In group classes, there are generally 2 to 4 participants. […] I spent as much time actively interacting as I did in the three hours class in a physical class with 15 people in it.”

Micah: 

“… They (the teachers) were additionally selective with their vocabulary and changed speaking pace based on our ability to comprehend. For example, the teacher would speak to me in a slower pace and much faster to another student in the group class.”

But it’s not only the small size that makes the group classes great. It’s also the fact that they’re NOT organized in a linear fashion but rather by topic. Here’s a few that Micah tried out in the A1 section:

  • Temporale Präpositionen, talking about time  (grammar and structure – A1)
  • Dictation, writing a letter  (reading and writing – A1)
  • Zahlen und Uhrzeit, talking about time (speaking and discussion – A1)

So you can take the same module twice or three times and let your interest guide you. On the website (Micah: “extremely user friendly“) there’s a schedule with classes to choose from and if none of the ones suits you, you can just schedule your own group class 7 days in advance (48 hours for one-on-one classes).

Now, another big, big plus of Lingoda that might be interesting especially for those of you who don’t have the option to go to a school, is the fact that they are able to issue CEFR certificates. That’s basically a certificate saying that you completed a level of the European framework (from A1 up to C2)). It’s not the same as a TestDaf or DSH but it’s definitely an accepted proof for time spent on language learning and might be enough for an application for a visa (I don’t know the regulations, so please double check).
And what I found really interesting, is that Lingoda is more than fair about the time

Marion:

Lingoda offers certifications if students are participating at a certain level of frequency of classes each month. For example, there are 39 hour lessons in B1.1  [lingoda schedule] vs. spending 100 hours of time in an actual class at the local Volkshochschule [a school where you can language courses] in Deutschland, as a comparison. 

This is especially great if you kind of know B1.1 decently well already but you need a paper/certificate. Most schools will make you sit much longer (and pay more).

Do you have the same teacher? No, you might see the same face again every now and then but you don’t have one teacher throughout. You do have a personal adviser though. That’s a person who contacts you upon sign up and together you determine what level you are, and establish what you want to do and how to get it done. And you can contact your adviser whenever you have a question, a feature that I really like.
What else? Courses are held via Skype and Adobe Connect. There have been glitches and Micah experienced a lag issue in one of the courses he attended, so it’s not as stable as a course in the real world…uh… yeah. But it wasn’t so bad that it would have diminished the overall great experience the two test users had. Which brings us to the big question:

Did they like Lingoda?

The answer is a clear yes.

Marion:

“I have had 10 hours of classes, equally split between individual and group sessions. Overall, I feel delighted with the platform. […] Since I have begun these classes, I find I attempt more conversations with my friends as it is quite confidence building. […] Bottom line, I will continue with it as a paid customer. Es lohnt sich.”

Micah:

“What an experience through just 10 classes. I felt encouraged and capable with the German language. I felt connected with the instructors and the language and I felt my knowledge was validated every time I started another class. […] Most of the time, I was at ease when spoken to by the instructors as I knew they would be patient and helpful. […] I am encouraged now more than ever, that I can use German.”

I was really surprised how positive the feedback was. They liked the platform, the setup and the instructors. But I think the most important point here is confidence. Lingoda courses made Marion and Micah feel confident about using German and left them motivated and encouraged. And that is pretty much the best a course can do. Grammar explanations are fine and all, but feeling GOOD about speaking, as basic and clumsy as it may be – that’s what’ll make you continue learning and getting better. So together with all the other things, I think I can safely say… I like :).
Let’s do a quick summary:

Lingoda pros:

+ very reasonable prices
+ small groups (5 ppl max)
+ some individual sessions also included
+ modular, super flexible class system
+ personal adviser to help you with the administration side
+ good, skilled, patient instructors
+ exercises and work sheets have a good layout (according to Micah)
+ you can quit on a monthly basis
+ you can get a CERF certificate comparatively quickly

So yeah… if you’re looking for a way to learn German through Skype, you should definitely give Lingoda a try. They do offer a 60 minute free trial, too, so go to their website right now and check it out.

Lingoda – Homepage

I linked directly to the German section in English, you’re welcome :)

If you want to get an even better impression, you can also read the full reviews of Marion and Micah. They’re very different in style but both incredibly insightful and you’ll have a lot of your questions answered there.

Marion’s Review

Micah’s Review

If you have more questions about Lingoda, you can just leave a comment and I’ll try to answer them and maybe Marion or Micah join the discussion, too.
And what about you? Have you tried out Lingoda? If so, how did you like them? Or have you tried other, similar sites? Share your experiences in the coments below.
Have a great week and… what? I forgot something??
Oh right… the giveaway.

 Win a Lingoda German course worth 400 Euro :)

Yup, you read that right. Not 40. Four freaking hundred. Lingoda is sponsoring one 3 months language course (at Lingoda.com, of course).
Isn’t that AMAZING??!!
And you don’t even have to do some stupid task like writing a poem in German ;). You just have to sign in

Click right here and sign up

Update: We have a winner, sorry sorry sorry!

We’ll select the winner at random, so even if you’ve won one of  the Advent Calendar giveaways, you’ll have the same chances.

***

Oh just to make sure:
I am not affiliated with Lingoda in any way  and I did not get any money for this review, nor did they “sponsor” anything on here. I just really have a good impression of them; both of the product and also of the company based on the communication we had. 

 

for members :)

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alanmarsee
alanmarsee

Thank you for posting this. I will check them out.

Brightstar
Brightstar

Emanuel, ‘Lingoda cons’ section is missing ;(

I haven’t yet read the full reviews of Marion and Micah. But I am interested as well on your point of view on the cons besides inconsistent Skype’s performance. I understand that your are not using Lingoda as as learning aid at the moment, but due to your professional experience in this area, you could foresee weak points that we cannot.

Thank you for the info, there are so many ‘online schools’ that it is really difficult to make a decision.

Regards

Isabel

Micah
Micah

Danke!

david
david

Well, Duolingo has been helpful, even tho it has its warts and pimples.

billkamm
billkamm

I like Duolingo for quick vocab refreshers. The lessons are super fast and they have a ton of vocabulary and if you click into the comments section of each slide you can get a ton of extra insight if a word or phrase confuses you. I use Duolingo with the sound off though, because the majority of the sentences are read by a computerized voice that sounds completely awful. Duolingo also uses some awful sentences that don’t sound natural and there is a huge lack of explanations of how things work. But for pure vocab memorization it is ok.

There is a similar site called memrise.com which is pretty good as well. you have to find the official courses though, because there is a lot of user submitted content on there as well. Honestly though, the best resource I have found (outside of this blob of course) is dw.com. They have so much content it is unreal. I especially like that they have tons of audio and video content, so you learning to actually understand spoken German from natives. Most software teaches you mostly to read and write and they don’t have much speaking/listening content available. Although speaking is very hard to train without having someone to talk to.

Jaiteh
Jaiteh

Sorry again my English isn’t sharp i can’t describe this with words what you and the community just made! I’m so thankful and so grateful for that extra paid by the community so I could enjoy this website and for you Herr Emanuel your lections are so easy so much flow so fresh yet simply to understand. Wouldn’t be bad if you started YouTube videos I think you’ll gain more fanbase and recognition..

Anonymous
Anonymous

I’ve been using Babbel. The voices are real and it doesn’t sound like a computer at all. I like it much better than Duolingo.

Sefanit
Sefanit

I am so grateful to everyone here for your exceptional generosity – this community’s gift of a year’s membership means so much to me! At the rate y’all are going, you might get a shout out on the acknowledgement page for my dissertation!!

Thank you so much!

alanmarsee
alanmarsee

I signed up for the free 1 hour class. I met a German teacher living and working in Asia, just like me. I decided to enroll for group classes. I’ll let you know more once I actually take my first class.

norman
norman

Hallo! Ich bin der Gewinner. Ich habe dir schon ein Email geschickt. Dankeschön für die Gelegenheit :)

Cameron Marantz
Cameron Marantz

hmmm never heard of this but I will definitely check it out. I am a regular Italki user (for both community aspects and individual skype lessons). Have you heard anything about Lingoda in comparison?

cam147147
cam147147

I thnk you’re more or less correct re iTalki. There’s also a large community of people, so let’s say I want to learn German (HYPOTHETICALLY), and someone else is German and wants to learn English. We can Skype chat for some time in German and some time in English and teach each other that way. This would be free, of course. There’s also articles from teachers and a community to correct writing and that sort of thing, so it’s a relatively big network from what I can tell. I think it’s a great resource.

Gadka
Gadka

LINGODA DISCOUNT CODE – 5X0UEY

I tried to learn french on my own for one year without any success. I just learned some basic words.
Now I’m studying with Lingoda for 3 weeks and I already have a huge progress.
Тhe flexibility is a big plus!
All the teachers are really helpful.
Use discount code 5X0UEY for 50 euro off!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

My first class was quite frustrating. I do not have a computer at home. I usually use my iPad and iPhone for a lot of stuff. It’s unclear if an iPad can be used for these classes. In my research, I think it can, but I thought I’d be safe and use a PC room. I should probably throw in here that I live in an Asian country and all the computers are in a different language. I had little issues like the mic wasn’t working, but I didn’t know it. The class started and after maybe 10 minutes it got solved. I found it hard to get my head in the class after this mixup. The teacher was very nice and even tried to accommodate me by moving the class to Skype. I felt bad because there was another student. We didn’t get through all the material, because of me :(( I’ll give a better update after my 2nd class.

melisw

Regarding iTalki, I have looked into being a teacher there and I’m going to apply once I finish getting my credential. They don’t take just anyone, you have to have a degree or a credential or a lot of experience to be accepted as an actual teacher. If you don’t have those but can show that you have a talent for languages you can be accepted as a community tutor. You do have to submit a video showing your teaching skills.

It’s definitely not the amount of teacher selection they would have if it was being run as a school but it also is not just anyone can apply and say that they are a teacher.

Danny_37

Use code APRHW9 for ****50 EURO OFF****** for all language courses @ Lingoda.com. Learn English, French, Spanish and German online with native speaking teachers! It works 100% – APRHW9!!!!

yankram90@gmail.com
yankram90@gmail.com

I can recommend Lingoda!

U can use my promo code XP4F3C and get 50 euro discount for your first month ;)

Anonymous
Anonymous

I recommend Lingoda

“Use my code 50 euro discount XP4F3C

JHC
JHC

Es freut mich sehr, ein Rezension von Lingoda, die nicht gesponsert wird. Ich habe viele Youtube Videos gefunden, die sagen, “wie kann man am besten Deutsch lernen?” Und die sind Lingoda gesponsert Videos. Argh.

T
T

hmm, interesting post. However i beg to differ on my experience with them. This ‘school’ is not a school with real teachers, but just random people, unqualified, who half of the time don’t show up to classes. I had 4 teachers who didnt turn up to class, students just left waiting there, in my first week. In week 2, i had a teacher who felt it appropriate to shave his beard with scissors and smoke cigarettes and yawn during my class, thinking heh ad turned his webcam off but hadnt in the end. After i sent them screenshots, the support people said they take this seriously and etc etc, then, a few days later, they give him 4 of my future classes. You might strike lucky and get a few nice teachers who know what they are doing, but its a real lottery. Most just make you read off the slides in a monotone voice. If this is the kind of language ‘teaching’ you want, go for it.

Anton Bikineev
Anton Bikineev

I’ve been studying with Lingoda for quite some time now.

A month ago I got into a bad financial situation and decided to take a pause for a couple of months. But at that point I had 10 classes available for use and if I had stopped studying, I wouldn’t have been able to schedule and make use of them.

Things got worse when yesterday my credit card was charged again for another package of 20 classes. That was a disaster for me. The good thing was that on the site under the “Terms and Conditions” they stated that I can receive my money back within 7 days:
“Within 7 days after purchase you have the right to cancel your language course by written (email) notice and receive your full money back.”

So I wrote a message to the Lingoda support team. Unfortunately, what they responded was that there is no way I can get my money back. According to the response, I could have only done it within the first 7 days of *the first month*. But there is no any mention of “the first month” in their “Terms and Conditions”…

Overall, Lingoda has turned out to be a service that doesn’t keep promises and even contracts.