Honest Lingoda Review: Not What We Expected

Honest Lingoda Review: Not What We Expected

Lingoda is an online language school and language learning platform offering group classes and one-to-one classes with native teachers.

Through online language learning classes and teaching material, it promises to help you learn a new language from anywhere in the world.

Lingoda was founded five years ago, but recently received an influx of funding to improve its features.

This means it now rivals other large players and language learning apps on the market. In this Lingoda review, we take an honest look at how effective Lingoda is for language learners.

We provide an overview of our experiences using the platform, including:

  • The advantages and benefits of Lingoda
  • The negative features that require improvement
  • Teacher quality and value for money

How we did this Lingoda Review

How we did this Lingoda Review

In order to make this review as varied and informative as possible, language learner James tested out Lingoda Spanish on his own, before sharing his findings.

The scoring system above is determined based on the comparison between Lingoda and other similar language learning apps on the market, particularly online tutor services.

Five stars indicate excellence, whilst a lower star rating indicates room for improvement.

The comments and opinions that you read throughout this Lingoda review are results of James's findings during two live online classes with Lingoda.

The factors listed in the review table above are measured in the following ways:

  • Effectiveness – This is measured by the progress that we were able to make during the time we used the Lingoda service, as well as the progress we'd expect to make with a longer timeframe.
  • Value for money – We compare the cost of Lingoda with similar competitor language learning apps, platforms and courses.
  • Ease of use – As language learners, user experience plays a large part in whether we keep coming back, resulting in progress. A poor user experience usually leads to a lack of progress.
  • Languages Available – Offering multiple languages by no means makes an app or language platform better. However, it usually means they're more popular and capture a wider audience, investing more heavily in the factors above.

What is Lingoda?

What is Lingoda?

Lingoda is an accredited online language academy following the European Framework of Reference for Languages (CECR) to take incoming students from A1 (elementary vocab) to C1 (fluent language).

Upon completion of each level, you receive an official certification which you can use with your school or work visa applications.

Their language and knowledge education approach is rather radical in the online language market. Clearly, they disbelieve in the teaching methods used in online language apps, which constitute over 50% of the language industry's revenue.

So, for language learners who feel that their progress has waned using online language apps alone, it could be time to try a radically different approach.

Lingoda's primary objective is to encourage students to set realistic language goals and build on them. In this Lingoda review, we'll explore how successful they are doing this.

What languages does Lingoda offer?

What languages does Lingoda offer?

Lingoda offers language teaching for English, French, German and Spanish.

  • 🇬🇧 English (and Business English)
  • 🇫🇷 French
  • 🇩🇪 German
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish

It is understood that a few languages, such as Italian and Portuguese, may become available in the future on the Lingoda platform.

However, for now, the service is limited to these four languages.

The Lingoda Method

The Lingoda Method

Lingoda is not a language app, but rather an online language school. Like language apps, the main aim of the service is to enable users to improve their language skills. However, the Lingoda method does not resemble any language learning app method.

Instead of spaced repetition, for example, Lingoda is a service that offers language lessons, speaking practice, and class material with real teachers.

After completion of a placement test to establish your level, you'll be placed into private or group classes to learn from the appropriate level.

Some online language schools only offer mixed-ability classes, but with Lingoda, you will be placed in a class with other learners at your level.

Lingoda offers language lessons that correspond with levels based on the Common European Framework of Referencing of Languages (CEFR).

The highest level in this system is C1.4.4.

The number of levels available varies according to the different languages available at Lingoda. For example, through Lingoda Spanish classes users can learn from A1 to B2.

All Lingoda teachers have a certificate for teaching the target language as a foreign language, as well as two years of teaching experience. Most teachers on the platform are native speakers.

In this regard, Lingoda differs from other similar language learning offerings on the market, such as italki and Preply, where anybody can become an online tutor with minimal quality checks.

Lingoda Review: Lingoda's Language Learning Classes

Lingoda Review: Lingoda's Language Learning Classes

Online classes have a topic or theme accompanied by learning materials that you can download and review before class.

Some classes might focus on a specific grammar point, such as prepositions, while other classes will aim to improve your fluency when talking about a specific theme. For instance, your daily routine.

All your classes provide an opportunity to practice speaking skills with a native-speaking teacher. For certain, it will be somebody fully qualified to teach the language as a second language.

Most German classes, for example, will be carried out by German teachers from Germany or Austria. All the teachers are fully qualified to teach, but not all teachers are natives.

Small Classes and Improving Language Skills

Lingoda provides group classes, as well as private classes. The group lessons are less expensive than private classes with your own teacher.

A small group class with Lingoda is limited to up to five people. This is an ideal environment within which to practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, especially as an absolute beginner.

A group lesson is less intense than private lessons and provides an opportunity to learn from other students.

The small class sizes offered by Lingoda differ from other online language schools that often over-fill their classes so they are crowded and offer minimal opportunities to talk.

The intimate nature of the small group classes with Lingoda means that every student has ample time to get involved and practice their speaking skills.

Lingoda's Teachers: Qualified, Experienced Native Speakers

When you are searching for an online language course, one of your primary considerations should be by whom you are going to be taught.

This is important because you want to ensure that you get value for your money and that you are in the hands of a seasoned professional.

The knowledge that all of the Lingoda teachers are qualified to teach languages and have at least two years of experience is not only reassuring but a marker for the overall quality of the language courses provided.

It indicates that the Lingoda service is thorough and committed to excellence, as they do not employ just anyone who can speak a foreign language.

One of the main assets of being taught by a native speaker is that they will be able to tell you when something sounds wrong, even if it is grammatically correct, and work on how natural and authentic you sound when you speak and write.

Moreover, hearing a native speaker's accent and commonly used phrases is a great way to pick up the language organically.

Having several teachers from different regions is also beneficial for improving your listening skills.

For instance, German teachers from Munich will have different accents and colloquialisms from their colleagues from Berlin.

Image of Lingoda dashboard

Reviewing Your Teachers: Committed to Improvement

Once you have had a class, Lingoda offers you an opportunity to review your teachers.

They use an intuitive rating system based on five emojis. When asked "how was your class with [teacher's name]?" you can respond with one of these emojis, which represent the sentiments: "horrible", "bad", "ok", "good", and "awesome".

Once you have selected the appropriate emoji to represent your feelings about the class, you can expand on this review by selecting a common comment option, such as "not engaging enough" or "not enough time to speak", or you can write your own comment.

To provide teacher feedback, students should click on the notification bell and then select "give feedback".

We feel that this feature of Lingoda indicates their commitment to the continued improvement of their services and the delivery of the best teaching possible.

At the end of each month, teachers receive an anonymous email with their feedback in it so that they can learn from it and adapt their lessons accordingly.

Lingoda Classes: Course Overview

Lingoda's platform provides learners with access to over a hundred lessons, which is ideal for students irrespective of their learning style.

The lessons offered by Lingoda cover a range of topics, grammar points, and proficiency levels. This means all language students should find lessons that suit their needs.

These lessons take you from the A1 through the B2.

You can take a placement test in order to ascertain your language level and the learning material/language learning resources you'll require.

As you progress through the course, you can earn certificates that can be valuable for you if you need to prove your knowledge of a foreign language to an employer or a university.

The overall content and learning material provided are good, well-presented, and level-appropriate.

However, the PDFs that accompany the classes are usually somewhat alike and depend on the teacher's personal teaching styles in order to bring them to life and become more engaging.

The learning material and language resources you'll access in Lingoda's classes are varied.

In Lingoda class group lessons, all writing exercises you obtain are the same as for other students.

**image of Lingoda dashboard

The Lingoda Platform & User Experience

Lingoda offers users the ability to find and book classes by filtering day and hour availability.

For instance, you can search for a French class at 7 am on a Tuesday and browse the available lessons to choose the subject you deem to be most suited to your needs. Each class provides an hour-long lesson.

It's an easy place to find classes and schedule classes based on your preference. This enables you to maintain a flexible schedule.

You are able to book as many classes as you wish and do not need to complete a specific number of classes before doing so.

Lingoda offers group classes as well as one-on-one tutoring. For these, you'll have one teacher, who you will share with 2 to 4 other students. You'll also share the class materials with them.

Once your next class is scheduled, you can use the Lingoda platform to identify your teacher. A short bio of the teacher is provided so that you can learn more about them.

Additional Platform Features on Lingoda

image of Lingoda dashboard

On Lingoda's website, you can create a profile for yourself as a language learner.

This profile details your language level, progress, and any certificates you have earned.

You can also upload a profile picture and your place of birth, making it similar to a social media account. This makes Lingoda feel familiar and accessible for beginners.

What's more, Lingoda has a blog page full of language articles such as "_What languages are spoken in Uruguay?"_and "_Everything you need to know about German saunas"._Niche, to say the least...

But jokes aside, these informative pieces can help you to pick up on some cultural and historical facts about the countries in which your chosen language is spoken.

Lingoda Plans & Prices

Lingoda Plans & Prices

Lingoda offers 15 different purchase options. These are various packages and plans offering high or low-intensity group courses, individual lessons, and courses known as sprints or marathons.

Almost every plan includes a seven-day free trial time. This is an opportunity to take a Lingoda class a day.

In fact, you can book up to three lessons and you have the option to cancel your subscription.

While we enjoyed Lingoda's group classes, we would suggest that you take advantage of the free trial period Lingoda offers to new users in order to test out their service for yourself.

After the seven-day free trial, if you are happy with the online language course and do not cancel your subscription, you will begin your chosen payment plan.

Lingoda Super Sprint and Marathon Courses

Lingoda Super Sprint and Marathon Courses

Lingoda also has two other courses. These are Marathon Courses and Sprint or Super Sprint Courses.

As you could guess, the Lingoda language Marathon is structured as a slow and steady progression of language skills over a longer period of time, while the Sprint and Super Sprint options are designed to improve your level at speed over a shorter time.

The difference between the Sprint and Super Sprint is intensity. After choosing which language you want to learn, you can set your goals and pick the right one for you.

Lingoda Sprint is a challenge to take 15 classes per month for 2 months, while the Super Sprint challenge requires you to take 30 classes per month for 2 months.

You can choose the times of your classes, and you cannot do more than one class per day.

The Lingoda Sprint challenge offers students 50% cashback if they stick to the rules of the challenge. If you choose the intense Super Sprint challenge, you could earn 100% cashback.

You can read more about Lingoda Sprint and Super Sprint challenges on their website. Make sure to check out the rules before you commit.

Marathon courses, on the other hand, allow you to commit to a 3, 6, or 12-month period which enables you to make significant progress over time.

The Marathon language courses offer 50 classes every 3 months, which works out as around 4 classes per week.

Both of these forms of online language learning make Lingoda different from competitors like SpanishVIP or Preply.

Can you get fluent with Lingoda?

woman sitting on floor and leaning on couch using laptop

Yes, it is possible to develop fluency with Lingoda. However, this is mainly through improving your reading, writing, and speaking skills.

It was originally designed as a supplement for teachers and people taking a traditional course of study. Now, it is good enough to be the main component of your language studies.

It is an excellent way to study at your own pace and still receive feedback about your progress.

The great thing about online classes is that you can schedule them easily around your other commitments, such as work and family life, and take classes in any setting where you can use a computer.

This is an advantage online courses have over in-person classes and it means you can stay fully committed to your goal of fluency.

Is Lingoda worth the money?

Yes, we would say that Lingoda is worth the money. Whilst it is more expensive than some competitors, we would recommend paying for Lingoda's classes. They are taught by native tutors as part of a language school, not a language app.

A big asset of lessons with a qualified teacher is that you can receive on-the-spot feedback and personalized tips on your areas for improvement.

A language app cannot always provide this level of feedback and you might find that you do not pick up on the nuances and colloquialisms of a language via an app, as you will with a real, human teacher.

Lingoda offers a lot of great resources that are easy to use and small group classes that are easy to join. It is easy to sign up and the language school accommodates learners with different skill levels.

The only problem with the site is the monthly subscription fee.

Some users would probably prefer the option to pay a total fee upfront, as is the case with competitors like Rocket Languages.

However, if you feel committed to the learning program and are able to stay on top of your payments, there is no reason why this monthly subscription fee should put you off using the Lingoda service.

Is Lingoda legitimate?

Yes, Lingoda is a legitimate online language school offering small group classes, private classes, and online language learning material in English, business English, French, Spanish, and German.

Lingoda recently received a $68 million investment to help with its international expansion. This was led by Summit Partners, with participation from existing investor Conny Boersch, founder of Mountain Partners.

Lingoda has been running since 2013, with over 1 million users to date. Some of these users are professionals who need to improve their business English to maximize their professional reach and ability to perform in the global market.

You can check out honest testimonies and reviews online from other students who have benefitted from Lingoda's group classes and private lessons.

Many testimonies and reviews written by past students can be found on Lingoda's website.

What are the benefits of Lingoda group classes?

You might be wondering why you should subscribe to group lessons as well as your one-on-one classes.

Well, we find that a great perk of a group session is the interaction you can have with the other language learners.

Not only can you practice speaking with the other students, but you can learn from one another's mistakes. You will also find that other learners might ask questions that you did not think to ask.

Having several inquisitive minds in a class is a great way to make the most out of a language lesson. Moreover, it can be reassuring to see that everyone has good days and slower days when learning a second language.

Working in a language class with other people is a welcome reminder that language learning is not linear and that everyone has their own pace of progress.

You can encourage one another and even study together outside of class if you would like to share your contact information.

What are the benefits of private classes?

Private Lingoda lessons will enable you to focus specifically on the areas you and your personal tutor feel that you need to work on.

Whether it is a tense, another grammar point, or fluidity of conversation, whatever you want to improve on, your private teacher can provide structured lessons for your one-on-one classes that are specialized to your needs.

For instance, a learner of business English could request a private lesson on job interview vocabulary and speaking practice.

The teacher could then provide language resources appropriate for this specific topic as homework.

You will find that private lessons speed up your rate of language acquisition and do wonders for your confidence.

All in all, we recommend that you subscribe to both private and group classes to get the best of both worlds and maximize your learning potential.

Summing up this Lingoda Review: What makes Lingoda different?

Lingoda excels in small group classes, where you receive adequate attention and a chance to practice your German skills, Spanish skills, etc.

The problem with competitors, such as Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur, is that the courses are highly scripted and can be repetitive.

By contrast, Lingoda classes provide a free-flowing learning format with native-speaking teachers and a mix of learning material to avoid monotony.

With Lingoda, you do not have this issue as each Lingoda class, be it a group class or a private class, is different.

Arguably, this format is more beneficial to the average language learner than any app or pre-recorded course.

If you want to build your Spanish, French, German, English, or business English language skills, and this review has sparked your interests, check out Lingoda's website today.

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