When I started learning German, speaking was a huge obstacle for me. I discovered Lingoda, which helped me to get confidence in speaking in a supportive and patient environment. Today I’m going to give you an in depth Lingoda review, we’ll look at the pros and cons, costs, learning materials plus my personal experiences with this online language school.
- 60-minute small group or private classes
- Learn online anytime 24/7
- Native-speaking, qualified teachers
What is Lingoda?
Lingoda is an online language school which provides both individual and group lessons via Zoom. All of the teachers on Lingoda are native speakers with at least 2 years teaching experience. Learning materials are provided for each lesson, which the student(s) and teacher work through.
Lingoda currently teaches the following languages:
- Business English
The course is divided into CEFR levels, all the languages are available at levels A1 – C1 except Business English which is A1 – B2.
One of the best things about Lingoda is that the lessons are extremely flexible. You can choose which lesson you would like to take (more on that later) and pick a time. The teachers are available to teach around the clock, so it doesn’t matter what time zone you are in or your working hours, you’ll be able to fit a lesson in.
Each lesson begins on the hour, and are available 24 hours a day. Each lesson lasts 1 hour.
Right from A1, the lessons are taught mostly in your target language.
- Extremely flexible lesson times
- Great learning materials
- Amazing native teachers
- Good value for money
- Lessons are taken in the target language (best way to learn!)
- Tonnes of speaking practice
- May find that unprepared classmates slow you down
- Can’t guarantee having the same teacher
- Complicated pricing plans
When you have setup your Lingoda account you can select which level (from A1 – C1) you are currently at. If you’re not sure, Lingoda provides a free placement test which takes only a few minutes to complete. Once you have selected your level, you’ll see the course outline.
From this page you can see all the lessons which are available for that level. They are divided into topics or chapters and each chapter focuses on either vocabulary, communication, reading, grammar or speaking.
The best thing about this structure is that you don’t have to complete all the lessons. If there is something you aren’t particularly interested in, you can just skip it.
You can see from the screenshot above that I missed out the reading lesson. I personally don’t bother with Lingoda’s reading lessons because I read a lot in German anyway. I’d prefer to focus my lesson time on something I don’t get a lot of practice with.
You can also take lessons in any order you like (although Lingoda recommends that you keep to the given order as much as possible).
Top Tip: From this ‘My Course’ page you can select any lesson you like, and download the PDF learning materials. You can do this at any time with a free account!
The learning materials are extensive and vary depending on the type of lesson, so it would be impossible to show you a decent selection. I highly recommend setting up a free account and downloading some course materials yourself. You should be able to get a feel for the lessons and whether they are a good fit for you.
In general they follow a structure of:
- Introduction and learning outcomes
- Explanations of the subject
- Exercises (spoken and sometimes written)
- Describing pictures
- Role-play conversations
In the meantime, here are a few examples:
My Personal Lingoda Review
I started using Lingoda as part of their Language Sprint (I’ll explain more about that later) and have used it on and off since then. If you’re not sure whether it’s right for you, I’d like to give a more personal Lingoda review into what actually happens in a lesson.
Teachers & Students
Generally you’ll have a different teacher for each lesson (sometimes you’ll find yourself with the same teacher, but it’s not guaranteed). Some people don’t like this, but for me it wasn’t a problem at all. All the teachers I’ve had have been fantastic and I enjoy the variety of teaching styles and regional accents.
When the lesson starts you’ll find yourself in a Zoom meeting with up to 4 other students, plus the teacher. The number of students in the class varies. Depending on the time, topic or level you may find yourself to be the only one in the class. I always booked my lessons for 9am (GMT) so there were on average 3 or 4 students plus me, but I did have a few lessons where it was just me and the teacher.
The teachers are always very friendly and welcoming. I started at A2 level and the lessons were 95% in my target language (German). I believe that the A1 beginner classes are also taken in the target language. Don’t be intimidated by this, it’s the best way to learn and the teachers are very patient and supportive.
It’s up to you whether you switch your webcam on, Lingoda encourage it and I always do. I feel more connected to the teacher and other students when we can all see each other.
The teacher will usually introduce themselves and help you feel at ease, then ask everyone to introduce themselves in their target language. How detailed you go depends of course on your level. When I first started, I wasn’t that experienced in speaking German, so I prepared a short script to learn; where I come from and live, how long I’ve been learning German and why I am learning it. Doing this in advance will help you feel a bit less stressed.
Top Tip: The day before your lesson, download and read through the lesson materials. If you see any words that you don’t understand, look them up before the lesson and make some notes. You’ll find the lesson less stressful if you know what’s coming and you won’t slow the class down. The teachers encourage questions, but you can save everyone time by reading through in advance.
Once everyone has introduced themselves, the lesson begins. We work through the lesson materials, often the teacher will get each student to read the page out loud as they go through the lesson. This is a great way to get corrections on your pronunciation.
The teacher can annotate the learning materials to help explain grammar concepts and give example sentences. A lot of the time you will need to give spoken answers to the exercises, and sometimes you’ll give written answers.
Needless to say, you will get a tonne of speaking practice!
Plans & Prices
Lingoda have a few different pricing plans, so I’ll try to make as clear as possible. The standard monthly plan for English, French and Spanish is as follows (all prices shown are per month):
German is a little more expensive:
Lingoda Marathon Prices
There is also the Marathon plan which is plan with the incentive of earning cashback when you attend 90% of the classes. English, French and Spanish prices:
And German prices:
Both the monthly and Marathon plans offer a free 7-day trial. You will get 3 group lessons or 1 individual lesson. You can cancel at any time.
If you’re ready for an intensive learning experience, you might want to consider Lingoda’s Language Sprint. This programme opens a few times per year and there is a chance to have either 50% or 100% of the course fee refunded!
I’ll explain more in a moment, but let’s start with the costs for the Language Sprint:
As you can see, each Language Sprint lasts for 3 months, for the Sprint you need to complete 15 lessons per month and if you manage to do this without missing any lessons, you will receive 50% of the course fees back.
For the Super Sprint you need to complete 30 lessons per month and if you attend all 30, not only will your target language be totally epic, you’ll get 100% of your course fees refunded!
I started with Lingoda’s Language Sprint last year, and although I tried my best to complete all 45 lessons in the 3 months, I missed a couple due to last minute changes at work. I have heard about many people who have completed the Sprint and received their refund.
Top tip: Get organised! If you decide to take on the challenge of the Language Sprint, make sure you plan your lessons well in advance. When you book your classes with less than a week’s notice, you may be limited by class times. Book a lesson a week or more in advance, and you can choose any time for the lesson.
For anyone who wants to improve speaking in their target language and who wants to do so in a structured learning environment, Lingoda is a great choice. You have complete flexibility and can choose when to take your classes. While the course is structured, which some people thrive on, it’s not completely rigid. You can choose to skip any classes which aren’t of interest of you. If you already know certain grammar rules, you aren’t forced to take a class on that topic if you don’t want to.
The pricing plans are a bit complicated, but are in my opinion, good value. If you have the time and motivation, the Language Sprint is well worth a try. Even if you don’t succeed in getting the refund, you’ll notice a huge improvement in your speaking skills.
I found the lesson materials to be well designed and thorough. The teachers have always been friendly, encouraging and patient. I enjoyed the group lessons as I found I could learn from others, plus it gives you a bit of ‘thinking time’ when other class members are taking their turn with the exercises.
Are you ready to take your speaking skills to the next level? Click here to start learning with Lingoda today!