If you’ve spent any amount of time learning a language, you’ve probably encountered Rocket Languages at some point. Aside from their enormous blog teaching various aspects of language learning for many different languages, they have also created fantastic online courses for 13 different languages.
In this Rocket Languages review we’ll take a deep dive into the Rocket German course, but this review is relevant for all 13 languages that Rocket Languages courses cover. If you’re curious about Rocket Languages, but want to hear a first hand review before you commit, you’ve come to the right place!
- Structured course
- Flexible & accessible
- Learn everyday speech & phrases
- Great for pronunciation practice
- Lifetime access
- A little too much English
- Lacks spontaneous speaking practice
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- Immersion in target language & culture
- Downloadable audio lessons
- Learn new words, phrases & everyday sayings
What is Rocket Languages?
Rocket Languages is an online language learning course aimed at complete beginners up to intermediate level. The courses are accessible via a smartphone app and online using a computer or tablet. Courses are currently available for the following languages:
- American Sign Language (ASL)
Rocket Languages leans towards immersion based learning, rather than studying grammar and vocabulary like you would in a grammar book. You will definitely learn a lot of grammar, vocabulary and phrases in this course, but most of this is delivered in the form of conversational audio lessons with explanations rather than the traditional ‘this is the past tense’ and ‘this is how you form the present tense’ book style.
You will also learn loads about the culture of your target language. This is something that Rocket Languages really immerses you in during the audio conversations, not only will you pick up a tonne of of new words and phrases, you’ll be learning about the local culture at the same time.
Rocket Languages offers 3 levels for the following languages: Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Italian, German, French and Chinese.
- Level 1: Beginners to Intermediate
- Level 2: Intermediate to Advanced
- Level 3: Intermediate to Advanced
How Much Does Rocket Languages Cost?
Rocket Languages offer a FREE trial if you want to take a look around inside the course.
The following prices show the basic price and the discounted price. The majority of the time Rocket Languages will automatically add the discount code ‘ROCKETDEAL’, which gives you the one-time payments as follows:
Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Italian, German, French and Chinese:
- Level 1:
- Levels 1 & 2:
- Levels 1, 2 & 3:
American Sign Language, Portuguese, Korean, Hindi, English and Arabic:
Rocket Languages even offer a 60 day money-back guarantee if you change your mind!
Rocket Languages Review: What Do You Get?
Now it’s time to take a deep dive into Rocket Languages and find out what it looks like on the inside. In this review I will show you around Rocket German (Level 3), but all the Rocket Language courses look similar on the inside.
Rocket Languages is accessible via smartphone app (Android and iPhone) and online using computer, laptop or tablet. All the audio material is downloadable, so you can listen to your lessons offline if you want to.
Once you log into Rocket Languages this is what you’ll see:
Each module is divided in to two parts, Interactive Audio Lessons and Language & Culture Lessons. There are 4 or 5 lessons in each section, each lesson covers a different topic , so up to 10 lessons per module.
Interactive Audio Lessons
The Interactive Audio Lessons are the first lesson group that you’ll encounter. There are usually 4 or 5 of these lessons per module. Each lesson consists of a podcast style audio file, around 30 minutes long. Within this lesson you’ll be introduced to the lesson by an English speaker, and hear a conversation between two speakers in your target language.
The conversations feel very authentic and genuine. After a short introduction and lesson outline from your English speaking host, you’ll hear the entire conversation between the two native speakers in your target language. The host then goes back through the conversation, line by line and explains the meaning of each phrase or sentence.
During this part, there are pauses in the audio to give you the chance to repeat what you have heard out loud. This is a great way to practice and improve your pronunciation.
There is an option to have subtitles showing as the audio plays, you can toggle this on or off depending on whether you want to focus purely on listening comprehension (as having subtitles in the target language can make listening easier).
At the end of each lesson the host will ask you a number of questions in English, that you need to answer in your target language. The native speakers will then give the correct answer.
Language & Culture Lessons
Each ‘Language & Culture Lesson’ compliments the ‘Interactive Audio Lesson’. The idea is that you complete the audio lesson, then work through the language lesson. These lessons are more traditional as each one covers grammar or cultural topic and gives a written explanation of the concept.
The explanations are nice and simple to understand and both written and audio example sentences are given. A culture lesson is also included.
To give you an idea of what is covered here are the Language & Culture Lessons from Rocket German Level 3 Module 17:
- Colours in German
- Arranging a Time
- Past & Perfect Tenses
- Singular & Plural Words
- Future Tense
Here’s an example of a small part of the ‘time’ lesson:
After each audio and language & culture lesson, Rocket Languages gives you the opportunity to memorise and reinforce what you have learned in each lesson. It does this in a number of ways.
Run through the conversation again, but this time you can take the place of one of the native speakers. The other native speaker will say their side of the conversation and you reply to them using your microphone. The Rocket Record voice recognition technology will assess your pronunciation.
One of my favourite ways to build vocabulary, these premade flashcards will help you to review and memorise the phrases and words learned in the conversations.
Hear it! Say it!
Listen to each phrase as it is spoken by the native speaker, then record yourself repeating the phrase.
Listen to each phrase and then type it out. This will help to improve your writing skills and understanding of sentence structure.
This feature give you the chance to translate the phrases from English to German. Although I’m not a fan of translating, this can be a good way to improve your understanding of some new phrases.
Finally, each lesson has a short quiz to test how well you have retained new words and phrases.
Survival Kit (Bonus Lessons)
When you have completed all the modules in your level, you’ll find a bonus module called the ‘Survival Kit’. This is a really useful group of audio lessons which teaches you a tonne of phrases that you can use in everyday situations. To give you an idea of what you can learn, here are the Survival Kit lessons from Rocket German Level 3:
- Hobbies & Activities
- Let’s Get Social
- German Business Vocabulary
- All About Religion
- German Humour
- Christmas Time in Germany
- Transportation Information
My Personal Rocket Languages Review
Since I am currently around B1 level in German, I jumped straight in to Rocket German Level 3. I have been lacking a bit of direction in my German recently, as I have become comfortably conversational. The idea of a structured course appealed to me as it would give me a linear path to work through. Here are some of my thoughts and impressions of the course:
Structured course: I love the layout of this course and the fact that everything is clear and easily accessible.
Flexible & accessible: I found the smartphone app to be particularly useful for me, since I’m often out and about. This means I never have an excuse to not study a bit of German, because I always have my phone with me. I can listen to the audio lessons in the car, which is a great use of ‘wasted’ time whilst driving.
Immersive: Being immersed in a conversation in my target language is something I really enjoy. I love watching German TV shows for this reason. The conversations feel real and authentic, and are quite relaxed and casual, the kinds of conversations you would have in real life.
Everyday speech & phrases: Loads of everyday sayings and idioms and even conversational banter to be learned.
Great for pronunciation practice: Plenty of opportunities to hone your pronunciation skills. The Rocket Record voice recognition works pretty well, and you can listen and repeat words and phrases as much as you like until they sound perfect.
Lifetime access: Pay once and have lifetime access to the course, no matter how long it takes to complete it. Go back and review lessons whenever you like, forever.
A little too much English: Certainly in the level 1 or 2 courses, English is necessary to explain the words and phrases. However I feel that by the time you reach level 3, the lessons could be conducted entirely in the target language. I found it a bit distracting and it spoilt the immersion a bit. I particularly found it odd that the English speaking host would respond to the native speakers in English, even though they spoke to her in German.
Lacks spontaneous speaking practice: A very important part of language learning is to be able to quickly think of a response during a conversation. Due to the structure of this course there is no opportunity to do this, only to recite previously heard phrases.
So far I have been pleased with what Rocket German has taught me. I enjoy the immersion learning aspect of the course, and how you can learn things in context. I’ve picked up a lot of new phrases, everyday sayings and idioms. Since these new words and phrases are presented to you in the form of a conversation, you can understand them in context. This makes it far easier to remember them.
I also liked the interactive features designed to help you memorise these new phrases. I’m a big fan of flashcards, they are a welcome addition to any course. I would like to see the flashcards feature be made a bit more useable, rather than it being hidden in the ‘interactive features’ section where you have to look for it. If the flashcards had their own separate section, where all previously viewed flashcards could be reviewed together in one stack, I think that would be a big improvement on the current setup.
Another element of the course I enjoyed, and feel would be really beneficial to language learners, is the way the lessons are based on cultural learnings. It feels like you are getting 2 for the price of 1. Not only are you learning the language, grammar and vocabulary, at the same time you are learning a lot about the culture of where your target language is spoken.
Is Rocket Languages Worth It?
In a nutshell, yes. Rocket Languages will teach you about culture, grammar and vocabulary. You’ll have a great opportunity to perfect your pronunciation. You’ll get used to hearing the language spoken in everyday situations. The explanations are clear and easy to understand.
If you’re looking for an in depth grammar course or the opportunity to practice reading, writing or spontaneous speaking, this might not be the course for you. I found this to be a great course to take alongside other learning opportunities, but it is not the complete package.
With that said, Rocket Languages is a great way to get started in a language. If you’re a complete beginner it will guide you through your first words and phrases. It will get you speaking out loud for the first time, and help you become used to the sounds of your target language. If you’re at more of an intermediate level like me, you’ll expand your vocabulary and learn even more useful everyday phrases and sayings.
Interested? Sign up for a FREE trial and join more than 1,212,346 people from 192 countries and learn a new language at your own pace!