Would you be surprised if I told you that it’s possible to take language classes at ridiculously low prices? And not just that, would you believe me if I told you that you can study a language for free? Yes, all of that is possible with Lingoda.
In this Lingoda review, I will explain to you how their system works, what’s the good and the bad, what the hype is all about, and why you should try it if you’re interested in learning a language.
There are so many apps and online language platforms out there, so what makes Lingoda special? Well, today we will unveil the mystery to that question. Keep on reading if you would like to learn more.
Two German brothers are behind the success of Lingoda: Felix and Fabian Wunderlich. Not only do they share genes, but they also share a passion for languages. After living and studying abroad in different countries, they decided to create their own company at the start of the era of digitalization and globalization.
In 2012, they created Easy Languages. At that time, they only offered one-on-one German classes through Skype.
After six months, they decided to rebrand the company and changed the name to Lingoda. The new change included adding English to their platform.
In 2016, they further expanded the languages on their platform by adding French and Spanish. This increased the languages being taught from two to four.
In 2018, Linkedin included Lingoda on its Top Startups List, which included 50 German startups in total.
Currently, Lingoda employs almost 100 people from over 30 countries. The company continues its expansion and has been increasing its revenue since its creation. In 2021, Lingoda is one of the largest and most popular online language schools.
Lingoda’s method is based on 20 years of research by Cambridge and Oxford experts. It operates on three principles:
- Live classes accelerate learning.
- Quality teaching delivers results.
- Courses need to be flexible.
One of Lingoda’s main goals is to help you learn to speak like a local. When you learn a new language, you have to learn the idioms, cultural references, and local expressions…in other words, speak like the normal people of any country do. To achieve this, Lingoda presents real-life examples, real-life topics, and real-life language. Remember that all languages have a formal and an informal side to them. They’re equally important.
The curriculum aligns with CEFR standards. Maybe you have heard about A1, B2, C1 levels, right? Well, all of that is CEFR, which is the reference point to evaluate students of any language. On Lingoda, each level is divided into 50 lessons.
There are four languages offered on the platform: English, Spanish, French, and of course, German. Additionally, they also offer Business English courses.
Once you select your target language, it’s a good idea to determine your level by taking a placement test.
Finally, you have to choose a plan. Currently, Lingoda offers two options: monthly subscriptions and marathon courses. We will talk about these a bit later.
Once you’re done setting everything up, you will have access to a dashboard where you can see your progress, schedule classes, and access learning materials.
Okay, let’s talk now about the learning plans that Lingoda offers. As we mentioned earlier, there are currently two. But what is the difference between them? Glad you asked. Look at the table below where we compare each plan.
|Monthly subscription||Marathon courses|
|Month to month||3, 6, and 12-month options|
|Lessons starting at $9.50||Lessons starting at $6.75|
|Monthly payments||One-time upfront payment|
|Free 7-day trial||Free 7-day trial|
If you choose the monthly subscription, you will have to choose between four options:
- Maintain your level (1 hour per week)
- Improve your level (3 hours per week)
- Improve a lot (5 hours per week)
- Immersion (10 hours per week)
On the other hand, if you choose the marathon course, you will do 3 hours per week as that is the default frequency for that plan.
The price varies depending on the frequency of your classes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the prices between languages vary too. For instance, Business English and German are more expensive than English, French, and Spanish.
Lingoda also gives you the option to choose between group and private classes. Obviously, the latter are more expensive.
Let’s see an example to put things into perspective. Let’s say we’re interested in studying French. If we do the monthly subscription, the prices range between $56 and $380. That comes out to $9.50-$14 per class, depending on the plan you choose. Now, these prices are considering you take group classes. If you did private classes, the prices go up to $132-$760 per month, which means you end up paying $19-$33 per class.
If we took the marathon course instead, we’d be looking at $575-$1,800 or $6.75-$10.30 per class when doing group classes. In the case of private classes, we would be paying $1,300-$4,100 or $15-$23.20 per class.
A cool thing about Lingoda is that you can earn cashback while you learn. To be eligible, you have to take a marathon course.
If you attend 90% of your classes, you can earn between $60 and $450 cashback at the end of your course!
Cashback doesn’t apply to monthly subscriptions, so make sure you enroll in a marathon course if you’re interested in this.
Occasionally, Lingoda rolls out a program called the Language Sprint. There are two modalities: the Sprint and the Super Sprint. Both of them are high-intensity courses that aim at teaching you a language in three months.
The difference between the two sprints is intensity. The Sprint includes 15 classes per month, making a total of 45, while the Super Sprint includes 30 classes per month, making a total of 90.
If you attend 100% of your classes and follow the outlined rules, you can get 50% (Sprint) or even 100% (Super Sprint) cashback!
There is a sprint going on right now, but you can join the waiting list to participate in the next one. At the time of writing this post, the English/Spanish/French Sprint courses cost €169 per month (around $280), while Business English/German cost €179 per month (around $217). English/Spanish/French Super Sprint courses cost €289 per month (around $350), while Business English/German cost €349 per month (around $423).
As we mentioned earlier, you can choose between group and private classes. The good thing about group classes is that groups are small. There are no more than five people per class, although according to Lingoda, the average is three.
All the classes are held via Zoom as Lingoda does not have an integrated video platform. It is currently the only option available right now.
Each class is one hour long, no matter the plan you choose. You can access the learning material to go over it before the class starts, or you can download it at the end.
Lingoda teachers come from all walks of life. You will likely study with more than one teacher depending on your and the teachers’ availabilities. In fact, Lingoda encourages teacher rotation so you be exposed to different accents and teaching styles.
All the teachers are experienced, certified, and native speakers of the languages they teach. They will correct your mistakes when necessary, answer any questions, and encourage interaction among students.
How Long Does It Take to Learn with Lingoda?
Lingoda courses are aligned with CEFR standards. According to CEFR research, it takes around 700 hours to go from absolute beginner to an advanced level. Of course, you have to consider we all learn at different paces and several factors come into play.
Do Lingoda Courses Have Official Validity?
Yes. Each time you successfully complete a course, you will receive an official certificate to prove your level. Lingoda is certified by CEFR, which is one of the most widely accepted standards worldwide.
Your certificate is valid for both academic and business purposes. If you ever need to show proof of proficiency for college or work, a Lingoda certificate will do.
Alternatively, English learners can take the Cambridge test, but learners of other languages will have to look elsewhere for a specific test.
Okay, now that we know how Lingoda works, let’s talk about the good things it has:
- Group and private classes available unlike platforms like Verbling and italki that only offer private classes.
- You get to interact with other students at your same level.
- You can get huge discounts or even 100% of your money back if you do marathons or sprints.
- Plans are structured and aligned with CEFR standards.
- All teachers are native speakers and certified.
- Courses have official validity.
So far, so good, right? What are some things we should consider before trying Lingoda? Let’s take a look:
- Languages available are limited (only four).
- Although in theory, classes are flexible, in practice, that’s not always the case. Yes, you can take a class at any time you want, but the problem is that class may not be related to your level or topic of interest. What use would it be then? Not all topics are covered 24/7.
- Although classes may sound cheap when doing the math, the upfront cost is high.
- You’re automatically enrolled in a course if you don’t cancel before the free trial.
- The more people there are in a class, the less time you have to practice.
- Zoom doesn’t have the best reputation. I think an integrated video platform would be better.
- If you’re interested in learning let’s say, Latin American Spanish, this is not the place. They only focus on Spain Spanish.
Who Is It for?
All things considered, I think Lingoda is good for those who:
- Like challenges.
- Can commit to a structured plan.
- Are looking for ways to save money.
- Need an official certificate.
- Prefer to be around others, although virtually.
What Do Others Say about Lingoda?
It seems most people who have tried it are satisfied. Most users mention the quality of the materials, the teachers, and the overall experience.
It has a score of 4.5 stars on Trustpilot, one of the most used rating sites online.
It also has a good reputation among teachers and language sites. That should give us some confidence.
On the negative side, some people mention poor customer service and lack of transparency regarding their terms and conditions. I cannot atttest to any of that, but they seem to be a minority.
Lingoda is a great option for anyone interested in learning English, Business English, Spanish, German, or French. Additionally, you can get huge discounts if you follow the rules.
If you like a more traditional approach to learning a language but would prefer to do it online, then Lingoda is for you. You can take an intensive course and advance your game. It’s like studying at school without going to school!
Have you used Lingoda? What did you like/dislike about it? Would you recommend it to others? Let me know in the comments section below.
I hope you found this useful. Au revoir, les amis!