Summary: The Russian Accelerator course aims to get beginners and intermediates to a conversational level in Russian using techniques such as contextual learning and power phrases. Created by Mark Thomson around 2010, the course has not progressed or changed at all since then and so has a very dated look and feel to it. As other resources cover the material in a better and more engaging way, I personally don’t think it is worth checking out.
Very easy to use but poor design and low-quality content.
Mark needlessly goes overboard on some descriptions while neglecting to go into more depth on some more important grammar points.
I wouldn’t use Russian Accelerator even if it was free and it’s far from free.
I Like Ummmmm… I’m not actually sure if I enjoyed anything about it. Actually, watching his students speak confidently in Russian on a trip was a nice moment.
I Don’t Like I didn’t find the material to be very engaging at all and lessons became quite repetitive very quickly.
Everything about Russian Accelerator looks and feels dated and, well, it is as it was last updated in 2010.
While there is actually quite a bit of content on the platform, not much of it is done very well and you can almost certainly find everything done better somewhere else.
Price: There is a $1 trial which gets you access to the resources for three weeks. Otherwise, it is a whopping $388 for the whole course.
Summary: RussianPod101 is a fantastic resource that has hundreds upon hundreds of video and podcast lessons on offer. These take you all the way from learning your first word in Russian right up to an advanced level and so beginners and intermediates, in particular, will certainly learn a lot. While the course delves deep into Russian grammar, vocabulary and the cultural context of the language, the lack of speaking and writing practice means you would have to use it alongside another resource.
While the platform is a bit confusing to navigate, the lessons are very well put together.
There is an almost endless array of material for you to work through and in general, explanations are very clear and concise.
I’d say that RussianPod101 is very good value for money considering just how many lessons you gain access to.
I Like RussianPod101 really does have a lesson for every imaginable situation and so you can learn important words and phrases for every scenario.
There is a clear progression in terms of difficulty from the Absolute Beginner level up until the Advanced level
You get to hear a wide range of native speakers and a lot of the material introduces you to various aspects of Russian culture.
I Don’t Like I found the platform quite confusing to navigate and so it often took a while to get where I wanted.
The material could be a bit more engaging as you are never really asked to use the Russian you’ve learned.
The lack of speaking and writing practice means you would have to use it alongside other resources if you wanted to get fluent in Russian.
Price: For the Basic subscription it costs $8/month while the Premium plan is $25/month and the Premium Plus plan is $47/month. There are various durations you can choose and if you sign up for longer, the monthly cost decreases.
Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription to RussianPod101.
Summary: The Transparent Language Essentials Courses aim to get absolute beginners engaged and interacting with the language they’re learning and speaking the basics in no time at all. While there are lots of different exercises for you to work through, the material isn’t all that helpful and it does get very repetitive. Although the courses aren’t all that useful or in depth, with over a hundred languages on offer it might be worth checking out if you want to learn the very basics of a more obscure language such as Buriat, Kazakh or Turkmen. But, even then, I’d try to find other resources first.
While the exercises are for the most part well-designed, diverse and easy to use, it is the core material itself which is lacking.
There are hardly any explanations at all, you just have to endlessly memorize words and phrases.
I would only consider using if it were free and I was studying a very rare language.
I Like I really like the fact that they offer up courses in languages that are usually overlooked.
It’s pretty well-designed, easy to use and has lots of different activities to work through.
I Don’t Like The core material is severely lacking and you won’t learn much grammar or how to form even a basic sentence yourself.
It gets very repetitive and so I didn’t find it that fun to work through.
You learn virtually nothing about the different cultural contexts of the languages you’re learning.
Their teaching methodology is the biggest issue, leaving you memorizing lots of words and phrases in isolation.
Price: There is a free two-week trial period for you to try it out. Otherwise, it is $24.95 per month or $149.95 for a whole year if you just select one language. If you want access to all of the languages it is then $49.95 per month and $249.95 a year.
Summary: One of the most famous language teaching courses out there, Michel Thomas is a household name and his audio lessons aim to teach you your language of choice, naturally, intuitively and without any memorization involved. With 18 languages for you to choose from, the courses are aimed at absolute beginners and at the end you should be able to understand and speak to a basic level. I tried out the French foundation course and found it to be severely lacking and as such cannot recommend it at all. You may, however, have more luck with the other language courses that they offer.
Very easy to use, the audios are decent quality but Michel Thomas’ discouraging manner means that students get flustered and this detracts from the content’s quality.
Michel Thomas doesn’t go into much depth and any explanations he offers up are just at a surface level.
I wouldn’t use these even if they were free due to Michel Thomas’ teaching style which ruins the material.
I Like Um…in all honesty I’m not sure if I enjoyed any of it!
I Don’t Like Michel Thomas never praises the students, often interrupts them and creates a negative learning environment.
The pacing of the lessons often seems off to me and in certain places they feel very hurried.
All of the lessons are almost identical and so it does get quite monotonous working through them.
Summary: The Language Transfer’s courses approach language learning with what has been coined as “The Thinking Method’. These audio courses serve as a great introduction to the nine languages currently available. They go into lots of depth on how each language works, teaching you all of the main grammar points and giving you the tools needed to learn independently and intuitively. For beginners looking to learn a language, these free courses are an effective and efficient way to start your journey.
Might look a bit basic but the content is very well designed.
The courses don’t follow the traditional learning path but have a lot of depth.
It’s completely free and better than most paid resources.
I Like Lessons are efficient in that they cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.
The lessons teach you a mix of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation each time and so you really come away understanding how the language is formed.
Mihalis (the founder) presents everything in a very calm and relaxed manner, thoroughly explaining everything as he goes while encouraging the student who answers his questions.
For each language, the course is created independently and follows its own learning path.
I Don’t Like While the content is very good quality, it could maybe do with varying the presentation a bit as there are no exercises, quizzes or work for you to produce.
The lessons kind of progress in a strange manner as you don’t follow a traditional language learning route, such as starting off with greetings, etc.
You won’t hear any native speakers on most of the courses and you don’t ever actually hear a conversation.
Price: Completely free, but if you find the courses to be useful, consider making a donation.