Alex

Michel Thomas Method Review – Avoid At All Costs

Quick Review

1.7

Summary:

One of the most famous language teaching courses out there, Michel Thomas is a household name. The platform advertises itself as “The method that works with your brain” and boasts a teaching method “with no books, exercises, memorizing or homework” in several of its course descriptions. It’s available in 18 languages with courses that have material suitable for absolute beginners. 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.

Quality

Very easy to use, and the audios are decent quality, but I found that Michel Thomas’ discouraging manner flustered students, which detracted from the content’s quality in my experience.

Thoroughness

In my opinion, Michel Thomas doesn’t go into much depth and any explanations he offers up are just at a surface level.

Value

I wouldn’t use these even if they were free due to Michel Thomas’ teaching style which ruined the material for me.

Languages: Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Modern Standard), Dutch, French, Greek, German, Hindi, Italian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Price

There are several different courses available with prices ranging from $11.99 to $100.

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Language Transfer Review – Better Than A Lot Of Expensive Courses

Quick Review

4.3 

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.

Quality

Might look a bit basic but the content is very well designed.

Thoroughness

The courses don’t follow the traditional learning path but have a lot of depth.

Value

It’s completely free and better than most paid resources.

Price

Completely free, but if you find the courses to be useful, consider making a donation.

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NativShark Review – Testing NativShark’s Course

Quick Review

3.5

NativShark was previously known as Nihongo Shark and their course in this review was called The Hacking Japanese Supercourse. We have not tried their courses since this rebranding.

Summary:

Nihongo Shark’s Hacking Japanese Supercourse is a bundle of twenty-nine courses. Over the thousand+ lessons you learn to read and write Japanese as well as gain an in-depth understanding of the grammar and how the language is spoken. Despite the huge number of lessons, they all look very similar and so students need to be very serious and diligent to make the most of the material. Due to the lack of exercises, you would need to use other resources to practice what you’ve learned from the course.

Quality

Overwhelming in the beginning, you quickly get used to the course layout and the content quality is good without setting the world alight.

Thoroughness

For Japanese grammar and how the language is used in day-to-day life, you can’t beat this course. A lot of other stuff is missing though.

Value

It’s not very expensive but learners will need to utilize additional resources to study Japanese.

Price

For the basic subscription, Nihongo Shark costs $12/month if you sign up for a year and $14 if you sign up per month. For the premium package, it is $20/month if you sign up for a whole year and $22 if you sign up per month.

There are other online Japanese courses that I would recommend over this one.

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LinguaLift Review – You’d Be Better Off Using A Textbook

Quick Review

2.7

Summary:

LinguaLift currently offers courses in Japanese, Russian and Hebrew. I chose Japanese and working my way through the lessons was very much like going through an online textbook. Very text-based, the material is best suited to beginners although the slow pace and heavy use of English means that it takes a while to make progress. While it’s nicely designed and includes lots of interesting content about Japanese culture, you don’t learn how to speak or understand conversations as the focus is on learning how to read (which it does very well).

Quality

Very easy to use and nicely produced but all lessons look the same.

Thoroughnes

Great for teaching reading and the cultural context of a language but not communication skills.

Value

The material is comparable to a textbook but much more expensive.

Price

$29 per month for access to all languages.

Languages: Japanese, Russian, and Hebrew

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Lingoda Review – Positive Experience But Room For Improvement

Quick Review

4

Summary:

Lingoda is an online language learning platform where you can take private or group classes at any time of the day. They offer lessons in Spanish, German, French, and English. There are a large number of lessons available for everyone from absolute beginners to more advanced levels. It’s a good option to get the structure of a course with the guidance of a teacher, at an affordable price.

Quality

Both the platform and the content itself are easy to use and presented well.

Thoroughnes

Although there are hundreds of lessons, they could use a bit more variety and you’ll need to study them with a teacher to get much benefit.

Value

It’s an affordable option that gives you access to good teachers and a comprehensive course.

Price

There are lots of different plans available. A 7-day trial package that gives you access to 3 group classes costs $23.99. For group classes, there are three plans costing $109, $199, and $259 per month which gives you access to 10, 20, and 30 classes. For private classes, the plans cost $139, $259, and $379 per month which gives you access to 5, 10, and 15 classes respectively.

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Talk in Arabic Review – An Extremely Disappointing Experience

Quick Review

1.7 

Summary:

Talk in Arabic is a random collection of lessons rather than a course. The main positive point is that it covers a wide range of Arabic dialects. Unfortunately, it does so very thinly, with many dialects lacking a significant number of lessons. To make matters worse, many of the lessons are quite bad, simply being a few phrases read out loud. The poor quality and lack of cohesion between the lessons makes it impossible to be anything more than a quick peek at some different dialects. Anyone seriously interested in learning Arabic should look elsewhere.

Quality

Some lessons are good but too many are really poorly made.

Thoroughnes

Far too many gaps in the content and many dialects have very few lessons available.

Value

You’d probably be better off finding free lessons for different dialects on Youtube.

Price

Talk in Arabic costs $15 per month, $126 per year or $197 for a lifetime subscription. All of these get you access to all of the content available on the platform.

Alternatives: There are lots of other Arabic courses that I’d recommend using over Talk in Arabic.

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ArabicPod101 Review – Better Than More Expensive Courses

Quick Review

4.2 

Summary:

ArabicPod101 has loads of audio and video lessons that cater to students learning their first few words in Arabic right up to advanced learners. Covering a wide range of subjects, the lessons explore anything from Arab culture and particular grammar points to specific scenarios and essential vocabulary.

The lessons progress in difficulty and are perfect for beginner and intermediate learners although not much focus is placed on learning how to speak and write. While the lessons are generally very good, learners need to pay attention as some of them are in Modern Standard Arabic while others are in the Egyptian and Moroccan dialects.

Quality

The presenters very clearly explain the grammar, vocabulary and cultural context while still making the lessons entertaining.

Thoroughnes

The content covers a wide range of topics at varying degrees of difficulty.

Value

The Basic plan is great value but the other plans might not offer enough to justify the higher prices.

Price

There are three subscription plans with varying lengths between 1-month and 2-years. The longer the length, the lower the monthly cost becomes.

Basic plan – Costs $8/mo if you sign up for one month or $4/mo if you sign up for two years.
Premium plan – Costs $25/mo if you sign up for one month or $10/mo if you sign up for two years.
Premium Plus plan – Costs $47/mo if you sign up for one month, or $22.88/mo if you sign up for two years.

Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription to ArabicPod101.

Alternatives: There are quite a few other online Arabic courses worth considering.

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Rosetta Stone Review (Subscription) – Painfully Repetitive And Overpriced

Quick Review

2.3 

Summary:

One of the most famous language learning resources out there, the Rosetta Stone method uses immersive teaching, meaning students will only find the material in the language they’re learning. Starting off with the basics, the units get progressively harder and cover a large range of topics. Suitable for beginner and intermediate students, it is more expensive than competitors and the exercises get very repetitive after a while in my experience. While it isn’t a bad resource, you can almost certainly find something better.

Quality

Very easy to use and navigate, the content is well presented but for me the similar format becomes deadly boring after a while.

Thoroughnes

While a lot of material is covered, you have to infer everything from the pictures that you are given. As such, there are no explanations at all.

Value

I think it’s not as good and more expensive than other resources.

Price

The price varies by subscription length:

$36 for 3 months
$179 for 12 months
$199 for Lifetime

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Glossika Review – Overpriced But Fairly Useful

Quick Review

3.2 

Summary:

Glossika has learning resources for over fifty languages that impressively range from Armenian and Czech to Icelandic and Tagalog.

While not suitable for absolute beginners, lower intermediates could use the resource to familiarise themselves with sentences in their language of choice using Glossika´s intuitive approach.

Listening to native speakers and repeating what they say can help learners to improve their comprehension skills and spoken fluency.

While it is amazing that so many languages are included, learners would have to use numerous other resources alongside it. The cost is unjustifiably high.

Quality

The audio recordings are well made but other aspects could be improved

Thoroughness

Glossika covers an impressive number of languages but their method requires you to intuitively learn

Value

Polyglots may find the price to be fair but for most language learners it’s overpriced

Price

You can try out Glossika´s learning method for free with their week-long trial. The monthly subscription costs $30 a month. The annual subscription costs $24.99 a month and will set you back 299.88$ in total.

Click the link below to save $5 on a subscription to Glossika.

Alternatives: Speechling does much of what Glossika can do for free. In addition, for a lower monthly fee, you can get unlimited corrections on your pronunciation. Unfortunately, they offer far fewer languages compared to Glossika.

For those learning Italian, I’d recommend Ripeti Con Me. The course style is very similar to Glossika but it improves upon a lot of Glossika’s weaknesses.

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Français Authentique Review: Testing Out Their Courses

Quick Review

3.8 

Summary:

These audio lessons focus on teaching you authentic French that is used in everyday life. As everything is in French, it is not suited to beginners although it will certainly help intermediate learners gain fluency and improve their comprehension skills. Speaking and writing are not featured much but the listening and reading resources are generally very good. It will help you improve these skills but it is up to you to put in the time to practice the lessons.

Quality

Very easy to use with good content. Could maybe vary up the exercises a bit more.

Thoroughness

The vocabulary explanations in French are great though this approach means you learn grammar intuitively without any analysis of how it works.

Value

Very authentic and is worth checking out. Not everyone will be a fan of the heavy amount of repetition. Cheaper than a lot of resources.

Price

Divided into three bundles of courses that increase in difficulty, Pack 1 costs 49 euros and contains 4.5 hours of audio which should take you at least three months to complete (according to the website). Pack 2 costs 99 euros and Pack 3 is 149 euros. All three packs together cost 199 euros and this includes 3.45 hours of video, 36 hours of audio, 355 pages of text and should take you over a year and a half to complete.

For a look at how Francais Authentique is taught and whether it fits your learning style, you can access a week of free lessons on the website.

Alternatives: News in Slow French is one of my favorite resources and also ideal for intermediate level learners.  Alternatively, you can find our rankings of the Best (And Worst) Online French Courses. 

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