Summary: Rocket Languages offers courses in a number of languages, some of which are awful, and others are pretty solid. Rocket French is neither amazing or terrible, it’s pretty good. The content is structured well and gives you lots of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned. But, their lessons can be rather bland, with a large emphasis on rote memorization drills.
The lessons aren’t very exciting but you’ll learn from them
Solid content structure with lots of explanations
The price tag for the lessons is relatively high but justifiable
The emphasis on speaking skills
The good mix of speaking and grammar found in the audio lessons
Leaderboard and Streak system
I Don’t Like…
It fairly expensive.
The voice recognition isn’t reliable enough to depend on.
The lessons can be repetitive and monotonous
Price: Level 1 costs $99.95, Levels 1 and 2 cost $249.90, all three levels together costs $259.90.
Summary: Spanish Uncovered (and the similar German, French and Italian courses) come from Olly Richards, the creator of the super popular blog I Will Teach You A Language. It’s quite a bit different than most courses as it revolves around a story. It can be a bit more challenging than other courses, as you begin reading somewhat long texts right off the bat. Overall, I found it to be a more fun way to approach language learning that will be great for some but not ideal for others.
Quality The instruction is clear but can have too much information crammed into a single lesson.
Thoroughness You’ll practice every aspect of the language.
Value It has a pretty high price, but if you stick with it, you’ll get good value from it.
I Like Centering the lessons around a story makes learning more fun.
Good clear instruction with lots of opportunities to practive what you’ve learned.
Gets students to actively participate and take control of their own learning.
I Don’t Like Too many unrelated grammar points are included in the grammar lessons.
The review quiz is too short.
The exercises found in the PDF, while helpful, aren’t terribly exciting.
Price: A one-time purchase costs $297 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Summary: Grammar Hero is a product from Olly Richards, the creator of I Will Teach You A Language. It follows the story-based method of teaching languages, but this time with a focus on the most difficult grammar points. You start out by reading a story and the grammar point is underlined, later you learn the rules, then you re-read the story with explanations, and finally you’ll practice using the grammar point to express your thoughts and opinions. It’s a comprehensive method that’s meant to help you internalize the grammar.
Quality The stories are unique and interesting, while highlighting the grammar points.
Thoroughness Covers the most challenging grammar in each language.
Value Fairly expensive and may not be affordable for many learners.
I Like The stories are different for every language.
Enjoyable to read, clear audio recordings, and more interesting than other ways to study grammar.
Focuses on only the most challenging grammar points.
I Don’t Like It’s pretty expensive.
The final “Activate” section is just a worksheet. It’s useful but hardly exciting.
Languages: Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, and Brazillian Portuguese.
Price: It costs $197 to purchase Grammar Hero in each language. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee.
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.
Thoroughness 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.
The flexible hours mean that you can pretty much take a class whenever suits you – whether that’s 3am or 3pm!
Right from the start, the teachers speak almost entirely in the language that you’re learning.
There are hundreds of different classes covering different subjects for all levels.
I Don’t Like
You will sometimes have to wait a while for your chosen class to appear at a time slot that is convenient to you which limits the flexibility.
The quality of your class and how much content you cover relies to a large extent on the other students. This also impacts how much time you actually get to speak.
The lesson materials all look quite similar and there is not much variation between lessons.
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.
Summary: One of the most famous language learning resources out there, the Rosetta Stone method relies on immersive teaching so 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. While it isn’t a bad resource, you can definitely find something better.
Very easy to use and navigate, the content is well presented but the similar format becomes deadly boring after a while.
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.
It’s not as good and more expensive than other resources.
It’s easy to use and navigate – the content is very clearly laid out.
The extra features in the ‘Extended Learning’ pack make the material a bit more interesting to engage with.
While it is not particularly fun to use overall, I do believe that learners would improve their language skills using Rosetta Stone.
I Don’t Like…
The main units are very repetitive and I think I would find it demoralising after a while if I kept using it.
It doesn’t explore the cultural context of the language at all.
There are no explanations about any of the content and so you have to infer the meaning of everything through pictures.
It’s too expensive.
Price: The price varies by subscription length:
$79 for 3 months $119 for 6 months $179 for 12 months $249 for 24 months