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.
The stories are unique and interesting, while highlighting the grammar points.
Covers the most challenging grammar in each language.
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: Rocket German is a decent enough course but it falls short of the high praise it often receives. The audio lessons aren’t bad, but they aren’t exceptional either. The Rocket Reinforcement activities that are part of every lesson are too repetitive and boring. I’d expect it could be challenging to stick with them for the long-term. Nevertheless, it’s a fairly good course, with a nice structure, and increasing amounts of English used, with lots of clear grammar explanations and opportunities for you to practice what you’ve learned.
Nicely designed interface with pretty good lessons.
Lots of exercises but they’re all very similar and repetitive.
Pretty expensive for what you get.
I Like Lessons use less English and you move up levels.
A nice balance between explaining grammar and pushing you to speak aloud.
Nice design to the website and app.
I Don’t Like The exercises are too repetitive and rely on rote memorization.
The audio lessons don’t feel very natural and have lots of corny jokes.
Summary: smarterGerman is much different than every other language learning course I’ve tried. Each lesson corresponds with a chapter from a German crime story. Through these lessons, and lots of exercises, this course will help you reach the B1 level. Unlike most courses where there’s a lot of spoonfeeding of information, this course pushes you to use your critical thinking skills.
Michael, the course creator, is an excellent teacher
There are abundant exercises to practice every aspect of German.
It’s a bit expensive but still good value.
I Like Michael’s teaching philosophy will not only help you improve your German, but also your approach to language learning.
The learning cycle will help you practice reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar.
Learning through the help of a story.
The songs interspersed in the lessons provide a nice change of pace and sound great.
It’s a challenging course, even if you’ve already studied some German.
I Don’t Like It can be very intimidating as an absolute beginner to German.
Students who aren’t very committed to studying German may struggle.
It’s not cheap.
Price: The Everyday German Course (A1-B1) costs $360 excl. VAT/GST. The B1 Exam Hacking Course costs $69 excl. VAT/GST. The bundle which includes both of these courses costs $411 excl. VAT/GST.
Summary: Mondly is a below average online language learning resource. It does some things right and other things poorly. It’s pretty cheap, and a decent enough crash course that could help you before a trip abroad. Still, it wouldn’t be my first choice.
Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better.
It’s decent for learning vocabulary but a lot of material isn’t explained very well.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
Daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges – these functionalities encourage you to practice every day.
The vocabulary included is useful and drilled in an effective way.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
I Don’t Like…
The content and exercises are the same for all levels and languages.
The exercises are mostly passive and won’t help you use the language.
The order of lessons and topics isn’t very well thought out.
The interface is not user friendly and the platform is visually unappealing.
Price: There are three plans…
$9.99 per month for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language
$47.99 per year ($4/mo) for all languages
Strangely, I was able to access multiple languages even though I only signed up for one month at $9.99.