Summary: After trying Rocket Korean, I came away pretty disappointed. They don’t do a great job of teaching hangeul, leaving learners unable to read even very basic Korean. This, coupled with the repetitive exercises, makes Rocket Korean uninspiring. There are better courses that will help you build a sturdier foundation while also being more enjoyable to use.
Very repetitive review exercises that aren’t particularly well-done.
Does a poor job accounting for a different writing system.
Too expensive without being good enough to justify the cost.
I Like The cultural lessons are written with a lot of depth and are interesting to read.
A good balance between the spoken language and grammar.
Lots of opportunities to practice speaking throughout.
I Don’t Like You’re taught hangeul but never learn to read, which makes remembering words that much harder.
The Rocket Reinforcement exercises basically amount to rote-memorization.
The writing lessons are slow and pretty poor quality.
Price: There’s only one level of Rocket Korean which costs $99.95. You can also pay in six-month installments which costs $19/month.
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.
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
Summary: Pimsleur’s courses primarily focus on oral language. They are one of the biggest names in language learning but was something I had a hard time recommending to people in the past because of the insanely high prices.
They recently added a subscription model with much more reasonable prices and a new app that is much better designed. This review focuses on the new subscription model which isn’t yet available to the general public from the Pimsleur website but you can find it here.
I was really impressed with the quality of the lessons and now that the price is much better, I’m happy to recommend studying with Pimsleur.
The lessons are very well structured and the new app works great
Pimsleur primarily focuses on oral language at the expense of grammar.
The new subscription cost is very affordable.
The lessons focus on oral language which gets students speaking right away.
The lessons are very active. You’re constantly being prompted and need to produce the language you’re learning.
The lessons build upon each other exceptionally well with previously learned material constantly being reinforced.
The app is well designed with lots of beautiful images and interesting cultural notes.
I Don’t Like…
The lessons aren’t terribly exciting.
The written language is much more of an afterthought and not heavily featured in the lessons.
The practice activities included in the premium plan aren’t particularly well done.
Price: A basic subscription costs $14.95 per month and a premium subscription costs $19.95 per month. This is a massive improvement over the old prices which cost as much as $550 for five levels.
You won’t find any information about this new subscription price on their website. The link below will take you to a page with more information on their subscription plans.
Summary: Memrise is one of the most popular language learning apps around. It’s basically a gamified flashcard app. It’s a good way to help build vocabulary and beginner students would benefit the most from it. While it can be very useful, it’s important to not try to use it as your main tool for learning a new language.
The app is extremely well designed, but courses are user-made, so quality can vary.
There are courses covering tons of topics, but you’ll need to use additional resources.
Free and very useful. Awesome!
I Like It uses spaced-repetition software making it easy to learn new words and review them periodically. It’s a bit more fun than traditional flashcard apps. There are tons of different courses to choose from.
I Don’t Like I personally prefer other flashcard apps that are less gamified (Anki or Pleco for Mandarin). It should be used with other resources, not in isolation.
Price: It’s free. The Premium Plan costs $9 per month or $59 per year.