Portuguese

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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Grammar Hero Review – I Like It, But A Bit Too Expensive

Quick Review

4.2 

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.

Price

It costs $197 to purchase Grammar Hero in each language. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee.

Languages: Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, and Brazillian Portuguese.

Alternatives: News in Slow SpanishFrenchGerman, and Italian teach grammar in a fairly similar manner.

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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:

$79 for 3 months
$119 for 6 months
$179 for 12 months
$249 for 24 months

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Pimsleur Review – Secret Subscription Option Is Much Cheaper

Quick Review

4.3 

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.

Quality

The lessons are very well structured and the new app works great

Thoroughnes

Pimsleur primarily focuses on oral language at the expense of grammar.

Value

The new subscription cost is very affordable.

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.

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Mimic Method Review: Trying Out The Elemental Sounds Courses

Quick Review

3.2 

Summary:

Created by Idahosa, the Mimic Method’s ‘Elemental Sounds Masters Classes’ are not your traditional type of language learning course as you won’t learn any grammar or vocabulary. The focus is instead on learning the elemental sounds of the language. This is because once you can conceptualise them, then you can train your ear to hear and understand them and afterwards train your mouth to produce and pronounce these sounds. Useful for both beginners and advanced learners, you would obviously need to use it in conjunction with a couple of other resources to progress in your target language.

Quality

Easy to use and navigate, the production quality is fine without being amazing.

Thoroughnes

Quite technical throughout most of the course, Idahosa thoroughly explains the method and sounds in each language.

Value

Very expensive for what it is, I think it is as interesting take at learning pronunciation but you won’t get anything else from it.

Price

For lifetime access to a course, the Mimic Method website has slashed its cost from $394 to $197 although I am uncertain if it always stays that price.

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Verbling Review – An Alternative to italki?

Quick Review

4.2 

Summary:

Verbling is a language learning platform where you can find and book classes directly from a teacher. It’s very similar to italki with a few minor differences. Unfortunately, on Verbling, the cost of lessons are generally higher and the number of teachers to choose from fewer. Still, it’s a fairly good option for finding a teacher.

Quality

Professional teachers that have to submit an application

Thoroughnes

Doesn’t use Skype for lessons

Value

Cheaper than most options, but more expensive than italki

Price

The cost of lessons varies depending on the teacher and the language. The average cost for an hour long Spanish class is $18, for French it’s $24, and for German it’s $31. There are many other languages available as well.

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italki Review – The Good, The Bad, & The Just Alright

Quick Review

4.5 

Summary:

italki is the most flexible and affordable place to find a tutor for the language you’re learning. They have a huge number of teachers offering classes to students of over 100 different languages. As a learner, you’ll be able to find a tutor that best fits your learning style, schedule, and personality. Teachers are able to set their own prices and make their own schedule.

Teacher Quality

You’ll find everyone from long-time professionals to brand new teachers.

Platform

The overall platform has tons of useful features but also some room for improvement.

Value

Huge number of teachers, low prices, and flexible scheduling.

Price

The prices vary by teacher and language with some being as low as $4 and others as high as $60 per hour. Most will fall somewhere near the $10 per hour range.

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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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LingQ Review: It’s Alright – A Detailed And Honest Opinion After Using It For A Month

Quick Review

Summary:

LingQ is a language learning platform that makes it easy to read and listen to interesting content at varying difficulty levels. As you read, words will be marked as known and LingQ tracks the total number of words you “know”. The content comes from lots of different places with very little of it being original. They also make it very easy to upload your own content.

Quality

Reading on LingQ is really easy though there are some features I’d like to see improved or removed

Thoroughness

Although there isn’t much original content, there’s still a lot of material to read regardless of your level

Value

The price is fitting for the value provided

Price

A Premium subscription to LingQ costs $12.99/month.

Languages: Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, English, Korean, French, Russian, German, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Polish, Esperanto, Latin, Ukranian. There are also 11 additional languages in Beta.

Alternatives: Readlang can do much of what LingQ does and is available for free. I didn’t realize all of its functions when writing this review, otherwise, I would have been a bit less enthusiastic about LingQ.

If you’re studying Chinese, I’d recommend Du Chinese or The Chairman’s Bao.

For those studying Spanish, Storyling is a newer resource that I like quite a bit.

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Earworms Review – A Unique Idea But Lacks Substance

Quick Review

2.5 

Summary:

Earworms is a unique language resource that relies on audio lessons mixed into music. The theory is that you will find the music catchy and thus remember your lessons easily.  The whole idea behind Earworms is the psychological theory of memory association. You would associate some information with the music and thus remember it easily. However, the music used in these lessons will not appeal to everyone, at least it didn’t for me. Moreover, the lack of visual aid and no exercises to assess your skills make it harder.  I would only recommend this for people who have failed to learn through other online resources or perhaps someone looking to learn a few phrases before a trip.

Quality

With a lack of exercises and visual aids, I can’t really say that it will prove to be a useful resource.

Thoroughness

All the lessons are comprised of various phrases that they think will be useful for anyone willing to learn French. Unfortunately, they’re too shallow and poorly structured.

Value

With such low utility, it is important to have a low-price tag. Fortunately, they have followed this idea and thus you won’t be losing out too much if you opt for this.

Price

Each volume can be purchased as an mp3 download for £8.32 or as a CD for £14.99. You can save a little money by purchasing bundles as well. You can also purchase via the app for £9.99 per volume.

Languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese – European, Portuguese – Brazilian, Spanish – European, Spanish – Latin American, Russian, and Turkish

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