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).
Very easy to use and nicely produced but all lessons look the same.
Great for teaching reading and the cultural context of a language but not communication skills.
The material is comparable to a textbook but much more expensive.
I Like LinguaLift is one of the best resources out there when it comes to teaching you about the cultural context surrounding the language.
The texts are quite humorous to read and each lesson concludes with a reward which usually comes in the form of a video about some part of the culture.
It really succeeds at teaching you how to read Japanese and the course is easy to follow.
Don’t have to pay extra to access courses in more than one language.
I Don’t Like All of the lessons look almost identical which gets monotonous.
The course is mostly in English and it takes a while for you to actually encounter all that much Japanese.
Other courses will almost certainly have you speaking and learning the language at a quicker pace.
The focus on reading means you don’t get to listen to much Japanese and there is no way to practice speaking or holding a conversation.
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: 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.