Summary: Busuu is one of the most popular language learning courses around but it’s not worth paying for. The course content isn’t designed very well and there are better free alternatives. I do really like Busuu’s social features that make it easy to have your speech and writing corrected by a native speaker, but that part is free.
Busuu’s platform is well designed but their lessons aren’t.
The content of their courses leaves a lot to be desired.
Other free apps teach languages better.
The language exchange part of the app is awesome and free to use. It’s really easy to get your speech or writing corrected.
They use video and picture prompts to help you think of a topic to write or talk about.
I Don’t Like…
The lesson structure has you learn some obscure vocabulary before learning the essentials.
You can find better courses for free.
A lot of important things like pronunciation and grammar are left out or barely explained.
Price: Busuu costs $8.33/month with a 3-month minimum subscription.
Languages: Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Turkish, and English
Summary: Babbel is an affordable language learning tool that offers a lot of information and can be of great help to beginners and lower intermediate students. They structured the lessons very well, providing explanations and a lot of vocabulary for their students. The materials are easy to go through and fairly engaging. It’s not my favorite resource around but it’s not bad either.
Quality Through its repetitive lesson structure, Babbel offers a solid starting point.
Thoroughness Babbel offers comprehensive and extensive lessons; they’ll work well for any beginner student.
Value The price is very reasonable.
I Like… Repetitive nature of the lessons
The lessons are connected and they build up your knowledge in a progressive way
Engaging content and comprehensive lessons
Flexible learning plan and self-directed – you have can choose what to learn and when to do it
I Don’t Like… No downloadable materials
Not a very unique learning structure, similar to Duolingo (matching words to images)
Won’t sufficiently develop your conversational skills
Price: The price for a personal plan varies depending on the length of the subscription. One month costs $12.95 and the price falls to $6.95/month if you purchase a full year. There are also 3 and 6 months plans available.
Languages: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Indonesian, Russian, Danish, Norwegian, and English
Summary: Yabla is a platform that makes it easier for language learners to incorporate tv and other videos into their study routine. They support six languages, all of which have over 1000 short videos included. You’ll find captions in two languages and can click on unknown words to see their definitions. It’s pretty useful but I’m not so certain that it’s worth paying for.
It works fine but won’t be winning any design awards
Lots of variety in video content
The price is reasonable for a supplementary study tool.
Lots of multi-part video series.
Entertaining content covering a wide variety of topics.
Some useful activities to review the content from the videos.
I Don’t Like…
Although each language has over 1000 videos, most videos are only 1-2 minutes long.
The design could be improved, especially on mobile.
I had a hard time using it enough to justify continuing to pay for a subscription.
Price: A subscription to Yabla costs $12.95/month, $54.95/six-months, or $99.95/year.
Summary: Baselang offers unlimited Spanish classes for $149/month. It’s much more than just a tutoring service though as they also have an excellent curriculum, along with elective lessons and assessments. I was really impressed with Baselang. Anyone with enough time and money to fully utilize the service should strongly consider using it.
Curriculum The curriculum is extensive but not meant to be worked through alone.
Classes You can follow their curriculum, have casual conversations, or do whatever you’d like to in the classes.
Value If you use it enough, it’s absurdly good value.
I Like… The classes are truly unlimited.
Scheduling lessons is extremely flexible. Several times I schedule a class less than 5 minutes before it began.
The curriculum is well-structured and extensive.
The teachers were good and catered the lessons to my preferences.
I Don’t Like… All of the teachers are from Venezuela.
The internet connection could occasionally be a problem.
If you don’t have enough time to study, it’d be a poor choice.
Price: There are two programs – one for learning Real World Spanish and the other for DELE Exam Prep. The Real World program costs $149 per month and the DELE Exam Prep costs $199 per month.
You can try baselang out for one week for only $1. If you sign-up using the link below, you’ll get $10 off your first month.
If you end up purchasing a plan and later decide that it’s not for you, Baselang will pay you $20 as an apology for wasting your time.
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.
Teacher Quality Professional teachers that have to submit an application
Platform Doesn’t use Skype for lessons
Value Cheaper than most options, but more expensive than italki
I Like Teachers are experienced and professional. No need to deposit money or buy credits first. Can simply pay one lesson at a time. Also has many payment options including Bitcoin. Well designed platform that makes booking lessons easy.
I Don’t Like Lessons are more expensive compared to italki. Far fewer teachers to choose from compared to italki. Fairly expensive if you’re only looking for conversation practice.
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.