Summary: Lingo Bus is an online Chinese learning platform specifically designed for children between 5 and 12 years old. Their immersive online lessons, well-designed curriculum, engaging materials, and excellent teachers would make them my top choice for anyone interested in helping their child learn Mandarin.
They have clear learning targets with materials designed for kids.
The extra materials, both before and after the class, make Lingo Bus much more than just a tutoring company.
It’s not the cheapest option, but the price is very fair when you consider everything that’s included.
Their focus on teaching Mandarin specifically to children leads to more appropriate and engaging lessons than competitors offer.
The design of the curriculum with clear learning targets.
The extra materials available both before and after the class.
Skilled teachers that provide a comfortable and immersive environment.
I Don’t Like…
The price is fairly expensive though still reasonable.
Price: Each lesson costs $20 though discounts are available if you purchase lesson bundles.
Use the referral code “V44Y5A” to get two free lessons when you purchase a bundle of 8 or more classes.
Summary: Mango Languages is a pretty good resource with numerous languages available along with their regional variations. It’ll work the best for beginners or for those interested in studying a few languages at the same time. Anybody past the intermediate level won’t find Mango Languages very useful.
It is well designed, has a beautiful interface, and is intuitive to use.
There are some gaps in terms of writing and grammar, along with a lack of materials for intermediate or higher level students.
The price is fair and will give you access to materials for over 70 languages.
It’s very easy to use and has a slick design.
The intense drilling of useful real life sentences and words during lessons will really help you remember them.
Cultural and grammar notes incorporated in the lessons are well-prepared to help you understand the language you’re learning better.
The subscription gives you access to over 70 languages.
I Don’t Like…
Most courses finish around the intermediate level with some less popular languages ending before that.
There’s not enough grammar practice.
During drilling, when a student is prompted to complete a task such as coming up with an appropriate translation of a sentence, the command is read out loud. Listening to someone repeat very similar commands over and over again is tedious.
The Google Translate plugin is a rather lazy and disappointing way to give students answers about words or sentences they’d like to translate.
Price: A subscription to Mango Languages costs $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year.
Alternatives: There are lots of solid alternatives to Mango Languages but the best option will depend on which language you’re learning. Check out our other reviews of resources for Mandarin, French, Italian, or Portuguese.
Summary: Coffee Break Chinese offers a free audio podcast and a premium course. You’ll learn Chinese alongside one of the hosts, Mark, who’s learning himself with the guidance of Crystal, the Chinese host. Together they create a fairly relaxing atmosphere in which to learn Chinese. As Coffee Break Chinese is still producing their first season, only beginners would benefit from this course.
The lessons are well structured – building up from words to sentences to dialogues.
As they’re still producing the first season, there’s a lot of material left to cover.
It’s great that you can listen to the audio lessons for free but the paid course is a bit expensive.
The lessons are scaffolded very well. In a single lesson you’ll go from learning new words to being able to put those words together into a full dialogue.
It’s less intimidating than other Chinese learning resources which will better suit a certain type of learner.
The audio version of the lessons are completely free.
I Don’t Like…
I think serious learners could progress faster with other resources.
You’ll need to supplement your learning with other materials.
Price: You can access all of the audio lessons for free as a podcast. The premium course costs $92.
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.
The audio recordings are well made but other aspects could be improved
Glossika covers an impressive number of languages but their method requires you to intuitively learn
Polyglots may find the price to be fair but for most language learners it’s overpriced
There are lots of languages available, including many that are rarely covered by other resources.
The subscription gives you access to all of the languages making it possible to study one language and review another at the same time.
It will force you to speak the language which will improve your confidence and prosody.
I Don’t Like…
As all of the languages cover the exact same material, the diversity of the languages and cultures are reduced to a simple formula with no cultural context involved in their teaching.
There are a fair amount of errors in the materials.
The cost is excessively high compared to other resources.
There are no explanations of grammar.
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.
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 which has been my favorite feature.
Reading on LingQ is really easy though there are some features I’d like to see improved or removed
Although there isn’t much original content, there’s still a lot of material to read regardless of your level
The price is fitting for the value provided
I Like… It’s easy to add your own content which makes reading more fun.
The content is quite diverse and comes from lots of different places.
Looking up words is quick and easy.
I Don’t Like… Reviewing words is chaotic. Every word you look up gets added to a huge queue that quickly becomes unmanageable.
The extra features are overpriced and can be found other places for cheaper.
Very little of the content is original. Much of it was uploaded by users from other places.
The free version is extremely limited.
Price: A Premium subscription to LingQ costs $10/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: If you’re studying Chinese, I’d recommend Du Chinese or The Chairman’s Bao. For most other languages, LingQ seems to be the best option for practicing reading.