SpanishVIP is a service that connects students and teachers of Spanish for online video lessons. It offers an “unlimited lessons” model for a monthly subscription and could be extremely cost effective for learners that take several lessons per week. It’s best suited for learners of Latin American Spanish at any level that want to improve their listening and speaking skills. It might not be the best fit if you’re mostly interested in Iberian Spanish or if you live in an Asian time zone.
SpanishVIP is a service that connects students and teachers of Spanish for online video lessons. It offers an “unlimited lessons” model for a monthly subscription and could be extremely cost effective for learners that take several lessons per week.
It’s best suited for learners of Latin American Spanish at any level that want to improve their listening and speaking skills. It might not be the best fit if you’re mostly interested in Iberian Spanish or if you live in an Asian time zone.
The teachers are well trained and the materials are of high quality.
You can really study whatever you like; the teachers are focused on helping you achieve your own specific goals.
If you can take enough classes each week, the price is excellent.
I DON’T LIKE…
There could be scheduling limitations for some students.
In total there are six different subscription options with SpanishVIP: three for group classes, and three for private classes. Group classes come with a 7-day free trial, though you’ll still have to provide payment information upfront.
1 Month: $49
3 Months: $129
6 Months: $229
1 Month: $129
3 Months: $399
6 Months: $699
Mention ALR to get a free month of group classes with any private class purchase.
There’s something about getting a human involved that is still unbeatable when it comes to language learning.
Sure, computers and programs can do all sorts of amazing things: turn learning into a game, boost memorization with SRS (spaced repetition systems), turn your daily commute into a study session… the list goes on.
That’s all amazing, but most people are learning a language so that they can communicate with other people. I think it only makes sense that real people are still often the best language teachers.
What is SpanishVIP?
SpanishVIP is an online tutor service for learners of Spanish. It takes a more personalized approach than other online tutor databases by taking the time to create individualized study plans for its students. This is done with the help of a dedicated teacher that creates lessons based on the student’s needs and goals.
Subscriptions are available for either one-on-one lessons or group lessons, but they both allow the learner to schedule virtually unlimited lessons each month (six per week for one-on-one subscriptions).
This review will look primarily at the one-on-one classes, as they’re what I was able to try myself.
Apart from signing up and scheduling lessons, most of the SpanishVIP experience happens via email and a third-party video chat platform. My classes happened via Zoom, but Skype and Google Meet are options as well.
Scheduling Your First Lesson
For resources like SpanishVIP that advertise “unlimited” lessons, scheduling flexibility is a pretty important part of the deal. Lessons that you can’t schedule at a time that works for you aren’t so unlimited.
Fortunately for me, scheduling was no issue. This is almost certainly because most, if not all, of the teachers at SpanishVIP live in Colombia or Venezuela, and I was in a similar time zone. Learners in the Americas will likely have the best scheduling options.
This is the screen for scheduling your first lesson with SpanishVIP. The times only appear limited here because they were the options for scheduling a lesson the same day. I would have been able to schedule one for only a couple of hours in advance. If you’re taking group classes, you’ll be able to schedule lessons with only an hour’s notice.
Being able to schedule a lesson with short notice is probably more important to some than others, but more flexibility is never a bad thing. Language tutor platform italki requires a notice of 12 hours before a scheduled lesson, whereas online Spanish school Baselang allows you to schedule lessons with as little as a few minutes’ notice.
When looking at scheduling my first lesson more than a day in advance, there were options available during most business hours, from morning until early evening. I was told that teachers regularly hold classes from 6AM to 10PM Central Time.
For learners based in Europe, the available times are slightly different. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any early morning options — time slots seem to range mostly from early afternoon into late evening.
Learners that are in Asia may have the most difficulty finding suitable lesson times. They happen largely in the middle of the night, though you may find that some very early morning options work for you.
Given the potential for scheduling constraints, you’ll probably want to make sure that you’ll be able to schedule as many classes as you need before committing to a subscription.
Fortunately, the SpanishVIP crew seems dedicated to making it work with just about anybody, whether it means utilizing multiple teachers (instead of the standard one dedicated teacher) to meet scheduling needs or creating special schedules via email. Even so, it’s best to address and clearly outline any specific requirements in your initial lesson before settling on a long subscription.
After choosing a lesson time, you’ll be asked a few questions about your experience and goals related to Spanish.
In my experience, my teacher really did use this information to help craft a learning experience that catered to what I was looking for: I got the extensive conversation practice I was after as well as the focused grammar practice I was interested in. I’ve used other resources that ask questions like these and then never seem to use the responses.
You’ll also be able to provide more specific details regarding your previous experiences with the language and what you’d like to learn in the first lesson. The experience was highly personalized for me and I greatly appreciated it.
The types of lessons you’ll have with a SpanishVIP teacher depend entirely on you, and I think that’s a good thing.
In my experience, my teacher took the time to figure out just where I was at, what I wanted to achieve, my timeline for doing so, and my interests. She started with some basic questions via email and then continued the conversation in our first lesson.
I’m currently looking for more advanced Spanish practice, and so our first lesson was purely conversational and 100% in Spanish. I’m confident, though, that it would have been just as appropriate if I was a beginner.
As well as an introduction, the first lesson serves as a sort of level test. The teacher can accurately gauge the student’s speaking and listening skills and make notes of anything the student needs to work on.
My teacher was an excellent conversation partner, and the 50-minute class flew by — I’ve had other experiences where classes of a similar length have seemed to last forever.
I had expressed an interest in getting some focused practice with using the subjunctive tense (something I seem to be eternally practicing), and practice we did.
For most of the lesson, my teacher shared her screen with me and we worked through a presentation on the subjunctive. I minimized our faces for this screenshot, but I was able to talk face-to-face with her while practicing.
SpanishVIP actually has a library of material that it constantly develops and shares with its teachers. Teachers also have a lot of autonomy with how they use these materials or create their own, which means there’s really no limit on the types of lessons you could take.
Teachers can also share materials and documents from class with students via email, and you can even get homework assignments if you’re interested. This isn’t something that all resources offer.
I like that SpanishVIP has its own materials that teachers can use, but it’s worth noting that their curriculum isn’t as developed or standardized as you’ll find on platforms like Baselang or Lingoda. Then again, that may just add to the level of personalization you’ll get with SpanishVIP.
Take a look at just about any SpanishVIP testimonial or how they fare on Trustpilot, and you’ll see a pretty consistent theme: raving reviews about teachers.
This is what SpanishVIP’s value proposition is all about in my opinion: developing a relationship with a great teacher that understands your goals and is willing to help get you there.
The teacher I had was a skilled instructor and conversationalist. She was very personable, which made the class engaging and enjoyable, and she was clearly quite knowledgeable.
She was also kind enough to answer some questions about what it’s like to teach for the company.
While it’s not a strict requirement, most teachers with SpanishVIP have some kind of teaching credential or professional experience teaching Spanish. Those that don’t meet these criteria have a chance at getting hired based on performance and are usually in the process of obtaining a Spanish-related university degree.
Unlike many other online teacher platforms, SpanishVIP seems to provide a good deal of training and support to its teachers. I think this accounts for a lot of the positive reviews it receives commending quality teachers. They also have monthly meetings where they can share ideas and challenges and get ideas for how to improve.
Modest Number of Teachers
The SpanishVIP website advertises that they have “27+ Incredible Teachers.” Compared to similar resources, this is a small number! Baselang has many more teachers, and there are more than a thousand for Spanish on italki.
A smaller teaching staff comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. I imagine it’s much easier to maintain a high standard of teaching without hundreds of teachers, and I think that shows. But, it also means that they can’t offer the kind of hyper flexibility you’d find with a platform that hosts hundreds.
There are two types of subscriptions available with SpanishVIP, one is for one-on-one lessons and the other is for group lessons. The table below shows how much you’d pay for a subscription of one, three, or six months for a subscription to one-on-one lessons.
If you’re actually able to get in the five allowed hours of Spanish lessons every week, that’s a rocking good deal.
If you were able to somehow get five hours of practice each week for six months, the price per lesson is fantastically low.
Here are the prices for a subscription to group lessons:
You can also get a free month of group classes with any purchase of private lessons by mentioning All Language Resources.
There are several other resources one could use to learn Spanish that look similar to SpanishVIP in one way or another.
I’ll list the most similar alternatives below, but be sure to check out our favorite apps, online courses, YouTube channels, and podcasts for learning Spanish if you’re looking for something different.
Baselang is a very strong contender when it comes to online Spanish-learning resources, and it’s hard to beat. It uses a similar model to SpanishVIP: students get access to an unlimited number of lessons for the price of a monthly subscription and most of the teachers are Colombian or Venezuelan.
Baselang is a little bit more expensive than SpanishVIP, but that comes with some perks. One is that there are many more teachers available on Baselang, meaning greater scheduling flexibility. Another is that Baselang has a curriculum that’s more thorough — there are lessons to progress through and hour-long verbal tests to assess your ability at each level. Read our full Baselang review here.
This is probably the closest thing to SpanishVIP that I’ve encountered. It’s another online language-teaching service that connects students to quality teachers for one-on-one lessons.
One difference between the two is that Live Lingua offers tutoring services in more languages than only Spanish, and it has some really interesting and specific courses you can choose from — Spanish for Priests and Mexican Cooking are two that caught my eye.
The price is slightly higher than with SpanishVIP, and I think teachers with Live Lingua are fully responsible for coming up with materials on their own, whereas SpanishVIP provides its teachers with some materials. Here’s our full review of Live Lingua.
Another online language school, Lingoda offers a pre-made curriculum and Spanish teachers from many different countries. It also offers group or private classes, but it’s a bit more expensive than SpanishVIP.
The wide variety of teachers means that learners will be exposed to a large number of different accents, which may appeal more to some than to others. Similarly, you won’t be able to count on having the same teacher with Lingoda. This means more exposure to different accents and teaching styles, but less personalization.
Lingoda might be a better option for learners that are interested in getting exposed to a variety of accents, don’t mind paying a little bit extra, and like the idea of a highly visible and standardized curriculum. Our complete review of Lingoda.
italki is one of the most popular options for learners of just about any language. It’s an online tutor database with thousands of available tutors. They’re classified as “community tutors” or “professional teachers” depending on their qualifications, but there are a ton of both.
The biggest advantage offered by italki, in my opinion, is the crazy-high level of flexibility. You can reliably schedule lessons at any time you like, at extremely good prices, and without having to commit to more than one lesson at a time if you don’t want to. There are also some nifty community features that are free to use.
The quality of teachers is almost definitely more hit-and-miss here than with SpanishVIP, which is something worth considering, and you probably won’t get the same level of attention and personalization with your lessons. We wrote a full review of italki.
I had a great experience with SpanishVIP, and I don’t think it was a fluke. I got two very personalized and effective Spanish lessons that were easy to schedule and went off without a hitch.
If I paid for a subscription to SpanishVIP and got two or three lessons like these each week, I’d be very happy. At this rate, the price is comparable to lessons on italki, but with the advantage of a dedicated teacher that will design a quality curriculum around your needs.
The only potential problem I could imagine with this resource is not being able to schedule enough lessons around specific time constraints. This is really what the value of the resource depends on, and my experience gave me the feeling that the SpanishVIP team is truly willing to (and likely could) make just about anything work.
In any case, if you like the sound of the resource but have a few lingering doubts, you can always sign up for a free first lesson and discuss them with your teacher.
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