Want to skip straight to the juicy bit? Scroll down to ‘Lingoda Review: Let’s Start From the Top’
If I had a penny…
Despite the fact that I’ve been working in France on and off for the last 6 years, I’ve never managed to learn the language. Embarrassing, I know. Not very surprising either, considering, in all shameful honesty, I’ve never really dedicated any real graft to it. Until this year.
It seems ridiculous now, but I was always so perplexed as to why I hadn’t just ‘picked up’ or ‘absorbed’ the language by just… well, being there.
The thing is, if I actually did have a penny for every time this thought crossed my mind:
‘Hey don’t worry, you’ll be fluent before you know it. You spend so much time in France – it LITERALLY happens through osmosis.’
I’d be literally rolling in pennies.
2019 Challenge: Conversational French
I decided this year was going to be different. I was going to become conversational in French. The more I read about this goal, the more I realised that it wasn’t going to happen by just watching a few re-runs of Friends in French or listening to RTL radio. Unfortunately.
I had to really give myself a boot up the backside to get going.
I decided to officially start my journey on the 1st of April 2019. I enrolled on an intensive language course, in France, for the entire month of April. An experience for another post, but let me tell you, it was life changing and set me off on this language learning path all guns blazing.
My placement test for the intensive course in April put me in the beginner level, and by the time I finished up in May I was sitting around level A2.
When I graduated, I kid you not, I cried.
I cried big, happy, sobbing tears.
I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe I was able to communicate in another language. Alright, it was basic, but it continues to blow my mind every day.
After the incredible high of completing the intensive course, my motivation began to waver towards the end of May. I felt a plateau coming on and didn’t really know how to structure my studies effectively. I was struggling to focus my self-study on the ‘most important’ areas, and as a result I wasn’t prioritising verbal expression.
This little beauty appeared in my life via what I can only imagine was a highly targeted ad in mid May. The Marathon challenge has really helped me to level-up my French to a conversational level. The proof is in the brioche pudding, I’m now sitting around level B1 (YAY!)
There are a few areas where the platform could improve, but as far as the marathon challenge goes – it’s hands down been an incredible, and completely worthwhile 3 months.
Read on for my full Lingoda Review on how I feel the marathon has helped me get out of my language funk and back on track towards my goals.
Lingoda Review: Let’s start from the top
To be completely honest, I was initially drawn to Lingoda purely because of their ridiculously inciting incentive:
Complete the Marathon and receive a FULL REFUND
I mean, who doesn’t want 90 free language lessons?
Kudo’s to Lingoda for coming up with such a great win-win campaign. I’m sure it works out a good deal for them too, as not everyone will end up completing it. It is a challenge, after all.
As far as I remember, I wasn’t actively looking for online lessons (at least, I didn’t think I was?), but those pesky targeted ads done a good one on me.
Before I knew it, I’d psyched myself up for 90 days of French. No exceptions.
Lingoda Marathon Rules
There are quite a lot of rules, but these are the main ones to be aware of:
- 90 days of online lessons
- You cannot cancel a class less than 7 days before it’s booked
- You cannot take more than one class per day
If you’re interested in doing the marathon, I highly suggest you go through the rules with a fine tooth comb. This will give you the best chance of completing it and getting your
Lingoda Review: The Lessons
Some key points to note about the lessons:
- Group lessons can have up to 5 other students. I found 2-3 to be the average, but I also I ended up with many lessons where I was the only student. Result!
- The coursework material is shared via the teachers screen, however you have the chance to download this beforehand to look over things. I definitely recommend doing this.
- You can take a placement test to work out which level will be best for you.
- Teachers are all native speakers.
- You can pick and choose the lessons you’re interested in – no need to follow the structured course if you don’t want to.
- Teachers change often, and it’s unlikely you’l have the same one repeatedly.
- Lingoda currently offers English, French, Spanish & German lessons.
Lingoda Review: The Good
- Coursework is generally decent quality and follows a clear structure. A good teacher can really get the most out of it.
- Teachers – most of the teachers on Lingoda are amazing. They really tune in to each student and encourage them to express themselves.
- Ability to rate teachers anonymously.
- You choose the lessons you want to do e.g if you only want to focus on grammar, you can choose only grammar lessons.
- Sometimes you book a group lesson, and you’re the only student!
- If you complete an entire course i.e A2.1, you receive a CEFR certification.
- Lessons are available 24/7.
Lingoda Review: Room for Improvement
- The class booking system is tedious. I know many other students have mentioned this so hopefully it’s something they are working on.
- Student abilities are really varied. If the placement test was a requirement rather than an option I think this would improve this greatly.
- I found that in some of the larger classes I only spoke a few sentences during the whole hour. It’s not a wasted lesson, of course, but sometimes the class felt a little too large.
- I’d really love to have the option to choose a class based on teacher.
- I love when teachers use the chat feature, it would be great if these chats saved automatically.
Tips & Tricks
If you’re considering signing up with Lingoda, I’d recommend you do these things to get the most out of your experience:
- Prepare for your lesson beforehand.
- Book lessons at least 7 days in advance.
- Do the homework.
- Speak up in class.
- Have a list of a few questions you can ask you teacher if you get through the coursework quickly (sometimes happens if you’re the only student)
- Study, study, study