By: Lingoda GmbH
The creators of Lingoda refer to themselves as an online language learning school, rather than a language learning app. It gives us a glimpse into the comprehensiveness that they are trying to provide to the students.
Started in 2013, in Berlin (headquarters), Lingoda now has offices in London, Madrid, and Paris. It currently teaches 4 languages; English, Spanish, German, and French.
Their levels follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR); from A1 to C2.
Lingoda offers online learning of languages with native-speaking teachers. They host more than 1,000 classes daily, have more than 30,000 satisfied students with a team of 1000+ qualified teachers.
Students can opt for private classes or group classes, or both depending on their need.
The ability of humans to develop sophisticated languages, for communication, separates us from the animal kingdom. The importance of improving our communication to avoid misunderstandings and mistranslation is of massive significance now than ever. It can be as a result of the ever-expanding global business community.
A company in South Africa may be looking forward to tying up business associations with a company in China. In this scenario, an employee with multilingual knowledge will be preferred to head such ventures. This is so because speaking in someone’s native language creates ease of communication, increases the chances of building trust, and establishes a profound understanding. All of which can result in a successful and beneficial business relationship.
A person who knows multiple languages is always appreciated and respected; be it in the profession or personal life. Knowing multiple languages is often associated with having a higher intelligence quotient (IQ). Travelling has become a necessity these days; knowing the native language of the place makes life easier. Being multilingual increases the chances of better employment opportunities; it can be a highlight in one’s resume. Possibilities of traveling and exploring the world are available to the people who are good with multiple languages.
People are continuously trying to develop skills in the second language, and this calls for the need of institutions to provide language learning. The traditional language learning classes, though, are slowly getting out of fashion, thanks to the widely accepted online classes.
The offline classes demand one to commute to and from the classes, thus increasing the expenses. One may fail to find classes nearby, so limited access refrains students from learning the desired language.
The online learning has eased the process; one can attend the classes from anywhere, provided they have access to the internet, device (laptop or mobile), webcam, and speakers.
Students need not write tirelessly, as most classes provide an in-depth detailed course work, even before the classes. One has to access the file with the course topic and prepare for the classes.
Flexibility is the core advantage of online classes, and Lingoda offers that; the student can schedule the classes in advance, which is convenient from them. There is no imposing of restrictions, any day or time; one can also book classes on the wee hours of Sunday morning.
A virtual classroom environment can be created using Lingoda, by using video calling and the student has a one-on-one interaction with the teachers.
If it is a group class, then Lingoda limits the number to 5 students per class. This is to ensure there is no crowding, and all the students are given enough attention and time.
The students have the freedom to rate the teachers, while teachers create a report on the students’ performance and progress.
Once a student has decided he/she wants to pursue a language learning course, Lingoda offers 7 days trial period to choose from (different for each language).
The trial versions are provided differently depending on the language chosen, and the prices of the plan are also unique for each language.
When it comes to learning, discipline is necessary. The student should be mentally prepared to be exposed to something new and challenging. One has to get out of the box and adopt the situation accordingly.
Everyone needs the motivation to attend classes daily. Its human nature to get tired and give up. However, we shouldn’t forget the reason why we started in the first place.
Learning a new language is no different. Openness to learning and some hard work will bear fruits undoubtedly.
Lingoda offers basic, private, and group class price plans, which caters for various needs and preference of students.
The UI of Lingoda is pretty neat and simple; it houses only the focal tabs, “My classes,” “Book classes,” “My course,” “Store,” “emojis” (portraying group classes and private classes), and lastly, there is a user icon.
The dashboard page goes by the label “My classes,” and it showcases three sections: Your next class, add to calendar, and Your past classes.
The scheduled classes are shown under Your next class. But to start, one has to book a session by going to the “Book Classes” tab.
Book classes page shows the recommended classes and booking filter is available to personalize classes.
A student first chooses whether he/she wants to attend a group or a private class.
Next is to set a limit on the number of topics (based on curriculum shown under “My course” tab).
The student then selects the day and the time for the class, and the system provides filtered results.
Lingoda offers topic based on different categories: skills, grammar, reading, vocabulary, writing, and speaking.
Upon clicking on any class logo, 2 buttons appear. One is more info and the other book class. More info button leads to a page with details about the class.
The top panel shows the topic name with its category, along with the class teacher's photo.
Then comes details on the class overview, learning outcomes, and a link to download the learning material (PDF).
The number of seats available is shown, and lastly, there’s an active button for “Book now.”
If the student opts to attend that class, he/she clicks on the Book now button. A pop-up window appears which declares click “confirm” to finalize the booking.
Class credit deduction is visible via emojis. Students are given the option to enable “1-click-booking” via a checkbox. After which the student can either close the pop-up or click confirm and book his/her class.
The confirmed class is shown under “My classes.”
Lingoda sends a confirmation mail of the lesson booked to the student, serving as a reminder.
After a student books a class, he/she must prepare for it well in advance, especially the beginners. You must go through the availed learning material.
Lingoda provides a link to download learning material under each class topic. The link opens a PDF file, and the student can utilize this material, as the same would be used by the teachers during the class.
The PDF file can be stored locally on the computer and can be accessed whenever need be.
When a student is selecting the plan best suitable for him/her, the number of credits provided for group classes and private classes matter a lot.
Each language has its own pricing plans depending on various types of service it provides.
A plan will include private and group classes (number of class credits), a different per class rate, personal learning, and provision of CEFR certificate.
The class credits are illustrated using smile emojis. The first set of emojis is for group classes, while the second represents the private classes available for a student in a month.
Lingoda also provides personal learning, whereby the learning plans are made to suit the students’ needs (customized classes).
The group and private class credits are useful when booking classes as an option to select either is available in the booking filter.
In case a student books a class, and due to some unforeseen reason, the class gets canceled, then the credit is refunded back to the students. The refund confirmation is done via mail.
Ligonda advises students to cancel a class at least 7 days in advance to get credit refunds. Upon failure to do so, there is no refunding of credits.
The opposite can also happen where the teacher chooses to cancel a class. A mail of “Sorry your class was cancelled” is received by the student. In such a case, credit is refunded to the students.
On Monday, we booked a class, scheduled for Wednesday at 12.30 P.M. Lingoda, unfortunately, sends us the mail of cancelled period on Wednesday at 11.36 A.M.
No prior notice of a cancelled class can disturb a student’s plan. The communication could have been made early to save the student’s time.
The class credits are essential in the course of learning the language efficiently. For example, a student has 10 group classes credit and 2 private classes credits.
The student books a private class, and due to some reasons fail to cancel within 7 days, then sadly only 1 private class credit will be left.
It is also essential that the students plan their classes with synchronicity with the course outlined in the My course tab (in terms of chapters and topics.)
Lingoda bids to “add to calendar” option so that all your classes are in order and you may be able to book according to your schedule.
So, each class deducts a class credit, making students aware of how many credits he/she has been left with so that the students can utilize the credits wisely.
No need to worry if your monthly class credits are insufficient for you to reach your target; you can purchase extra credits, of course at an additional price.
As far as the trial version is concerned, only group classes credit are available.
The course work for a student is set by the level he/she chooses while signing up for the language.
If a student is unsure about his/her learning level, Lingoda offers a test to figure out your level.
We were able to go through the test. The test includes multiple choices questions, questions from videos, and written excerpts.
The test includes more than 70 questions, and the result is displayed immediately after the completion of the test.
There are 6 levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), and each matches the language proficiency. A1 is for the beginners, and as the level increases, one advances up in the hierarchy, thus C2 represents the top-most mastery level.
These levels are by the CEFR standards. At the end of 90% of the level’s course work, Lingoda provides the student with a CEFR certificate. European nations generally recognize this certificate.
One can also change the level of certification, either increase or reduce. It depends on the student’s caliber.
It is also possible to change the language; in case a student changes his/her mind and decides to learn a different linguistic. The level and course work for the linguistic will vary accordingly.
“My course” tab in the control panel gives an overview of the student’s course work.
At the top-most is the summary of how many classes have been completed out of the total classes. Then there is a section which shows the chapters and the name of the topics.
Beside the name of the chapter, the completion fraction is shown, if a student has completed 2 classes out of 8 classes in chapter one, then 2/8 is visible.
To explore any class topic, click on it. It shall provide a class overview, learning outcomes together with downloadable learning material link, and below that features upcoming group classes with the same topic.
An option to book as private is also given, and the student needs to indicate the date and time and click the book class button to confirm the private class.
At the end of the My course page, 2 PDFs have been provided, one being a summary of classes which can be downloaded and the 2nd is the CEFR Certificate.
The certificate is issued only after 90% of the level is completed.
The tab next to My course is “Store.” The store provides billing details alongside with the type of plan. This is accessed when a student wishes to change his/her plan or wants to purchase extra class credits.
Lingoda offers the basic private classes and the group classes but to add to that there are provisions to make customized private classes.
Private classes are opted by students who wish to have a self-centered environment, where it's just the student and the teacher for the 60 minutes class.
It is suitable for students who need one-on-one interaction with the teacher. It caters for the individual needs of the students. It's similar to having private tuitions.
The student can ask specific questions, and the teacher is able to proceed with regard to the student’s pace and caliber of learning.
It is a win-win situation for both of them. Moreover, the student can resolve his/her queries consistently and at a faster pace - resulting in quick learning.
Lingoda further offers the student to customize a private class. It demonstrates their belief that they exist to provide the best quality service, and it’s all about the student and their needs.
A student generally opts for a customized class when he/she has a special topic that needs to be catered for which is missing in the available classes.
Under the book a customized private class, the student writes the topic he/she wants to study, and Lingoda does the rest!
Arrangements take place, and a suitable teacher gets booked for the class. The necessary learning material is delivered. The student chooses the date and the time, and voila, mission accomplished!
As far as group classes are concerned, each Ligonda plan consists of a mixed proportion of private and group classes. Of course, the cheaper plans include more of group classes and few private classes.
The trial package also gives no luxury of private classes. However, it is worth noting that Lingoda caters to only 5 students in a group class.
The limited number of students is a perk, and students can study optimally in group classes.
The type of class can hardly be problematic if the student is rock solid on his/her decision to learn the language.
Discussing the perks of the virtual classroom will be a waste of time. It is a globally accepted fact that compared to traditional physical classrooms, virtual ones scores higher in the rankings.
In this digital era, a lot of students are opting for virtual learning as it provides endless learning opportunities.
The virtual classrooms of Lingoda are no different; they use Zoom software to conduct their classes.
Zoom is a reliable software and runs on many of the operating systems. A student can either download the software or use it directly from the browser.
However, downloading the software is recommended, and it is free of charge. There is no need to create an account with Zoom as it's accessed through the Lingoda account.
Once the student adds a class after signing up with Lingoda, a reminder is posted indicating the time till the start of the class.
Below it, Lingoda relays the information that the class will take place on Zoom, and the chat will be saved. It further warns the student to prepare for the class so that the system is set up correctly by the student.
So, what includes in this proper system set up? A PC/laptop, a secure and stable internet, a working microphone, and a webcam. If the student is using Zoom via browser, then the browser needs to be upgraded to the latest version.
Zoom also offers a test run before starting with your class. It is to make sure that everything is in proper working condition. The test is available for both the browser version and the Zoom app.
Zoom also has a troubleshooting help page on their website, which can be helpful in case of any technical problem.
Upon booking a class, the student is able to access the teacher’s information. One needs to click on the picture of the teacher, and a page displays details of the teacher.
Through the recommended classes under the teacher’s data, the student can choose to book a class with him/her, in case the student has a favorite teacher.
The teachers keep a schedule, and sometimes it may not be possible to book a class with a particular teacher.
But then, there are benefits of learning from several teachers as opposed to sticking one teacher only.
Lingoda provides native-speaking teachers, and Lingoda asks students to rate the teacher, technology, and learning material.
It is a technique to maintain the teaching quality of this online language school.
In the settings of private classes, a student can rate a teacher one star, and Lingoda will not assign that teacher to the particular student again.
Lingoda has gone its way out to ensure that the students can attend their classes with minimal disturbances and that all their needs have been met with by the end of the classes.
On the dashboard, a Help button is available, and any student with queries can contact the support team through it.
Students have 3 options to reach out for help; through email, by requesting a callback or via chat.
During subscription, we set Germany as the language, which upon reflection seemed quite a tough task.
Therefore, a request mail was sent to the Lingoda support team, indicating a change of language from Germany to English.
Within 2 hours, our request was accepted, and they made the necessary changes. In light of this, we can comment that our experience with the support team was pleasant, and we can give them credit for that.
Lingoda’s Zendesk is accessible via contact us tab on the dashboard. It further provides documented assistance.
There are 3 sections of Support (Zendesk), Studying at Lingoda, Class management, and My Lingoda account.
These sections have a limited number of articles that are somehow very brief, but they can be useful to solve some of the student’s queries.
Lingoda can improve more on the support that their articles provide to the students.
Lingoda’s major plus point can be the fact they appoint native-speaking teachers. They make students rate their experience with the teachers after every class. It makes sure that the teachers are well-qualified to provide the best learning experience to the students.
The flexibility offered by Lingoda in terms of providing classes 24*7 enables a student to access classes on any day at any time, making advance scheduling of classes possible.
Group classes are not so dense, as they maintain a limit on the number of students in a class. The private classes can be customized to provide students lessons that are not available in the course work.
The CEFR certificate is also an added advantage as it is a recognized certificate and can provide extra benefits to the students.
The dashboard UI can be worked upon to make it more attractive. The tab of “book classes” is also somehow confusing; it can be designed in a simpler way to enable a quick booking of class.
We experienced a delay in communication for a cancelled class by the teacher. We received the mail with only an hour to the class time. However, the response to a language change request was within 2 hours.
Overall, Lingoda is a decent language learning platform, which provides students with downloadable learning materials in PDF file only. The addition of audio or video files could simplify the learning experience for the students.
Lingoda can upgrade some of its features to get back in the game and give its competitors a run for their money. We can recommend this software to students who aim to earn a CEFR certificate.