Expats share their personal experiences and honest review on whether Lingoda is good for learning German after trying it for 2 months. Find out whether Lingoda is worth it with this comprehensive list of the pros and cons.
Moving to Germany has given us a reason (and motivation) to learn a new language. And with a language as tricky as German, you need all the help you can get!
We’re tried learning German by attending language school, via free and paid language learning apps like Duolingo and Busuu, as well as other ways to learn German online. So we thought we would try Lingoda and find out whether it’s good for learning German.
Yes! We did another language learning experiment. But this time we tried 2 months’ worth of online German classes (group and private) with a language school called Lingoda.
So if you’re keen to know what the pros and cons of Lingoda are, whether it’s effective for learning to speak German, and whether it is indeed the best online German language course you can take. We reveal it all in this comprehensive and honest Lingoda review.
Disclosure: This Lingoda review is not sponsored but we did receive free online German classes as part of the free trial to write this guide. But whether a guide is sponsored or not, we always share our honest opinion.
The Pros and Cons of Lingoda
Pro: Lingoda Offers CEFR Structured Language Courses
That’s right! All online language courses offered by Lingoda are structured according to CEFR levels.
What in the world is CEFR and why is it important?
CEFR stands for the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages. It’s basically a fancy way of saying that the language course follows a curriculum that is valid and recognized in every European country.
It ensures that you’ll have the same language skills for that level whether you learned German in Portugal or learned German in Germany.
Not every online German course follows the CEFR structure. So this is one of the major pros of taking online language classes with Lingoda, which leads us to our next point…
LINGODA PROMO DISCOUNT CODE
Get 30% discount off the first month of your Lingoda monthly subscription (not valid for 4 classes per month option)! Use the promo code: WIN2023 (only valid from 27 December 2022 to 31 January 2023) so don’t miss out!
Pro: Lingoda Issues Valid Language Certificates
Similar to traditional language schools, Lingoda will issue you with an official certificate when you successfully complete a language level.
The pros are that not only are these language certificates issued by Lingoda valid for showing your proficiency level for job applications. But they’re also valid for language learning visa applications too.
Plus, you won’t need to write a final exam to complete your language course and be issued a valid certificate with Lingoda!
All you need to be eligible to receive a certified CEFR language certificate is to attend at least 90% of the online classes for your language level. That’s it!
💡 Bonus Tip: Visa requirements can change. Always double-check with the relevant authorities whether a language certificate will be valid before submitting it for visa or immigration applications.
Pro: Learn a Language Anytime, Anywhere
This is one of the most obvious pros of taking online German classes with Lingoda – you can literally learn a language anytime, anywhere! Provided that you have a stable internet connection (and some willpower) of course.
This is a great advantage for those who have full-time jobs and prefer taking German language classes in the evenings or on the weekends.
It’s equally great for freelancers and digital nomads too since you can schedule online German classes whilst traveling. And let’s not forget that it’s pandemic- and social distance-friendly too.
Lingoda offers online German classes 24/7. So whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you’ll find classes to suit your schedule.
Con: Schedule Ahead for Peak Hours
We can’t say for sure whether there are ‘peak hours’ for booking classes on Lingoda. But based on our personal experience, it was much easier to book classes early in the morning (before 9AM) or late at night (after 9PM).
The peak hours between morning and night tend to be booked up faster. So if you want to work a Lingoda class into your lunch break (or mid-day), we’d recommend booking a few days in advance.
Otherwise, you may not be able to complete the language course in chronological order.
Pro: All The Learning Materials Are Included with Lingoda
If you take an online German course with Lingoda, they provide you with all the learning materials you’ll need. From the course work for each language level to all the after-class exercises (i.e. homework).
All you need is a computer, internet, earphones, and a webcam (optional), and you’re good to go!
All classes are taught via Zoom. So you don’t need to pay to download any special software. And any additional after-class exercises can be done directly on the Lingoda website.
Not only is this convenient, but you’ll save money because you won’t need to buy textbooks or take public transport or drive to language classes!
Related Guide: How does Lingoda compare to language learning apps like Busuu and Duolingo? Find out in our Lingoda vs Duolingo and Busuu guide.
Con: You Need A Strong Internet Connection and Basic Computer Skills
One of the cons of taking any online class is that it’s super important to have a reliable and stable internet connection. A 4G mobile data connection is not enough – trust us, we tried!
Another con is that you need to know how to use Zoom and have some basic computer skills when taking online language classes with Lingoda.
If you’re a millennial or younger, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. But our parent’s generation might struggle a little with this part without some prior ‘training’.
Pro: Lingoda Offer Online German Classes with Certified Teachers ‘Live’
Yes – this is one of the major pros of taking online language classes with Lingoda! You’re actually taught by a qualified teacher who is certified to teach you in their native language.
Similar to in-person German language schools, Lingoda has a strict criteria for picking only native-speaking professionals that are certified to teach you the language.
Plus, each teacher needs to have at least 2 years of teaching experience before they can give online language classes on their platform.
And what’s even more awesome is that these are live lessons. They’re not pre-recorded. So you can engage and ask questions like you would when you physically attend any language school.
We had 25 different teachers over 2 months and we can honestly say that Lingoda has some really great German tutors. We never had a single bad lesson due to a teacher not showing up or teaching poorly.
Pro: Easily Change German Tutors To Suit Your Learning Style
Another pro of taking online German classes with Lingoda vs attending language school is that you can easily change your German tutor.
The advantage of this is that you can choose a different teacher if you don’t like a particular tutor’s teaching style or find their accent hard to understand.
This is not always possible at traditional language schools without getting into awkward situations…
Con: Choosing Language Tutors Only Possible For Lingoda Group Classes
The cons are that if you do find a favorite teacher on Lingoda, you won’t be able to book private German language classes specifically with him or her.
You can book group classes with your favorite Lingoda teacher though. But you’ll have to look through the calendar and ‘track’ your favorite teacher down.
Pro: Lingoda Offers Small Group Classes (Max 5 Students)
It’s pretty common to have 20 to 30 students attending a German course at a language school. But don’t worry – this isn’t the case when taking online German classes with Lingoda.
Lingoda limits its group classes to a maximum of 5 students. This way, they ensure that everyone gets a chance to practice reading and speaking as much German as possible within the 60-minute online class.
We find this to be one of the biggest pros of Lingoda – you get to practice speaking German from your very first lesson.
This way you’ll learn the proper pronunciation and start developing the ‘language instinct’ that helps you identify if something sounds naturally right or not. Plus, you’ll start building the confidence you need to speak German in real life.
Con: Online Classes Are Strictly Limited to 60 Minutes
Small group classes are one of the major pros of taking online German classes with Lingoda. But the downside is that you won’t be able to ask any after-class questions once the 60 minutes are over.
There will also be lessons where there won’t be enough time for you to finish all the slides. This happens most often when you’re learning more complex grammar topics where students ask lots of questions.
In this case, you can review the remaining learning materials on Lingoda on your own. Or book a private German language class if you can’t figure it out.
Pro and Con: Introduce Yourself At Every Lesson
The next point can be both a con or pro depending on your personal preferences. But with online German classes, you have to give a short introduction of yourself at every lesson.
The upside is that you get super comfortable introducing yourself after a couple of lessons. But the downside is that it does take up precious time from your 60-minute lesson. So sometimes you won’t be able to ask any questions at the end if you run out of time.
Pro: Flexible Language Learning Intensity with Lingoda
One of the big pros of Lingoda is that you can easily adjust your language learning intensity to suit your schedule.
You can take more classes when you have time and fewer lessons when you’re busy as long as you complete all your classes within the month.
This is a big advantage over traditional language schools, where you typically have to commit to at least 2 to 4 hours per day, 3 to 4 times a week at predefined times.
Not the easiest to do when you’re working full-time!
Pro: Easily Switch From Group To Private German Language Classes
For those who want to learn to speak German as fast as possible. Private German classes are the way to go!
That’s another advantage that you get with Lingoda. You can easily take private German lessons online instead of group classes!
This means that you can easily access the best German tutors and customize your German language classes to suit you. This comes really handy if there’s a specific topic you want to focus on.
Like business German classes for your profession, focusing on German conversation classes only, or learning technical terminology and phrases you’d need for a specialized job interview.
Plus, you won’t ever need to worry about being scammed by ‘tutors’ who are not certified to teach, not pitching for your lessons, and running away with your money!
Obviously, these are more expensive than group classes. But if you compared them to how much private German language tutors charge, Lingoda’s private online classes are generally more affordable.
Useful Tip: What are the prices to take group vs private classes with Lingoda? Review the full list of Lingoda prices in our How Does Lingoda Work guide.
Con: Lingoda Only Offers 5 Language Courses
We love the flexibility of being able to learn a language anytime anywhere. But one of the cons of Lingoda is that they currently don’t offer as many language courses as some of the other platforms.
But what they don’t have in quantity, they’ve made up for in quality.
We can honestly vouch for this after taking Lingoda’s German A2.1 language course for 2 months and saw a dramatic improvement in our German speaking skills.
Useful Tip: Lingoda currently offers language courses in German, English, Business English, French, and Spanish.
Pro: The Format of Lingoda Online Language Classes Are Great
The pros of Lingoda are that their class format is very similar to what is offered at traditional, in-person German language schools.
Students are encouraged to read out loud, do exercises, answer questions and speak German (or the language you’re learning) as you would at any language school.
Similar to traditional language schools, Lingoda teaches vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, and speaking skills around themes that are relevant to real-life situations.
For example, in the German A2.1 language course we took, the themes were going for a job interview, having a conversation over the telephone, to moving into a new apartment. All of these are incredibly useful if you’re planning to move to Germany.
The teachers also teach in the language you’re learning in class. But don’t worry – if you can’t understand, they can explain it in English too.
We know that it sounds quite intimidating at first. But these exercises really help you learn to listen and speak German fast!
If you don’t believe us, you can try Lingoda for free! They currently offer a free trial where you can take either 3 group classes or 1 private online lesson for free. So give it a go – you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain!
And if you’re sold after trying the free trial. Make sure to use our promotional code NOMAD20 to get a discount off your Lingoda language course!
Con: More Willpower is Required to Stay Consistent
One of the cons of any online course (language or not) is that you’ll need to exert more willpower to stay consistent. It’s much easier to skip a class or schedule one for another day when you’re not physically in a class environment.
Pro: You Can Catch Up on Missed Classes on Lingoda
Similar to attending German language school, if you miss a class with Lingoda, you still have to pay for it. It’s only fair since you’re technically still taking up a teacher’s time.
But the pros of Lingoda are that you can still catch up on the missed class by using your class credits or review the learning materials on your own.
Alternatively, there are two ways that you can legitimately cancel a Lingoda class without ‘losing’ money (i.e. get the class credit back).
The rules to cancel a class on Lingoda are:
- Cancel the class at least 7 days before it’s scheduled, or
- Cancel the class within 30 minutes of booking it (even if it’s within the next 7 days).
If you follow these rules, then you can catch up on a missed class without losing money.
Pro: Lingoda Offers A Flexible Pricing Structure
Learning a new language is LITERALLY an investment. A German language course at a traditional language school could cost anything between €300 to €800 per month!
But with Lingoda, you can easily find a language course that suits your budget.
The cheapest monthly option with Lingoda is as little as €60 a month for 4 online German lessons (€15 per class). And the most intensive German language course is €399 a month for 40 online classes (€10 per lesson). Not bad, right?!
Lingoda Promo and Discount Code
Try any of these online language courses with Lingoda and get €20 off! Use the promotional code NOMAD20 upon check-out to get this discount.
💡 Bonus Tip: Did you know that language courses are a tax deductible expense? Yup – as long as you can substantiate why it’s relevant for your job. So make sure to include this if you’re working as a freelancer in Germany.
Con: A Language Level May Take Longer Than 1 Month To Complete
The only con is that it will take longer than 1 month to complete a language level with Lingoda.
If we assume that you’re doing 10 group classes per week with Lingoda. It means you will complete the German A1.1 language level in 5 weeks (50 hours of online German classes).
Whereas it would take only 4 weeks to complete the same language level at a traditional German language school.
The good news though is that you can do Lingoda Sprint if your goal is to learn German as quickly as possible.
Lingoda Sprint is a 2-month course designed to help you speak a language confidently in 2 months. It’s intense, but if you complete the Sprint and attend all the classes, you’ll earn cash back!
Find out how Lingoda Sprint works and how much it costs in our Lingoda FAQ guide.
Save Me For Later
Pro: Start Learning Instantly Upon Sign-Up (No Waiting Period)
Another benefit of Lingoda is that you can start learning German immediately after sign-up. This is often not the case with German language schools where you have to wait until the next language course starts.
This waiting period could vary anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months. So if you want to stop procrastinating and just get on with learning German, it’s something worth considering.
Plus, you won’t have to pay any registration fees either when signing up for a language course with Lingoda!
Con: You Miss The Social Aspect of Attending In-Person Language Classes
One of the cons of taking online language courses is that you miss the socializing that happens when you attend an in-person German language school.
There’s no meeting fellow expats or having a couple of beers after class. It’s just straight-up language learning from the get-go.
This is not a serious problem (at all)! But we thought we’d mention it so that this Lingoda review is as comprehensive as possible.
Related Guide: You’ll probably enjoy our Busuu vs Duolingo review if you’re finding this Lingoda guide interesting!
Pro and Con: Homework Is Optional with Lingoda
Now, this next point could be a pro or con depending on your personal preferences. But when you take an online German course with Lingoda, homework is optional.
This is great news if you’re looking for evening German classes after work and have a very busy schedule.
But if you’re a nerd (like me) and want lots of Lingoda exercises to practice and review your newly acquired German grammar and vocabulary skills. You may be disappointed with not having enough homework to do.
Related Guide: Looking for free resources for learning German online? Read our 22 Free Ways To Learn German Online! It includes a list of Youtube channels, podcasts, e-books, and apps to make learning German fun.
Now that was a LONG review on Lingoda, so here’s a quick summary.
Pros of Online German Classes with Lingoda
- It’s one of the few online German courses that teach CEFR structured language courses online and issue valid language certificates
- Lingoda’s language certificates are recognized for language learning visa applications and by many companies to show language proficiency levels
- Learn German classes anytime, anywhere. Classes are available 24/7
- You can book group classes or private classes (or both!)
- Live lessons with certified German language tutors
- Can easily choose a different teacher if you don’t like a particular tutor’s teaching style
- You can customize your own private German language classes
- Group classes have a maximum of 5 students
- You choose the intensity of learning to suit your schedule
- It’s one of the best online German language courses to improve your speaking and conversation skills FAST
- Homework is optional and there is no final exam to study for
- No waiting till the next language course begins
- Easy to set up and you don’t need any special equipment, software, or even textbooks
- Flexible pricing structure: if €399 per month is too much for your budget, you can easily pay less per month by signing up for fewer classes per week.
Cons of Lingoda
- You need fast and stable internet (4G won’t work)
- You need some basic computer skills and know how to use Zoom
- Lingoda doesn’t currently offer as many language courses as other platforms
- There will be lessons where there won’t be enough time for the Lingoda tutor to review all the slides (especially during group classes)
- You can’t book private classes with a specific teacher
- Limited after-class exercises (i.e. homework) for practicing new vocabulary and grammar rules
- You’ll miss the socializing aspect of attending in-person language classes
- It takes longer than 1 month to complete 1 language level
- You need more willpower learning online compared to attending in-person classes
- You have to follow specific rules to cancel a class without losing class credits
Related Guide: Are you reading this Lingoda review in preparation for moving to Germany? Make sure to check our other Expat Guides, like how to open a bank account without Anmeldung, what’s the cost of living in Berlin, how to spot apartment scams in Berlin or the bike rules for cycling in Germany!