Babbel Live: how private language lessons work

We tested the new service of the most famous app for learning foreign languages

Even before the pandemic revealed the suggestions of distance learning, those who wanted to study a foreign language were getting used to the idea of ​​doing it via Skype (or Zoom). Taking lessons online instead of in person allows you to do this with a mother tongue teacher, at competitive prices, and above all to be able to organize themselves according to timetables and convenience. That the method works is shown by the fact that for a few weeks also Babbel, the language study app, has decided to propose the possibility of studying online with a teacher, a sign that more and more in the future those who want to learn a language will be able to do so from the comfort of their home. The service is called Chat Live and includes lessons in small groups. We have tried it.

How Babbel Live works

First you sign up for Babbel, then you sign up for a subscription of minimum 5 lessons per month (80 €). But predictably, the more lessons you buy, the more you save: 10 lessons a month are 140 euros, 20 instead of 240 euros, that is 12 euros per lesson. Today, you can learn with Babbel Live English, German, Spanish and French. Once registered, you access a catalog where the lessons appear divided by teachers, times, level of knowledge and topics of study: when the time of the chosen lesson comes, the teacher publishes a link Zoom which can only be accessed by those who have signed up. You can follow the lesson from both a computer and a smartphone (but the Zoom app must be present).

The benefits of Babbel Live

Babbel has selected the teachers so that they met certain standards of competence; with the lessons that are obtained online it is not always like this: it goes to luck. But anyone who has approached the study of a foreign language knows that knowing it is not enough to teach it. Also the possibility of choose lessons according to the topic it is unprecedented and useful: there are those who need to reinforce some concepts, others. Then the prices: they are not much lower than those found online, true, but in this case the quality of the teachers is guaranteed and those who sign up get a few months of subscription to the other Babbel services. Finally, the idea of ​​studying in small groups rather than alone has its pros: Listening to someone repeating a sentence and correcting it in your head is a more useful exercise than you think, even if at times it seems to slow us down in learning. But if so, what is the point of going to school?

The limits of Babbel live

Those in a hurry may not appreciate being in a small class, where not all students are necessarily at the same language level. There is always someone who cheats and sets himself a higher level than his e Babbel Live’s entry test is not particularly sophisticated on this. Furthermore, the possibility of changing teachers often, favoring the most suitable times for us or a topic that interests us, makes us impossible to see each other. assigned exercises to do after class. It’s true that adults don’t like them, but homework is also helpful in learning a language. Of course, there is always the Babbel app with its interactive exercises. But it would be useful for teachers to suggest to students at the end of the lesson which module to review.

In conclusion

Those looking for an online language course with certified teachers, without fainting and without too much fuss, must definitely try it (among other things the first lesson is free). But those who think they are learning a language simply by relying on a series of online lessons might be better off reviewing their goals. Babbel Live is a great thing, but even more so is the idea that a language is not learned simply in class, but above all through reading and visions and a curiosity that must first of all be cultural. Not surprisingly the same Babbel will soon also offer videos, games, stories and short and cultural pills to be combined with online lessons with teachers.

Categories:   Mobile