My Spanish experience with the Lingoda Marathon

What’s Lingoda?

Lingoda is an online Language School where you can study English, German, Spanish, French and Business English from beginner to advanced. The instructors are qualified teachers who are native speakers. You take classes online, learn from anywhere at any time with wifi. Personally, I took a lot of my lessons in my pyjamas lying in bed – it was so unique and comfortable! For those of you who are camera shy, don’t worry! The teachers keep their cameras on but students need not show their faces at all.

What’s the Lingoda Marathon?
The Lingoda Language Marathon is a 3-month challenge where you study every single day and make an impact on your fluency.

There are two types of Marathons:
The Full Marathon: you take one class a day for three months (100% refund)
The Half Marathon: you take 15 classes a month for three months (50% refund)

If you are keen to participate in the marathon, register before the 19th of September 2019. The Marathon starts on September 23, 2019 and lasts until December 21, 2019. Keep reading till the end because there’s a discount code for you!

My experience with Lingoda

I decided to take the Half Marathon. I started out as a complete beginner, but with my background in French, Spanish was not too difficult to catch on to. As someone who previously said I’d never lean Spanish because I found it boring, I completely swallowed my words and started falling in love with the language.

I enjoyed the group lessons, meeting fellow learners and engaging with friendly, helpful native teachers. I’ve been self-studying languages for years and it was such a welcome change to be in a virtual classroom environment. Some of my favorite moments are when instructors made fellow students and I create our own situational dialogues. We came up with such funny, crazy situations! That’s definitely a way to make a language stick – by laughing!

More than 15,000 people have participated in 5 Lingoda Marathons in the past 3 years. For many it has transformed their lives, helping them get a new job, make life-changing friendships and even study or work in another country. I can say this is true for myself as well. I’ve never progressed so quickly in a foreign language yet. The pace is fast, the teachers are fantastic, and the lesson content is engaging, useful and challenging.

But don’t just listen to me – other students have shared their experiences with the Lingoda team and you can check it out on their website. I would also like to encourage you to visit their Instagram profile for more inspiring stories! Lingoda also has a useful blog with articles about language learning. I’ve learnt quite a few new Spanish words from their blog too!

Pros and Cons of the Lingoda Marathon

ProsCons
– Unique PDF lessons that teachers go through each class. You can download the lesson materials beforehand to prepare yourself for the lesson too.

– Group environment: it’s fun to engage with other students at your own level and learn from the talents and mistakes of others.

– Ability to book lessons with any teacher at various times. I took lessons before work in the mornings or at night on weekdays, or anytime on a weekend. The flexibility is something you won’t get from a traditional classroom setting.

– No need to take the lessons in order! I hate learning numbers and I specifically chose to skip lessons with numbness until I was mentally ready for it. Although there’s a set curriculum you can follow, you won’t be punished for jumping around and signing up for lessons you feel like doing!

– Spanish only environment: I can count on one hand the number of times the instructors used English. It’s an excellent way to get immersed in a language when your instructor only speaks it!
– I only realised later that it’s possible to change your level during the marathon. I got comfortable with A1 about halfway through the marathon and only later did I figure out I could change to A2.

– Not easy to stick with one tutor. Because of timezones and availability of certain tutors, it’s hard to stay with one instructor the whole time. On the one hand it makes it fun to learn from different people, but it’s hard when you’ve grown to like a certain teacher and can’t always attend their lessons.

– No private lessons if you’re participating in the Marathon. Marathon lessons are group-based, which can be intimidating for some, but remember that there’s always the option for private lessons outside of the Marathon!

Last call to register for the Lingoda Marathon!

Due to high demand, Lingoda has extended the marathon registration period – registrations now close on the 19th of September 2019. This time around, there’s no entry fee and your payment goes immediately towards your first month! The payment for the 2nd and 3rd month will be charged in the following months.

How to get your money back:
For participants of the Full Marathon: if you attend all 30 classes, one a day for 3 months, Lingoda will give you all of your money back for the full Marathon! For Half Marathon students, you are eligible for a 50% refund if you successfully commit 15 classes per month during 3 months.

How to participate in the Marathon:
To participate and secure your spot, you need to pay the price for the first month and other 2 payments will be charged automatically. Payment 2 – October 16; and payment 3 – November 15. Lingoda will refund your tuition fee in full if you follow the contest rules in the terms and conditions.

We love a discount!

For readers of my blog, you can use my voucher code TALK88 to get €10 (US$11) off your first month’s payment. Spots are limited, so be sure to secure a place soon. Don’t miss the last Lingoda Marathon promotion!

Use this link to register and be sure to use the voucher code.

Be sure to check the Terms and Conditions carefully to get familiar with Marathon rules. As always, I’m happy to answer your questions too, so feel free to email me through the contact form on this website, or slide into my Instagram DM’s! 😊


Disclaimer: this is a sponsored blog post. All opinions remain my own.

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A month of Spanish: resources & journey

Hello, friends!

I’ve been learning Spanish for one month now. Time flies! Some of my older YouTube viewers may recall that I often said Spanish is the one language I would never learn. Never say never! Circumstances have changed and here I find myself immersing myself in this beautiful language.

Here’s a video I made when I just started learning, about three weeks ago from today.

Let’s get into the resources I’m using. It’s easy to become excited about a new language and want to buy all the textbooks and courses and resources, but I am trying to approach this from a more minimalist perspective. I’m not using a single textbook. That being said, it’s important to remember that I’m participating in the Lingoda Marathon and I do take lessons 3-5 times a week, so I get most of my grammar and vocabulary from there.

Duolingo

I’ve actively been using Duolingo, too. I am happy to see that after posting this on my Instagram, lots of you joined Duolingo and started following each other! How cool is it that we are growing our language community day by day? (If you’d like to follow me, my username is LindieBotes)

Something really cool that I’m not sure you may know about Duolingo is how different the web version is from the app. I’ve only been using the app to complete the exercises and level up, but upon exploring the web version, I was pleasantly surprised. I knew there was a forum, but didn’t know there are word lists (WITH EXAMPLES!) and a dictionary. My favorite feature by far is to scroll through my word list, see the words I haven’t been practicing recently, and click on them to see example sentences.

Spanish Dict

Many people, including my mom who is also learning Spanish, have recommended Spanishdict.com to me. It’s fantastic for conjugating verbs! What’s more is they have vocabulary flashcards and activities too. Here’s an example: you learn a word and have to type it to repeat. You’ll do the same for a few words, and then it’ll prompt you with the English and you need to type the Spanish.

SpanishDict also has an in-depth grammar guide. Something I struggle with a lot are prepositions, and luckily they have a whole page dedicated to understanding prepositions.

Lessons on Lingoda

As mentioned above, I’m taking classes with Lingoda. It’s pretty simple to use because you can book a lesson according to your level but you aren’t obliged to follow the curriculum in order. This is good for people who already have a base in the language and want to skip the basic stuff like greetings. The lessons I’m taking are group lessons, so there are always different people in the video call, which keeps things interesting. I’ve found some tutors who are hilarious and fun and others who are serious and somewhat dry – so it’s really tricky to judge an entire platform based on a few tutors. The lessons are all very well structured and each time, a PDF document is followed with activities and questions. Tutors make sure to give each student a time to read or make a sentence, so I find it to be very balanced and well-run overall.

With teachers talking and explaining the whole time, it’s difficult to take notes. If you are going to use Lingoda, I suggest taking notes of important things in the lesson but taking time after the lesson to go through the PDF and really write down the details. Tutors also don’t ask or remind you to do homework, but at the end of each PDF there’s a homework section for you to practice on your own. Below are some of my messy in-class notes:

Language exchange

I’m also practicing with a language exchange partner from Mexico on HelloTalk. I’m also using a minimalist approach here. Language exchange apps make it easy for us to switch between people and always look for someone new. We rarely stick with one partner. I’m too exhausted, busy and tired to spend my time chatting to 500 people, and I also don’t want to be on my phone all the time (except when I’m on Duolingo, lol). So, once I found a language exchange partner on HelloTalk that I feel comfortable talking to, I just keep talking to them and I don’t send message requests to others.

Tandem is an alternative to HelloTalk but I find that message requests on Tandem are insane and I cannot keep up. It affects my mental health because I feel bad ignoring people who genuinely just want to talk. It’s just way too much. I deactivated my account on Tandem and will be sticking to HelloTalk for now.

Entertainment

It’s perfect timing that The Projector cinema here in Singapore has a Mexican Film Festival going on! I watched a movie this weekend called Sueño en Otro Idioma, and was really excited not only by the fascinating plot line but also by how much Spanish I understood after one month of learning (combined with my background in French).

Music is one of my main motivating factors for learning a new language. I’ve always enjoyed Spanish music, especially Spanish worship music. Here’s my Spotify playlist for Spanish!

Online friends

Something else I do is browse Twitter in Spanish. One of my good friends on Twitter is a fellow polyglot Ivan, from Venezuela. I find the things he retweets interesting. Though I don’t understand 100% of the content, by following people like Ivan I’m able to get a lot of Spanish on my screen and learn new words and phrases by seeing it often. I’m also close friends with Angela from Passion For Dreaming on YouTube, and she speaks Spanish too.

I’d like to give a quick shoutout to the Spanish community here on the internet. I’ve received so much help, encouragement and messages from you guys! Sometimes it’s hard for me to reply to your messages individually, but please know that I read each and every one of them and it really encourages me and keeps me going.

Thanks for following along with my journey. For more updates, you can find me here:
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook


This post is not sponsored.