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Like most Americans, I took the least amount of Spanish classes in high school as possible.
In my head, I was never going to use Spanish, so why would I spend more time and effort learning it than I need to? Flash forward 11 years and I was completely lost as our Colombian taxi driver talked to use for 40 minutes straight on the way to our apartment from the airport.
After stumbling through the conversation in broken Spanish, I decided I was going to do my best to learn the language.
However, almost a year in South America passed and I still wasn’t at the level I wanted to be.
Now that I’m going back to Mexico for 5+ months, I decided I wanted to make Spanish lessons a regular part of my schedule.
After some research, I came across several companies offering Spanish classes online.
Most companies offer Spanish classes by the hour, but Baselang was the only one I came across that offered something new. I tried out the $1 week-long trial (click here to get your own), bought a month of the service, and wrote this Baselang review to share all the insider info you need to know about the program.
The Baselang Offer – Unlimited Online Spanish Classes
Unlike other companies, Baselang offers Spanish courses on a subscription basis.
As of writing, their primary offer is $149/month for unlimited Spanish courses, which is what caught my eye.
The course works in five simple steps:
- Log in to the platform
- Click into the time of day you want to schedule your class
- Choose your instructor
- Add them on Zoom
- Complete your 30-minute lesson
You can also sort instructors by those available for an hour if you want to take a longer course, or sort by specific instructors once you figure out which ones you work well with.
If you can’t read this, it’s time to sign up for online Spanish classes.
What I Like About Baselang
Let’s start my Baselang review with the good. Baselang does a lot of things well, and their model is one that nobody else is following right now.
Some of my favorite things about Baselang are:
1. Access To Instructors
While the classes don’t run for 24 hours a day, the time spread is strong.
It’s convenient to be able to decide how much (and when) you take your classes. You don’t have to work on a set schedule each week.
If you want to take a class during your lunch, you can do that. If you want to take multiple classes one day and none the next, you can do that too.
There’s almost always someone available, even just a few minutes before the time slot.
2. 30-Minute Lessons
While a 30-minute lesson might sound short, it’s just the right length to fit into a busy schedule.
I tried a different company that does 45-minute lessons, and it was difficult to make myself do it just because it seemed like a big time commitment.
With a 30-minute lesson, I can fit one in every day at lunchtime.
3. Customer Service
Based on my limited interaction with the company, their customer service seems pretty good.
They offer a one-week trial for $1 to see whether you like the service, and they’re giving me a free month of service for writing this Baselang review.
4. Consistent Lessons Even When Traveling
I travel frequently (a different city ever four or five weeks), which makes it difficult to get consistent Spanish lessons in person.
We have to arrive, find a good school, and find a good instructor all in one month before we leave again – it’s just not realistic.
With Baselang, I can have consistent Spanish lessons no matter how much I’m traveling since it’s all done via Zoom.
5. Regular Conversation With Native Speakers
Since I work all day from home, it can be difficult to squeeze in conversations with locals on a daily basis, but Baselang allows me to have conversations with native speakers on a daily basis.
It’s the best way to learn.
While you definitely need to study grammar and vocabulary outside of the lessons, speaking in real-time with a native speaker is the most efficient way to getting to a conversational level.
6. Learn About Venezuela
Most of the instructors on Baselang are from Venezuela, which isn’t the safest country to visit right now.
If you don’t feel comfortable visiting Venezuela but still want to get to know the culture and learn about the country, Baselang is a good way to communicate with Venezuelans.
I know much more about the country and culture now than I did before taking lessons.
Learning Spanish can help you travel like a local in countries around the world.
What Baselang Can Work On
While there are a lot of great things about unlimited online Spanish courses, there are definitely some things the company can work on to improve their service.’
Here are a few.
1. Quality Of Instructors
There’s a wide range in terms of quality in the instructors.
Some are new teachers without a lot of confidence, while others are experienced teachers with graduate degrees in their field.
You’ll likely have to try several lessons before you come across instructors that you work well with, and you’ll often have to direct the lesson yourself if you want to work on something specific.
The lessons with some of the newer instructors can be a bit awkward at times.
$149 per month isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either.
On several other websites, you can find quality Spanish instructors for around $10/hour. That means you need to do 30 Baselang lessons per month to get your lessons for $10/hour.
My guess is that most people don’t get 30 lessons in per month, so you would have to calculate out your work to figure out exactly how much you’re paying per hour.
3. Lack Of Continuity
While you can search by specific instructor, you aren’t guaranteed to get those instructors at the time that you want.
What that means is you end up with a lot of different instructors, and none of them know where you’re at in your learning journey or what you covered in your previous lesson.
It would be nice if they had a running file on your that the next instructor could read and then build upon in your lesson.
4. Quality Of Audio
While it appears they provide the instructors with a microphone, I’ve had some lessons where I could barely understand the instructors due to the poor quality of audio.
I’m not sure whether it was the internet connection or microphone, but it made it pretty much impossible to hear.
However, I completed most sessions without any problems.
5. Lack Of Curriculum
What you study each lesson is pretty much up to you.
While that has its benefits, the lessons typically feel quite unstructured and aimless.
I think the program would benefit quite a bit from having students go through a structured curriculum with homework and exams to assess learning.
Are Baselang Unlimited Online Spanish Lessons Worth It?
Overall, I would say that Baselang is worth a try if you want to practice your Spanish conversation skills on a regular basis.
If you aren’t committed, you aren’t going to get your money’s worth. If you’re willing to put in at least one lesson per day (or more) for the entire month, I think $149 is a fair price.
If the price goes above $149/month, I’d have to reconsider.
This article is part of the Travel Apps and Online Products review series. Read the rest below:
Then, explore the complete Gifts and Gear series for more reviews and roundups of the travel products I can’t live without.