- Vast array of language courses
- Tailored course structures
- Comprehensive rating system
- User-friendly platform
- Easy to manage live classes and self-study materials
- No refunds
- Class trials are expensive
- Customer service needs improvement
There are many ways to learn a new language, and while self-service language learning apps have become increasingly popular in the past few years, nothing beats one-on-one classes with a certified teacher. Verbling provides an online platform where students can effortlessly connect with teachers worldwide to learn one of the 60+ language courses available. Since everything is managed by the teacher you select, your language course can be built according to your needs, ensuring classes develop towards your goals. The platform itself is entirely free, and you can sign up and get your first class without paying a dime. Afterward, you’ll have to pay the teacher’s hourly rate, which depends on the professional you choose.
Best Language Learning Apps and Software of 2023
The first thing you need to do when you create an account is finding a teacher who you feel comfortable with, which is quite simple due to Verbling's user-friendly interface. When you select the language you want to learn, a vast list of teachers appears. Each profile includes a photo, country of origin, number of lessons taught, student rating, and, most importantly, the teacher's hourly rate. Tutors also have to include a small introduction in text and video, which you can view while scrolling through the various teachers available. Not only that, but you can also see right away which languages the teacher speaks. For example, if you're looking for a Japanese teacher, you might want them to speak English fluently as well.
To make things even easier, Verbling allows you to filter all entries by various characteristics. You can filter by schedule, proficiency, test preparation, subjects, age, and more. If you want to start a class right away, then you just need to check the ‘online right now' box.
Just because you're attending classes over the internet, it doesn't mean they don't follow standard procedures. An excellent example of that is the Homework tab under your account profile that shows all the assignments your teacher has set. For self-study, you can count on customizable cards that Verbling calls “decks”. You can either use one of the many decks created by other students or create your own. This way, you can have distinct decks for specific subjects. The platform also allows you to create vocabulary exercises where you need to select the correct translation and train your pronunciation through the app's speech recognition software.
From the dashboard, you can go through all your scheduled classes, which can be synchronized with third-party calendars, such as Google, Outlook, and Apple. If you decide to have lessons with several teachers at the same time (or learn different languages simultaneously), Verbling provides a helpful tab that showcases all your favorite tutors.
Since each teacher will build your lessons depending on your proficiency level and goals, there isn’t a fixed course structure. Instead, Verbling stands out due to its flexibility, as you’ll be able to follow a language course specifically built for your needs. But it’s not only the course structure that is extremely flexible. Since classes are divided into 30-minute blocks, you can easily decide how long your lesson will be.
You can go for a stricter approach, though. If you want to learn a language to pass a specific exam, you can filter by teachers who are comfortable with this teaching method. Moreover, Verbling itself provides language certifications. You just need to go to your profile, select the information you want to include, click on the download button, and you’ll have a certification that will go along with your CV tremendously well.
Verbling is available for desktop, through the website, and on mobile through its iOS and Android apps. Regardless of the device you use, you can count on a user-friendly and intuitive interface. Everything is also optimized for the device you're using. This means that you'll have no problems finding topics, booking classes, reviewing material, and attending lessons either on desktop or mobile. All actions taken on one device will automatically sync with all other equipment. In other words, if you schedule a lesson on your mobile phone, it will be there when you log in on your desktop.
Since Verbling provides one-on-one classes, you'll have to activate your camera and microphone. It’s important to make sure both are working correctly before joining a class, and Verbling helps you out with a quick link that tests everything for you and tells you if you're ready to go.
Since teachers set their own prices, the Verbling pricing structure can be a little challenging to grasp. Hourly rates can go from $6 to $60 per hour, and prices differ depending on the language you want to learn. Thankfully, the language learning platform provides the average hourly rate for all languages, allowing you to make a more insightful decision. Usually, the average price is around $23 per hour, which goes accordingly to the standard American salary for tutoring.
You can either pay for each class individually or get a package with a bundle of either five or ten lessons. In this case, the more classes you get beforehand, the cheaper each one is going to be. Discounts depend on the teacher, but the standard is 3% off if you grab five classes and 6% off if you go for 10. Bear in mind that classes are non-refundable, meaning you can't revert your Verbling credits to real money. Instead, the app allows you to cancel scheduled lessons and assign those credits to other teachers.
When you create a new account, Verbling offers a 30-minute free trial class that you can use with any teacher who has this class type as an option. After that, you can still try out new teachers at a lower rate, but it will instead cost $6 per hour.
Verbling's customer support is nothing to write home about. On top of not having agents ready to help 24/7, there’s no direct channel of contact. Instead, users facing an issue have to turn to either the company's ticket system or knowledge base. Fortunately, the latter is quite comprehensive, and you can find answers to most questions for both students and teachers. You can also get in touch with customer support through social media as Verbling is relatively active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – answering customer queries every now and then.
The story changes when it comes to giving feedback to teachers or complaining about any technical problems with the classes. After every lesson, you're prompted to provide feedback, and you can ask for your credits back in just a few clicks.
Verbling is the perfect platform for students who want a more traditional approach while still enjoying the flexibility of attending classes at any time. You can learn plenty of languages with Verbling and, although it may be more expensive than a standard language learning app, you can be sure you'll meet your goals in no time. Since teachers develop course structures depending on the student’s objectives and classes are all one-on-one, the experience is extremely personal. We do think that the trial class is a bit expensive, though. Considering the countless number of teachers on the platform, it may take a while until you find the perfect one for you, and spending $6 for every trial can be quite costly. Nonetheless, with the amount of information that teachers are obligated to include on their profiles plus all the ratings available, it's fairly simple to find someone suited to your studying methods. You can create an account entirely for free, and Verbling offers the first class at zero cost.