This is why traditional language institutions are dying out

When Pablo in Colombia can teach you Spanish face-to-face for $4 an hour, why would you pay $1,200 for a six-week group course?

Placa Reial in Barcelona. One of many places you can travel to with basic knowledge of Spanish. The lamp post in the background was one of the first designs of Antoni Gaudí, the same man who designed the Sagrada Familia and many other iconic structures in the Catalan capital.

With the current pandemic spreading like wildfire across the globe, a lot of us might see some of the downsides of a more globalized world. But, one area where globalization and normalization of video meetings strive is on online teaching platforms like Cambly, iTalki, and Verbling. They are giving traditional language educational facilities a run for the money while offering professional and informal teachers a platform where they can share their knowledge for a price fair to both them as well as the students.

Do you think more people will consider working freelance or more liberal options after the pandemic?

You can get classes in Spanish, French, and Portuguese for as little as $4 for 90 minutes. And, before you start telling me how sorry you feel for these people, keep in mind $4 might be worth a lot more in places like Brazil where the minimum wage is under $200 a month. Also, this allows people to become more independent and innovative to make sure they land more clients down the line.

So what is the catch? Well with a professional academy you are often, but not always promised results and taken care of by professionals with lots of experience. Despite that, I have myself been in multiple academies as a student and teacher where the logic is “You get sick? Your problem. The teacher gets sick? Still your problem”. It seems like many are so used to having an infinite supply of students walking through the door wanting to learn that they don’t even bother if people leave unsatisfied.

The days of paying an arm and a leg to learn a language are going towards the bitter end. If you are at a comfortable level in your target language or want to learn in a more natural environment I would recommend checking out one of the websites I mentioned above. If you are in-between languages and don’t really know which one you want to learn a lot of sites offer trial lessons for as low as a dollar! The future in terms of low-cost, efficient language learning is looking very bright!




Hello, world! I’m Alex. I enjoy writing about whatever is on my mind at any given moment. Here is my YouTube channel where I teach Norwegian

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Alexander Mørk

Alexander Mørk

Hello, world! I’m Alex. I enjoy writing about whatever is on my mind at any given moment. Here is my YouTube channel where I teach Norwegian

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