Here's something you should know: when you search 'Live Lingua reviews' and check results, most of the articles are written by bloggers who are being paid every time someone clicks through to Live Lingua and buys lessons. This is known as affiliate marketing, a practice that makes it annoyingly hard to find trustworthy reviews online.
Over at LanguaTalk, our tutors told us some concerning things about the company's practices, so we decided to investigate. We analysed Live Lingua reviews, as well as evaluated feedback on Reddit and Glassdoor. And of course, we tried the site ourselves.
Click the links below to skip to the different sections:
Quality of tutoring: 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Pricing, ethics & transparency: 2/5 ⭐⭐
Website features & ease of use: 2/5 ⭐⭐
Quality of tutoring: 3/5
Live Lingua was founded in 2008 and currently offers classes in 7 languages: Spanish, French, English, German, Italian, Japanese, and Korean.
The first thing you notice is the site focuses almost entirely on Spanish tutoring. There are very few tutors available for the other languages.
The quality of tutoring is actually impossible to judge without taking classes with lots of teachers. This is because you cannot see reviews on their profile pages. Modern platforms allow you to see tutors' ratings and reviews from students. For example, you can easily view tutor's reviews on LanguaTalk. This is vital in helping learners find their ideal tutor, and ensuring that high standards are met.
In addition, as tutors cannot set their own rates, the best tutors will presumably work on other platforms that allow them to earn a higher income based on their performance.
We also doubt that Live Lingua has the most talented tutors available given the high commission charged by the owners of the site. More on this below...
Pricing, ethics & transparency: 2/5
Recent Live Lingua reviews left by students highlight that prices have been hiked repeatedly in recent years. For Spanish, a 1-hour lesson now costs $25. On platforms that allow tutors to set their own rate, you can generally find excellent tutors for significantly less than $25 - in fact, you can see dozens of them here.
The reason stated for the price hikes is raising tutors' incomes, however we've been told by multiple teachers that Live Lingua keeps 50% of the amount paid per lesson, with one Live Lingua review from a tutor even saying that she only received $5/h. Another said she received $6/h. This may explain why there are so few tutors from Europe, where the cost of living is higher than in Latin America.
We believe that it's unethical to add so much commission, particularly given Live Lingua seemingly does not provide the learning materials - tutors have to work independently to adapt to their students' needs. The 50% commission pushes up prices, whilst even at $25/h, if tutors get $12.50/h, this is still below the market rate for experienced tutors in most countries.
Of course, there's no mention of the 50% commission on the website, and it's made to look like a school with a structured curriculum, instead of a clunky tutoring platform.
At LanguaTalk, our commission is 16%, and this enables you to get much better value for your money. You can see reviews of tutors here.
Website features & ease of use: 2/5
Live Lingua was founded in 2008 and its tech doesn't seem to have advanced much since then.
Modern platforms allow you to see each tutor's live availability and reviews, then immediately book a trial session (often for free). On Live Lingua you cannot do this. You have to exchange multiple emails with their team, telling them the days and times you're available, then they'll match you with a tutor. This is a cumbersome process. Surely students know best which tutors are right for them and prefer to choose for themselves. We assume Live Lingua still has this system because they just don't have the tech that LanguaTalk and other platforms have.
In addition, on LanguaTalk you can use filters to immediately see those tutors who fit your availability, budgets and needs. On Live Lingua, there is no way to do this, you have to wait to be assigned a tutor.
Live Lingua claims that it has "hand-picked, certified tutors", but why would the best tutors work there when they could use platforms that don't take unreasonably high commission, and allow them to set their own rates? For learners, it's also frustrating having to exchange emails to be matched with a tutor, rather than being able to use modern technology to make your own choice based on live availability and reviews. The general lack of transparency and features mean Live Lingua has fallen behind other platforms.
Overall rating : 2.3/5
What's the best Live Lingua alternative?
We recommend you compare Live Lingua with LanguaTalk. The main differences on LanguaTalk are:
- Higher quality tutors (and you can actually check their reviews from students). LanguaTalk only accepts the top 10% of applications.
- Flexible for all budgets - tutors are able to set their own prices so you can find one for as little as $9/h, or a highly qualified, exceptional tutor for $20 to $30/h.
- The site is much more powerful and intuitive - you can use filters to instantly narrow down the choice to tutors who fit your availability, budget and needs. You can also book a free trial session instantly without having to exchange emails (as you do on Live Lingua).
- You'll be supporting tutors' working conditions as LanguaTalk has low commission - around 1/3 of Live Lingua's. It also allows tutors to set their own rates and build their reputation.
- No card is required for free trial sessions, so you can meet a tutor without any commitment (though note, around 10% of tutors opt to charge a small fee for trials). Click the image below to see tutors' videos, reviews and prices.
Topic: Live Lingua reviews / LiveLingua reviews.