Unlimited one-on-one professional classes of Spanish for a fixed monthly fee!!
Seems too good to be true?
The quality of teachers must be bad!!
There won’t be any availability when I want it!
These are some of the things I originally thought when I came across BaseLang.com in December 2016, However I like to give things a try and that’s what I did with BaseLang, after all there was a $1 trial for a week, so I’d make sure to give it go and see if there were any probs and it wouldn’t break the bank.
Before I give you my honest opinion of my experience with BaseLang, let me explain how I got here,
Rewind 8 years, I’m standing in a chemist in Mallorca trying to communicate with a Spanish pharmacist about a rash that was after breaking out on my 1 year old daughter, after realising I was rubbish at charades, I decided I needed to learn the lingo, as for an Irishman, we tend to spend our holidays on the beaches and bars of Spain and the Mediterranean and in this day and age I should make an effort to communicate with my fellow Europeans.(Got my rash cream in the end )
So what did I do?
In the early stages of my aspirations to learn, I spent too much time trying to find out how to learn Spanish instead of actually learning Spanish, I wasted a few years doing this and getting nowhere thinking I was never going to get the hang of it, but like all things with me, If I say I will do something then I will do it.(Albeit over a long time)
After reading “Fluent in 3 months” (Book by a fellow Irishman), everything fell into place. In order to speak Spanish, I needed to speak Spanish — don’t know why I hadn’t realised before, not exactly rocket science is it.
This was 4 years ago and with my new approach decided, I started my monthly lesson (from Italki which is another platform) which then moved to bi –weekly, weekly and then daily lessons, I met a ton of different people from all over the Spanish speaking world making good friends and spending most of my time laughing as we bantered between each other, it hardly felt like work and I was actually able to speak well enough. I continued this for about 3 ½ years adding up to 500 hours of practice.
In December 2016 after a few months of pain, I was diagnosed with two slipped discs in my back, to anyone without knowledge of this it basically means an operation and a recovery period of 6–8 weeks on the couch or in the bed which in January or February in Ireland isn’t a bad place to be.
The first thing that popped into my head was, at last I have the opportunity to study Spanish intensively to get me to the next level, as an intermediate learner it was slow progress so needed the time to invest to advance as I don’t live in a Spanish speaking country and here was my chance.
First thing I did was think about how many classes I could do per day, I decided 6 was enough as didn’t want to burn out and I had done 3 or 4 hours continuously before so thought it was realistic aiming for 30 hours per week which should end up being around the 200 mark during my recover, 200 hours would be plenty to move up to C1 territory I thought, I quickly did some maths and had to sit down with the cost of doing that many classes using the traditional method I had used, between 2,000–3,000 Euros. For that money I could fly to Spain for my recovery instead (Although I would be up for it, sadly my wife wasn’t ☺)
I fired up Google and started to search for other options, and that’s where I came across BaseLang. It seemed like great value for intensive learning and suited me perfectly taking 6 hours per day.
I also intended on sitting the DELE C1 which BaseLang also support through a selection of special DELE experienced teachers, so that box was also ticked.
I trawled through reviews and people’s opinions and watched some videos of Conor Grooms on YouTube to see if it was reputable, and the majority were positive, so I joined up to see what it was all about.
The site itself was a bit basic to navigate (new platform has since been updated with more features) and it was a lot different to what I had experienced before. I intended to get the best value out of my $1 and off I went and booked my classes after checking out the teacher’s biographies and finding teachers who I felt could assist me.
The first class was a 30 min slot, I had 500 hours of Skype conversation already done previously, the majority of which were with teachers from Spain, I knew the teachers were from Venezuela and the accent would be different but I knew there would be no major difference only a few minor words/Idioms and both of us understood each other perfectly, he assessed my level and something which impressed me was to add it to the teachers records so that in the next class we could pick up from where we left off even if with another teacher, for me this was excellent as my previous experience was having to explain each time to a teacher what we had to cover and much of the time was wasted doing this.
After the first week at $1 I was sold, all teachers were professional, friendly and genuinely wanted me to succeed, it wasn’t just a case of going through the motions. I allowed my subscription to continue and added the DELE element to start preparing for the Exam in May 2018.
I had 4 weeks before my operation so booked classes when I was free, this is another advantage with BaseLang, you can book a class if available 1 minute before its due, which for me and a constant changing timetable allowed me to fit in a class whenever I had the time, my previous experience only allowed me to book 24 hours in advance which wasn’t always practical and I often had to miss a class and lose money.
After my operation I averaged 6 hours a day doing a mix of real world (Subscription that is concentrated on conversations and follows a syllabus, although I didn’t use it — I just wanted to chat about “La Casa De Papel) and DELE exams to familiarise myself with the exam format.
I met some excellent teachers and built friendships along the way and always received support. To be honest, it gave me a goal each day of my recovery and prevented me from going out of my mind being stuck at home. With people to chat to I was never bored, the time flew by and my level increased unknown to myself.
After my recovery and my return to normality I continued lessons with the DELE C1 level as my goal and on the May 19th, 2018 I sat the DELE exam fully prepared. Although I won’t know my results for some time, I am quite happy that I done enough to pass, the oral examiner even mentioned I should be going for C2!! So I took that as a positive.
None of this would be possible without the excellent teachers in BaseLang and especially the DELE section, Enrique, Juan, Luis and Edwin just to name a few.
To all the Spanish learners and people that want to learn Spanish out there, I highly recommend BaseLang as an excellent resource to learn or improve/maintain your Spanish, although it makes most sense when you do at least 2 or 3 hours per week. I like the flexibility of the service and the last minute bookings I can make fitting in a class on the go and not being penalised for not turning up if my plans go to pot.
My plans now? Stop studying as I have a high level? Stop chatting?
That’s not how languages work ☺
I’m going to remain on BaseLang to maintain my level, there’s always room for improvement and although I can’t do the same number of classes as I previously done it is still the best value on the internet if you’re serious about learning Spanish.
I hope this has been informative and I will leave you below with a list of Advantage/Disadvantages of BaseLang, this is an open honest review and while all not experiences of users may be positive mine certainly was.
● Value for money: Once you exceed 2 or 3 classes per week it pays for itself, If I had paid for each individual class that I have done vs a subscription model it would have cost an extra 2000 euro(I was on the higher subscription level as I used DELE and Real world together)
● Great teachers: There is a large range of teachers with different backgrounds, you don’t always get on with everyone but there is a teacher for every personality on BaseLang.
● Flexibility: I was able to chop and change my planned classes without being penalised, this can be done 1 minute before class is due, so if you need flexibility you can’t get better than this.
● Continuity: Each class the teacher add notes to their shared file meaning the next teacher knows what you are working on or what exam is due in DELE etc. meaning no wasted time.
● Experience different accent: My previous experience was with Spanish speakers from Spain, I found it useful to get used to other accents, and this helped me in DELE prep where the accents can be from anywhere.
● Power cuts: Current situation in Venezuela and the condition of infrastructure can lead to power cuts or internet issues, there were occasions that a class couldn’t happen due to this, however there was always a replacement available after a short 5/10 minute delay
● Internet connection: Some teachers have crap internet, in these case I just never booked classes with them again as it’s a waste of time trying to understand each other for an hour, this can be reported as well as they are meant to have a 3G device.
● Time difference: Ireland is 5 hours ahead of Venezuela, the earliest I could start classes was 10 am GMT but could continue doing them until 5am if desired. I previously used to do classes before I start work but this isn’t an option for the Irish with BaseLang.
● Turnover of teachers: On a few occasions I built up good relationship with teachers only to receive a message saying that they were leaving BaseLang.com , it can be frustrating building a rapport each week.
If you have enjoyed the above read and wish to checkout Baselang I would be grateful if you clicked on the below link which will take you there, this link will allow me free time to proceed on Baselang to C2 level.