Wlingua Spanish Review
Wlingua Spanish is a smaller Spanish learning resource that you might not have heard of. It’s definitely not one of the larger players in the online language learning world, and there are a couple of reasons for that. One of them being Spanish is the only language you can learn using Wlingua.
So what’s the deal with Wlingua Spanish? What kind of language learner does Wlingua Spanish work best for? Read on to find out whether or not you should consider this resource for your language learning strategy!
Wlingua Spanish: the first look
Okay, I’m going to be completely honest with you: when I first went onto Wlingua’s website, I thought it was maybe for kids, like a website that elementary schools might use to teach their kids Spanish. Which kind of threw me off a bit.
I mean, am I wrong? It looks like a 2nd grader’s homework! Which isn’t to say that’s necessarily a bad thing. Just an observation.
Working through Wlingua Spanish, I can see how it might be geared towards younger language learners. They don’t state that anywhere on their website or in their marketing, so I’m going to assume otherwise, but you’ll see in these screenshots what I’m talking about.
The first thing you’ll do is select what level you’re at. If you’re not sure, Wlingua Spanish will give you a quick quiz to narrow you down.
You also choose whether or not you’re studying Castilian Spanish or Mexican Spanish.
Once that’s all set up, you’ll get some vocab. In my opinion, the vocab is kind of simplistic, but if you’re lacking this vocab, it might not be a bad thing. These words are presented with cartoonish icons and a native audio clip.
When you’re learning/being quizzed on these words is the only time you’ll ever hear Spanish being spoken. That being said, Wlingua is not beneficial for Spanish language learners who are interested in working on their listening skills.
Anyways, depending on the level you choose/test into, you’ll be stuck into a certain unit. I tested intermediate (I got lazy, sue me!), and this is the first vocab I was taught. Like a lot of language learning resources, Wlingua doesn’t have an “advanced” unit, only upper-intermediate.
Well, actually, on the homepage, Wlingua states you can learn up to B1, which is not upper-intermediate (that would be B2). Which is…confusing.
Keep in mind, these words were all presented without any context, or without really asking you to respond. I was just shown all these words one by one and…that was it for a minute. Definitely not the most efficient way to learn new vocab.
(See what I was saying about feeling like this program is for kids?)
Then, you go through a few different sections of reviewing these words that you just learned, mostly multiple-choice questions like this.
Even if this system of learning new vocab seems super inefficient to me, I do have to say that I appreciate that you not only learn the masculine/feminine distinction with the words themselves, but you also get a little color-coding, which is helpful.
When your review is multiple-choice, you can’t really get it wrong, per se; you just won’t move to the next question until you get it right.
You’ll go through a few multiple-choice/fill-in-the-blank spelling exercises, and then it’s grammar time!
Whatever qualms I have over how Wlingua Spanish approaches vocab, their grammar lessons are much better. Take this one, for example. It’s succinct, right to the point, and includes tons of examples for you. Not bad!
Grammar practice is also significantly more useful than the vocab practice is, too. You dive right into using the concepts you just learned with both multiple-choice and typing it out.
How important does Wlingua Spanish consider accents to be? Well, in my opinion, not enough.
While they do recognize that accents are important, I wish they would go the extra mile and provide those accented letters for you! Accents are so so so so important, and I know I’ve definitely avoided using accents before just because the resources I was using allowed me to.
So after the grammar lesson, you’ll get some reading comprehension. This involves a paragraph followed by a couple of different sections of testing.
Then, at the end of alllll that, you’ll get your final grade! This is a pretty…gentle grade, considering you can’t even get the vocab sections “wrong”, but you can definitely consider it a self-esteem boost!
If you want to go back through these lessons, it’s unfortunately not the most convenient, as you can see. In fact, you’ll probably have to go all the way back to the start and go through everything all over again, which is not helpful for reviewing specific concepts that you want to spend more time on.
Wlingua Spanish also doesn’t provide you with any sort of “notebooks” or any other options that some other language learning resources have so you can go back to different lessons and review on your own time.
So there you have a basic idea of what Wlingua lessons are like. Pretty simple and lightweight – you’ll be more pushed when it comes to grammar and reading comprehension than anything else.
How much Spanish knowledge should you have?
Okay, so this part was hard for me to test. When I went back to the first lessons, the vocab I was learning didn’t change! Even though I was working through beginner grammar concepts and I was introduced to some beginner vocab as well, that intermediate vocab was still mixed in.
I get where they’re coming from: you’re still building up on the vocab you learned in the last lesson and just adding some new words in there. In other words, the vocab that’s introduced to you stays with you – it’s static.
When you move through different lessons, though, the grammatical concepts are what changes every time. This does make sense and can be beneficial, depending on your goals.
In other words, if you want to work through different grammar concepts at your own pace and learn new vocab on the side, Wlingua is where it’s at!
As far as what kind of skill level you need, though, Wlingua starts you right at the beginning, so you don’t need much experience! These grammar lessons go all the way to advanced concepts, but the vocab?
The vocab at advanced levels isn’t not advanced, but the audio recordings are definitely still at a beginner speed. If you’re looking for the speed/fluency of the audio recordings to increase with your level, you’ll, unfortunately, be disappointed.
Wlingua’s price point
The way that Wlingua approaches payment is…interesting. Let’s start with the basics. For you, one person, to get Premium Wlingua, these are your price points.
When you make an account, you get 7 days of Premium for free. The difference between free and Premium includes levels A1-B1, “readings” (like I talked about above), downloadable lessons, and exercises.
If you decide after that week that Wlingua Premium is for you, it’s…kind of hairy. Like it’s weird. Check it out.
Clearly, the folks behind Wlingua do not speak English natively. Obviously, no judgment here (I’m literally a language learning blog, y’all!), but when the FAQs are in such broken English, it doesn’t instill much confidence.
Plus, you see that? You can’t pay on a computer – you can only pay for Premium through the app. That is super strange. As someone who has personally installed payment portals onto a website, I’m not sure why they do it like that.
Is it the biggest deal in the world? Not at all. It’s just…strange to me.
Wlingua Spanish: who should use it
Okay okay. After all that, who can benefit from this program? Well, if you don’t want to pay for Premium, Wlingua isn’t much better than something like Duolingo – even better, downloading a free shared Anki deck with a few thousand Spanish words would be more beneficial for getting in new vocab.
Depending on the resource, you might have a bit of a hard time finding a specific accent. Maybe. Just depends on what you find.
In other words, free Wlingua isn’t going to be a better option than some of the other free Spanish vocab options out there.
If you opt for Premium? The grammar lessons are definitely comparable to something like Babbel or Busuu. The price difference is fairly negligible, it just boils down to personal preference, though Wlingua only advertises themselves as reaching B1.
The only place where Wlingua really seems to shine is with the reading comprehension. I haven’t seen that kind of practice in any other Spanish language resource, and that comprehension practice is definitely important! It only goes up to B1, though, so if you want to reach more of an advanced level, Wlingua can only take you so far.
So, what does all this boil down to? If reading comprehension is really important to you, and you’re not at an intermediate level yet, Wlingua may be beneficial to you. Otherwise…I don’t see how Wlingua has a whole lot to offer that other language learning products don’t already do better at a similar price.