Baselang Review: Frankly Overpriced And Hyped Spanish School
- Written byLara Scott
- Read time4 mins
- Unlimited sessions for a flat-rate fee
- Last minute lesson bookings
- Can book with multiple teachers
- Student progress tracked
- Inconsistency in teacher quality
- Outrageously overpriced
Baselang is a popular online lesson facilitator for Spanish (and local school) that offers unlimited lessons for an excessively high flat-rate monthly fee and an outrageously expensive intensive called Grammarless.
The teacher quality varies as with most lesson platforms.
NOTE: In my opinion, you’ll get a lot more use and value for money out this Spanish course or this one as alternatives to Baselang.
Make sure to check out my Spanish Language Resources page as well for other resources and recommendations.
Baselang’s a popular Spanish language school in Medellín, Colombia that offers “unlimited” online access to local Spanish language teachers.
They also have a trademarked course called Grammarless which is both an in-person and online month-long intensive.
The company itself, founded by Connor Grooms (who wrote an article titled How To Learn Spanish In One Month here a while back prior to starting Baselang), shot to popularity among online language bloggers fairly quickly, in part for its seemingly generous ‘unlimited lessons’ assurance.
What I will say is that like any Spanish classes, a lot of what you get out of it depends on you.
Baselang is truly unlimited – you can book as many sessions as you want from 6am to midnight (ET, USA). There also seem to be a ton of available Spanish teachers – there’s always someone available for a last-minute booking (in fact, one of the biggest selling points, in my opinion, is the ability to book a lesson with 5 minutes notice which is extremely convenient).
There is something worth mentioning, however.
While lessons are “unlimited” for a flat-rate fee, I feel that this is also disingenuous in a sense.
Because very few people are actually in a position to take advantage of unlimited lesson availability.
There is a human capacity factor that isn’t mentioned.
So while you’re able to theoretically take dozens of lessons per week, in all likelihood, you’ll use a handful of lessons only, which means that you’re actually paying way more than you would if you used a service like italki.
Or another excellent alternative (if you want similar structure and bulk lessons) would be a platform like Lingoda.
UPDATE: Babbel recently released a new subscription product called Babbel Live which offers unlimited Spanish lessons for a specified subscription period. Impressively, they have a 12 month tier for only $599.
That’s an entire year of unlimited free Spanish lessons (online video call).
Hard to beat that, honestly.
On the plus side, Baselang is very professional, with a structured programme and well-planned lessons using slides.
There’s a Standard curriculum with ten levels to teach you the technical basics, and the selection of Electives lets you choose particular conversation topics. These can go pretty in-depth (e.g. hundreds of sessions for “Medicine”, dozens for “Business”). And for any one-on-one lesson, you would be given the flexibility to request to focus on any area you want.
Baselang boasts quick results of fluent, conversational Spanish in 20-30 hours (spoiler: it will take you a lot longer than this).
The Grammarless intensive boasts of fluent, 30 minutes of conversational Spanish after 1 month of lessons.
This is fairly standard for any dedicated student of practically any communicative approach class - 1 month of communicative, intensive instruction with a competent teacher should result in basic A2-level conversation.
For the life of me, I cannot understand how they justify $1,200 for this.
As for the unlimited classes, it really depends on your level of commitment. $149 is a flat fee per month, so the more hours you dedicate, the cheaper it is (but as I said, most people won’t get their money’s worth and would be better off using an alternative).
It could cost anywhere from $4 to $25 per hour depending on your usage.
That being said, quality of teaching also matters, and because of the number of teachers and various teaching styles, you do have to search around for the teachers that suit your learning style.
But you never know when they might leave, because the turnover rate in Baselang is reportedly high (widespread reports of teacher exploitation coupled with volatile conditions in some of the teacher countries).
Overall, Baselang is fine if money isn’t an issue and you have loads of free time, but if your time and/or money are important, I’d say check out italki or Lingoda.
For other alternatives, see this list of Spanish courses.
Have you taken Spanish lessons with Baselang before?
Share your experience below.
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I love Baselang. I have been studying Spanish for over ten years and have tried the other programs you mention in the article but none provide a one on one structured program whenever I want with brilliant native speakers. Sure not all suit me but there are so many to chose from and some have become friends I will visit when I go to South America. I travel a lot so the flexibility is brilliant! You can also cancel lessons without penalty. I am a teacher and can really see the advantage of providing a structured program with optional testing (I did them) at the end od each level in Real World. I started at level 4 and finished level 9 in about 14 months. Now I read books and news articles with my teachers and really feel I am finally making progress. One on one, regularly speaking Spanish is the best.
I have tried SO MANY online programa and apps without success!! Please know, speaking with a live person is best. I average 10-20 hours a week, 40-80 hours a month so the classes for me are totally worth the price. And yes maybe the teachers don’t get paid well but when they are living in Venezuela there aren’t many jobs and this is a great way to earn some money.
Baselang is Meh. The Real world program has a lot to be desired. Study materials are simply PowerPoints over subjects and there’s not really in-depth descriptions over what they’re wanting when things start to get complicated. The teachers seem to want you to guide them for whichever lesson you’re on and then you go over those PowerPoints. This is a huge contrast from most teachers on italki. I had no issues finding teachers, but have had some issues with connectivity with some of the teachers, after using them for 3 months I will likely be switching to Spanish VIP or something similar was still using italki, applications, books, music, and my own studying. Just want a well-structured curriculum online that also offers one-on-one instruction that won’t cost me a kidney.
Baselang has gone to the crapper this year. I used to be able to schedule lessons same day, even same hour if I wanted. But now they are four and five days out which means that I cannot get the days and hours that I need. This means that I have to quit the Baselang online program. This means that I could not lose or forget everything that I learned from the previous four months that I was actively using the Baseland online program. This means that I have wasted that time and the $600 that I spent for the program.
Essentially Baselang seems to be poorly managed and I feel cheated. I am going to lose that money that I had spent because I won’t be able to continue the program since Baselang cannot schedule classes anymore.
I have used their Grammarless program as well as their Real World and DELE programs. I have to agree that Grammarless is WAY overpriced. This method to”fast” Spanish cuts too many corners. For example, they teach only the first and second person singular conjugations of the verbs they introduce in Grammarless. They do allow their Grammarless clients to take their Real World classes, which I did and I enjoyed so I tried a couple months of that and then later transferred into their DELE program. The Baselang DELE program is structured to prepare a student for the DELE exam, so they have more structured classes that teach the four skills needed for the test--reading, speaking, writing, and listening. IMO the listening classes are so difficult to start with that I wonder how good they are at actually teaching one to listen. That is to say, this is not comprehensible input. But in general , I find the rest of the curriculum very helpful. I also like that it is a standard curriculum and that any teacher I have there can pick up where the last teacher left off and there is a seamless continuity. Another thing I like about the DELE program in particular is that their better teachers are in it.
As far as it being overpriced (again)... well Grammarless is definitely a ripoff. Even within Baselang you could get 4 times the instruction (or more) for the same price in Real World. But beyond Grammarless? I have found DELE worthwhile because I can put in 40-50 hours per month. But for someone using it even a little less, it is true that iTalki may be a better deal. I have only been in the Baselang DELE for 6 months and have not worried a lot about teacher turnover. Of my 4 favorite teachers that I use a lot, they have all been teaching there 2-3 years so far. One of them got promoted to a coordinator position, so that was a bummer, but none of them have quit . If they do, DELE has some other good teachers that I have tried out before. I am not worried about teacher quality in DELE.
I’ve only used italki but I’m very interested in the grammarless program.
Not to be a pain but if you were to pay for the same hours via italki it would be around $900 or more.
The program is 4 hours/day, 5 days/ week for a month. At $12 an hour that is $960 total. Just saying.
Before starting with Baselang, I had studied Spanish in my home town in Ontario, Canada. I would pay $40 C for a one hour private class. That would be the going rate. (Group classes might be cheaper.)
While I made progress I was really hesitant and unable to communicate easily in Spanish-speaking countries. For approximately the same amount of money per month, for the last six months I have taken a daily one hour class with Baselang and now can converse for an hour with different teachers.
I feel more confident in my ability to communicate. My Spanish is not perfect but it is very much better and I plan to continue studying. Al l my teachers have been very good and I recommend this program to anyone who is interested in speaking Spanish. I am a retired person and find this program to be very good value for the money.