If you have ever spent a little time learning online, you may have noticed that there are lots of great video courses to help you learn languages. Udemy is one of the leading platforms that offers language courses on video. There are courses for learning any language from German to Hebrew, courses about memorizing words (I reviewed Anthony Metivier's course before) and also general courses aimed at helping you develop great learning routines.
Just in case you are unaware, I am both a teacher and learner on this platform. I like hanging out on Udemy, because their learning interface is impressive and it allows the instructors to provide special offers, add lectures at any time and reply to questions from participants in lots of detail.
Guerrilla Language Learning
In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing “Guerrilla Language Learning” by Wiktor Kostrziewski, who writes and coaches at 16 Kinds. He’s also an experienced language teacher. I am in contact with many fellow language bloggers, but haven’t had the chance to get to know Wiktor yet, so I’ve been looking forward to trying this course out. It promises that we are going to “learn languages, skip hassle and have fun”.
I have also bagged a fabulous discount for you, making this course available for only $19 if you use the code FLUENTSPRING by May 2015.
Guerilla Language Learning is divided into three sections called “On how things are”, “On how things can be” and “On how things should be”. I am loving this encouraging structure.
Section 1 contains a friendly introduction and a wonderfully strong case for becoming multilingual. Wiktor goes into detail about the promises, hopes and truths of language learning. There is a slightly outlandish lecture comparing languages to food (I’d say skip that one), and a great video examining how language schools actually do their business. Lecture 4 is particularly great, and I feel that the whole section comes down to the essentials right there.
In Section 2, Wiktor focuses on practical approaches to getting things done. He goes into deep detail for learners wanting to develop a routine that works for them. How does learning work for you? How can you make your own textbook? What are tests and certificates good for? In Section 2, those questions are addressed in depth.
And finally, Section 3 was the most interesting one to me! This is the part where you will really make significant changes to how you learn. From improving how you interact with teachers, to optimising how you use internet resources, Wiktor covers an excellent array of how language learners can improve. Out of all the three sections, I would recommend this one the most.
Value for Money
The course is listed in the Udemy Marketplace for $19 (This is especially for users of the code FLUENTSPRING which Wiktor provided me with after I wrote this review), which strikes me as a worthwhile investment. It contains the video lectures, worksheets, live sessions and 2 free books as well. You’ll easily save this much money, many times over, if you have the determination and drive to work through Wiktor’s ideas rather than spending money on language schools. It also requires a significant investment of time. This is no quick fix. Allow at least 2 weeks to work through everything.
I am not the most patient person and found the 20-minute videos quite overwhelming. I often found my attention getting diverted. The course contains a full five hours of content, but it had me wanting to skip ahead to the next point throughout.
One solution for making yourself work at the right pace could be to download the videos and watch them on long train journeys or listen to the audio in the car. The slides are not required for learning success.
The videos follow the classic concept of presenting slideshows with a voiceover. Both voice and slide quality are high throughout. As always in a lecture like this, I found myself wishing Wiktor had addressed the camera himself on occasion. I want to get to know him better! Video is such a versatile medium and I feel like slideshows with voiceover fail to take advantage of it.
The most important quality aspect that I perceived was the material. Every lecture comes with its own PDF worksheet. And those worksheets are GOOD! They contain thoughtful prompts, further reading recommendations and exercises.
I really like Wiktor’s voice and the way he responds to any and every learner question. With over 2000 participants, it’s also clear that he is well-liked. The best thing about him is the sheer focus and depth that he brings to each lecture. He has researched his topic and cannot provide enough information. Sadly, this is also the worst part if you are expecting a quick course. Wiktor’s approach and style work only when you have a good 30 hours to focus. It requires commitment.
One of my main criticisms is that a few of the lectures in this course feel like musings or blog posts that were converted into a video. It doesn’t make the course a bad investment of time or money. In fact, I found myself agreeing with Wiktor’s sensible perspectives throughout. His recommendations are powerful and they really do work.
But as a result I felt that the course was not well-paced. The lectures needed to be more concise and entertaining, with some of them being cut completely.
The PDF downloads were excellent and delivered Wiktor’s information and exercises in a format I enjoyed.
Final verdict: 4/5, but not suitable if you want something fast
Try the Course Today
Use this link to sign up: http://tiny.cc/guerrillalanguage. And please don't forget that the code FLUENTSPRING will get you an awesome deal and this course for just $19. So worth it, that's a bargain.
Have you joined Guerrilla Language Learning? Are you a Udemy student? I’d love to hear what you thought about my course in the comments or over in the course on Udemy.