SpanishVIP is an online tutoring service that connects language learners with highly qualified Spanish teachers. This program focuses almost exclusively on teaching Latin American Spanish through one-on-one and group lessons.
Like other online tutoring programs, SpanishVIP offers flexible scheduling and a variety of lesson options. The main highlight of SpanishVIP is that they are slightly smaller and a bit more personalized than other online tutoring programs.
We all know that tutoring is the best way to reach true fluency, but anyone who has tried online tutoring will also know that not all tutoring programs are created equal. With that in mind, I decided it was time to give SpanishVIP a try to see how it measures up to my other favorite tutoring programs.
I’ll give you a hint, it measured very high! Here is a quick look at what I liked the best as well as the drawbacks that I ran across.
SpanishVIP offers private lessons and group lessons with several subscription options.
$129 Per Month
$399 for 3 Months
$699 for 6 months
$79 Per Month
$199 for 3 Months
$299 for 6 months
Each plan comes with different features which I will discuss in detail later on in this article.
Initial Thoughts Of SpnaishVIP
My first thought upon visiting SpanishVIP’s website was that I loved the layout and how simple it was. Sometimes these websites can be too busy, causing new language learners to become overwhelmed. You can easily see that this site is designed to put you at ease, no matter what your fluency level is.Enter your text here...
I appreciate how clear and concise they are about their entire program. They provide you with all the information you need from the very beginning instead of making you sign up first. You can find prices, lesson examples, testimonials, and more without having to dig through a lot of unnecessary material. Finding a program that is straightforward and open is always a pleasure.
Another thing that I found encouraging was how well organized their site is. That may sound a little odd, but I often find that a well-organized website is a sign of a well-organized program. The design of this site shows me that SpanishVIP is about quality over quantity, which I found to be true throughout the rest of my experience with them.
Getting Started With SpanishVIP
Signing up is super easy. One of the first things you see when you visit their site is a button that says, “Try a free class”. Just click that and you’ll be on your way.
All you will need to sign up is your email address and a little bit of basic information such as your name and what level of Spanish you currently speak. Don’t be intimidated, this program is meant for learners of all levels. If you’re a newbie, say so and they will match you with an appropriate instructor. They also have instructors that focus on helping more experienced speakers refine their skills. This program truly focuses on getting their students what they need, so be as honest as you can be about your fluency level and they will find the right instructor for you.
The first step after providing your email is to choose a time for your first lesson. They do have a limited number of teachers, 35+ according to their site, but they still have a fair bit of flexibility in their scheduling. They offer classes from 6 AM to 8 PM CST, Monday through Saturday, so there is usually something available.
Once you’ve chosen your lesson time and filled out your information, it is time to get ready for your first lesson. All you’ll need to get ready is yourself and your willingness to learn! And, if you’re like me, you’ll want some paper and a pen for notes as well.
All the lessons take place via Skype or Zoom, so if you’re one of the lucky people who has not become very familiar with these platforms over the last couple of years, now is the time to start an account.
Your First Lesson
The first lesson is another feature that I really like about this program. Instead of giving you an impersonal tutorial about how to use their program, your first lesson is your tutorial.
You should receive an email from your tutor before your lesson, just so they can get a better idea of what you would like to discuss. My tutor and I emailed back and forth a couple of times which helped to set the foundation for our first meeting.
As I mentioned, these lessons are very customizable. A big part of the first lesson will involve setting goals so that you and your teacher can decide on a lesson plan.
This can be a huge plus or a letdown, depending on the type of student you are. Some people are more comfortable with a set lesson plan that they can follow while others prefer things a little more freeform. Personally, I am okay with either, so I was happy to discuss all my options with my tutor so we could choose a plan that was good for both of us.
SpanishVIP has lesson materials that teachers can use or they can design their own materials, so there is a lot of customization here. I mostly just wanted to practice my conversational skills, so that is what we chose to focus on, but she was more than happy to help me with any specific grammar or vocabulary issues I was having.
If you prefer a more set lesson plan, your tutor can help you with that too. The great thing about this program is that they are truly invested in getting their students the help they need. They even offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your lessons. I’m not sure how that could happen with such helpful teachers, but it is nice to know that if it isn't the program for you, you don't have to worry about having wasted money.
During those initial emails before the first lesson, your tutor will send you some lesson materials. This depends on the teacher of course, but typically you will receive a lesson outline and possibly some tips and further information concerning additional things you should study.
If you want to get some serious learning done, you can also request that your teacher give you homework. I use a number of other learning sources, so I did not ask for homework. That being said, I feel confident that, based on everything I have seen from this program, whatever homework they provide would be high quality and helpful.
I only worked with one teacher, but from what I can find in reviews and comments all of their teachers are steller. Having a smaller staff probably helps them maintain such a high-quality group of tutors.
All of their instructors either have a degree in language teaching or are in the process of earning a degree. Most of them are from Venezuela or Columbia, which would explain the CST time zone for lesson scheduling. This also explains why they focus mainly on Latin American Spanish. If you're taking a trip to Spain and want to brush up on your Castilian Spanish, you may want to try italki.
Nearly every review I have seen for this program includes words like "charismatic", "fun", and "engaging" when it came to describing the teachers. If I were writing a review strictly for my instructor, I would probably include these descriptors as well. I truly enjoyed my time talking to her and I felt I learned a lot even though we were basically just chatting.
If you're interested in becoming a teacher for SpanishVIP, they have all the information you need here on their website.
As you probably noticed in the pricing section, there are a few different plan options to choose from. I did not try the group lessons, but here is a quick overview of what you would have access to with each plan.
SpanishVIP Private Plans
Starter: This plan includes one free lesson and five lessons per week after that.
Conversational: This plan includes all of the Starter Plan features plus premium weekend and class scheduling, custom curriculum materials, and 1 complimentary group class per week.
Fluent: This plan includes all of the Starter and Conversational Plan features plus priority assignments to the most in-demand teachers, progress tracking, and formative assessments.
SpanishVIP Group Plans
Starter: This plan includes a 7-day free trial, unlimited classes, and a free one-on-one student success call.
Conversational: This plan includes all of the Starter Plan features, but you save almost $40 by buying 3 months at a time.
Fluent: This plan is exactly like the Starter and Conversational Plan, but you save $175 over going with the monthly option.
All of the plans come with their 100% money-back guarantee and you can cancel at any time.
So Is It Worth It?
Talking about the prices in terms of "months at a time" can make the fees seem a little steep, but in reality, these are some of the better prices I have seen for language tutoring. If you chose the Private Fluent Plan and took every available class, that would equal out to about $4.85 per class. A private tutor for only $4.85 a class? That is unheard of. Even if you choose the monthly plan it would only be about $6.45 a class.
If you don’t mind having classmates, the prices are even better and you can take as many classes as you want. In terms of getting the most quality for your money, I would say SpanishVIP ranks up there with some of the best.
Drawbacks To SpanishVIP
Now that we’ve talked about how fun the teachers are and how good the pricing is, let’s talk about the drawbacks.
Thankfully, there is only one real drawback to this program and I can hardly call it a drawback. It’s the scheduling. This is going to be an issue with all tutoring programs, whether online or in person. Everyone has limited time and no one wants to take or give classes in the middle of the night, so there will always be gaps in the available time slots.
The hardest classes to get into are the weekend classes, so if your only free time is on the weekend, you may want to consider the Private Fluent Plan because it offers premium scheduling.
For those of us who live in the Americas, scheduling shouldn’t be too much of an issue. They have classes from early in the morning on into the evening, so unless you’re seriously overbooking yourself, there should be a time slot for you. If you are a very busy person, plan on scheduling your classes well ahead of time so you don’t have to worry.
If you live in Asia, scheduling will be more of a challenge, but you could still squeeze in some very early classes if you’re interested.
If SpanishVIP doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then perhaps one of these other tutoring sites would fit your style a little better.
Lingoda is quite similar to SpanishVIP in that they offer both private and group classes with native Spanish-speaking instructors. The main difference is that Lingoda offers a more standardized lesson plan that you can access through their site. This program is a bit bigger, making scheduling less of an issue, but it is also more expensive and less customizable.
italki is one of my favorite language learning sites because it is so versatile. They offer lessons in tons of different languages at very affordable prices. Scheduling classes is easy, especially if you’re looking for Spanish lessons because there are classes going on all the time. italki does not offer any kind of standardized lesson plan, so it is very freeform and fun for anyone who just wants to get in a little speaking practice.
Baselang is basically the premium online Spanish course. It offers a comprehensive lesson plan with learning materials and live classes. This is a great option for anyone who is looking to reach fluency in a structured way. It is a little bit pricey for some but, just like with SpanishVIP, if you consider everything you get for that price, it is well worth it.
Busuu is a good option for those who like the app format for language learning but still want to get some one-on-one tutoring. This app offers short, fun lessons that you can do on the go plus you can also submit small assignments for peer review. One of the fun things about this program is that you can help other language learners by reviewing their submissions and giving them feedback. The live lessons are slightly more expensive than some services, but they are one-on-one and you can pay as you go so you never pay for lessons that you don’t take.
SpanishVIP Review: Final Thoughts
As language learners, we all know the value of good tutoring. No matter how many hours you spend studying, there is nothing quite as instructive as speaking to native speakers who can give you immediate feedback. This program gives you the opportunity to enjoy that learning experience in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. While some tutoring programs try to make language learning into a challenging competition, SpanishVIP is all about helping students become truly comfortable speaking Spanish.
I would recommend this program to Spanish learners of all levels. The teachers are fun and helpful and the format is easy and enjoyable. The lack of a structured lesson plan may be a drawback to some, but I would say that there is something here for everyone. Best of all, your first class is free, so why not give it a try? This may be just what you need to finally reach your dream of being bilingual. Whether you choose this program or one of the alternatives, just have fun with it. Language learning can be difficult, but it is well worth the challenge.