I’ve been thinking about brushing up on my Russian lately, and so decided to take a look at some of the interactive language learning sites that are now available on the Web. First stop, Myngle, a site that helps language learners connect with teachers of more than 40 different languages.
Myngle provides a virtual classroom environment where learners can hear and speak to teachers as well as view text and other visual teaching tools. In other words, the platform makes it possible to simulate a typical learner-tutor situation quite well. The brief video below (click through if you don’t see it) – albeit a bit hokey in my opinion – gives you an idea of how it works.
As important as the teaching environment itself are the tools that Myngle provides for locating and vetting a teacher. Being able to sort on a variety of criteria is one of the strengths of these sorts of Web-based learning platforms. On Myngle, you can sort by criteria like skill level, the teacher’s price, whether the teacher is a native speaker, and even by topical areas like “Business” or “Test preparation.”
Once you identify a potential teacher, Myngle provides for the opportunity to schedule a free meeting with the teacher (Note: Not all teachers offer this) to help you confirm that you have made the right choice. Additionally, learners can share feedback about teachers and Myngle itself provides both a scoring and a certification systems for teachers. (More about both of these is available in the FAQs on the Myngle site.)
So what’s it cost? Teachers set their own prices, 10 to 20 Euros (approximately US $13.50 to $27.00) for a half hour lesson seems to be about average. You can also sign up for less expensive group lessons in many instances, and Myngle has also introduced a Myngle Pro package which locks in a similar rate along with extra benefits like personalized course materials and priority customer support.
Finally, the site provides a library with a range of materials to support your language learning, and a forum area where registered learners can connect with each other.
Myngle to Make the World Better
One of the things that attracted me to Myngle in the first place was the company’s social vision. So, I’ll wrap up by quoting directlyu from the Mygle Web site:
…. besides the fact that we believe Myngle is an excellent business model, we are convinced we have an excellent opportunity to make the world a better place.
First, since culture and language are so intricately connected, when students learn a new language, they also learn precious elements of its culture. We feel very strongly that this process will improve understanding among people . at different levels.
Second, our business model is to a large extent based on giving people in the developing world the opportunity and the tools they need for teaching their native languages to students all over the world. This outsourcing does not have an impact on jobs in the rich world since the supply is not there to begin with, but can have a positive impact on the global income inequality.
Whether you are out to learn a new language from the ground up, move to the next level on a language you already know, or reclaim that lost semester of French from 20 years ago, Myngle provides a platform for connecting with qualified teacher at a price that fits your budget.
So, go Myngle and learn or improve your language skills.
Mission to Learn
P.S. – If you are a Myngle teacher or learner, please comment. It would be great to hear about your experience.
posted on May 19, 2009
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