What is Fluent?
FluentU is a popular language-learning platform and blog where students watch videos and take tests to learn a new language. As a student, you watch the videos and read the subtitles and you can check the vocabulary you don’t know. The videos usually come from YouTube.
You can also use its app on IOS or Android and watch the videos on the go. His blog has over 5 million monthly visitors and has language learning tips in almost every language. There are currently 9 languages that you can study but in this article, I will focus on learning English.
How do you sign up for FluentU?
To sign up, click the button above and you can try a free 14-day trial. After that, you will need to provide your email address and credit card details. You’ll also be asked about your level of English and then you’ll need to choose a few videos from your list to get you started.
In my case, I chose English for beginners and they offered me videos for children. They didn’t ask my age, so it was a bit surprising since it’s not really suitable content for me.
How much does FluentU cost?
FluentU costs $20 per month if you sign up for a year ($240) and $30 if you choose to pay monthly.
Be careful if you sign up for a 14-day free trial, in case you don’t like it remember to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to pay.
How to cancel your subscription on FluentU
If you do not wish to continue and pay for FluentU after the 14-day free trial, then you must follow the steps below:
- Go to your account settings
- Click Subscription
- Click “Download to Free”
- Follow the next page to the end and click “click here to continue to the download page”
- Click “Downgrade” at the bottom right of the page
I’m going to start with FluentU’s problems because there are so many and I want you to know why I don’t recommend it as a paid platform to learn English.
1. There is no clear guidance on what to do
One of the main benefits of an online course is that you can learn English in a structured way so that you can progress progressively. The lessons on FluentU are just random videos. There is very little guidance on where to start or what to do.
2. Passive learning
Watching videos is a form of passive learning. Many people say that you can learn a language just by watching videos and listening. I think it‘s one of the slowest and least effective ways to learn a language. You don’t remember new words, you don’t make new connections, and most importantly, you don’t practice your speaking skills.
3. You don’t practice speaking
Speaking practice is the most important part of learning English and that’s why I promote platforms like Cambly. You can’t speak English if you only watch YouTube videos, just like you can’t play the guitar by watching YouTube videos without practicing.
4. The robot voice in the course
When you listen to the audio of the course there is a robot voice. This will not prepare you to speak to native speakers. Native speakers have different rhythms and intonations, therefore it is very important to listen to a real person.
5 . Some images don’t make sense
Some lessons include images that don’t make any sense to me. If you have a teacher, you can ask him to give you many examples until you understand them. This is not the case for FluentU.
The positive points of FluentU
1. Lots of videos
There are plenty of videos to watch if you like to see if that’s what you want. At the time of writing, there are over 3,000 videos, which is a lot to watch, but of course, all the videos come from Youtube, so you could still watch them there for free.
2. Material real
The videos are of real people speaking, which is good for learning how real people speak English. This is much better than the English you see on Duolingo for example, where phrases sometimes make grammatical sense but are totally irrelevant to real life.
3. All languages with one subscription
By purchasing a subscription to FluentU, you will have access to videos in all currently available languages. There are currently 9 languages available.
- Mandarin Chinese
Fluentu Free Alternative
Language learning with Netflix
This is a free Google Chrome extension that you can use to learn in the same way as FluentU if you have Netflix. There is a version that works with Youtube too.
Watch the videos on Youtube with subtitles in your own language and in the language you are learning.
Other FluentU Characteristics Reviews
There are some other little features that are included in FluentU
There are only 4 audios at the moment for learning English, so it’s not really an added feature. If you want to improve your listening skills, try the best apps to learn chinese.
I personally hate memory cards. It is the most boring way to learn new vocabulary. Learning words without context is a terrible way to increase your vocabulary. What good is learning the meaning of a new word if you don’t know how to use it? Learning new vocabulary with a friend or teacher is much more fun and you are much more likely to remember the new vocabulary too. People learn through emotional connection.
Dots and Dashes
This is what is known as the gamification of language learning. The more points you get, the more English you will know. Actually, this is irrelevant. Many language learners use systems like FluentU and Duolingo and earn a lot of “points” but can’t have a short conversation with another person. Stripes mean that you learn a certain number of days continuously. A better goal would be to try to reach a new level of English.
Is FluentU worth it? It’s good?
No, FluentU is not worth paying for. I use a similar method as a way of studying, but it’s free. You can find the video I made explaining this method and I think it is better and more interesting.
Speaking practice and grammar are the most important parts of learning English and FluentU does not do a good job of helping the student improve their skills/knowledge.
Speaking and listening in real-time (I mean having a real conversation) is the most important part of learning English. This is followed by understanding grammar. If you speak English regularly and study grammar, you will learn vocabulary in a more natural way.
This method of study (watching videos) is the least effective way to learn English, so only do it when you already have some other platform where you can speak English and study grammar.
FluentU is not a well-paid platform for learning English. Try Cambly to practice your speaking skills or Espresso English for online courses.