(Here’s an article from our archive, which we use each time we do a Free Trial Lesson Offer. Things will be back to normal next week, when the promotion is over.)
Time’s running out to book your free online Italian lesson via Skype or Zoom! This week’s offer ends on Sunday night, so jump to it!
113 people have already signed up for a free lesson, mostly for Italian, but also Spanish, French and German, though if past performance is a guide, not all of them will get around to actually doing it.
We usually calculate that if we get 150 people to ‘buy’ the free lesson, people being people, only about two-thirds of them will actually end up taking it.
Assuming you have a reasonable Internet connection, and some time, why shouldn’t you be one of those?
To reply to a club member who wanted to take a free lesson but emailed the teacher with concerns:
I also have been thinking, following our discussion…. If you are being paid by the supplier for the lesson tomorrow then we should proceed. If you are doing the lesson for no charge, on the basis that if it is successful, then I would book further lessons, then I think it is fair that we cancel the lesson. Having looked at the cost (£20 / 30 minutes) I think I prefer to attend classes with multiple students which are a) more cost effective and b) more lively
1.) The teacher IS paid for trial lessons and the student is under no obligation to buy more. Right now we’re giving away free trials to people in Asia, South America, India and countries of the former Soviet Union, few of whom will become paying customers, as well as more frequently to students in Europe, North America, South Africa and Australasia (apologies if I’ve missed anyone!) It’s an opportunity for Lucia, our teaching manager, to ‘break in’ new teachers, plus a chance for us to give something back rather than just ‘wasting’ our marketing budget on Google advertising, as other online lesson providers do. I’m fine with that (and Google is rich enough in my opinion…)
2.) The cost of online lessons is only £20 if a student buys just one, which would be fairly pointless unless there was some urgent short-term need. They’re £180 if you buy 10, so £18.00 each, though that’s usually discounted even further – most regular students take advantage of the seasonal ‘save 20%’ offers and so pay £14.40 for their half-hour lessons, which works out at £28.80 an hour.
By comparison, a one-hour individual Italian lesson at a language school in the Italian city where I live costs around €40 (say £35). But a question: how much would you pay a trusted plumber, hair-stylist or car mechanic for their time? Just as much, I bet. More, probably.
3.) And yes, of course group classes are more cost-effective. But in a group you don’t get the teacher’s undivided attention and personalised feedback, or the chance to decide exactly how to spend the time, whether on just conversation (which is what I do in MY online language lessons), or to focus on something specific that you have issues with – a grammar point, preparation for an up-coming exam, or whatever.
Clearly, one-to-one online lessons are not suitable for anyone who has an extremely limited budget. But for those people, we provide masses of free material, so our conscience is clear! And for those, like me, who may not have the option to join an enjoyable, cheaper local class online lessons can be an effective alternative – there are no Swedish or Turkish classes in the city where I live, and I have family responsibilities in the evenings, so joining a Spanish or French evening class would be hard to arrange.
About cost – after work last night my wife and I stopped off for a quick drink on the way home, spending €9.50 for a pint (of beer) for me, a half for her, and a bag of cheese and onion crisps. We were at the bus stop shortly afterwards, dinner having been delayed just fifteen minutes or so. This afternoon, by comparison, I’ll be spending what I hope will be an enjoyable and useful thirty minutes on Skype with a Spanish teacher based in Mexico, for not very much more money.
And while, ideally, beer and crisps would be cheaper, I certainly don’t think the lesson need be. Plenty of us think that this type of language-learning opportunity is well-worth the cost, and an essential supplement to self-study with materials from the club website, or from another source.
Priorities, people, they’re yours to determine. Hence the trial lesson offer – try one free of charge, to see if it’s the sort of thing that you would find useful. What’s to lose? The teacher gets above the UK minimum wage for their time (Italy doesn’t have a minimum wage, so freelance rates can be low…) and, in any case, may not have other ways to pay their rent.
A student of ours wrote this:
Can I just say this in case it helps: I never looked back! Just over 2 years ago I had my first online Italian lesson. On the day, I wondered why on earth I’d decided to put myself through this. I was so hesitant, you would have thought it was my first day with the language! 2 years later, I’ve had to say goodbye to my teacher as she’s moving on – and how I will miss those weekly chats! Anyhow, I’m taking the opportunity to try out my Spanish, and I feel just as stupid when I open my mouth with my Spanish teacher as I did with Italian. The difference is, I KNOW it will make a difference. Thanks, Daniel, Lucia and co, for providing me with this service. I recommend it to everyone. Give it a go.
Here are the offer conditions again:
- This offer is good until Sunday, 13/11/22
- We’ve got the capacity for around a hundred and fifty club members to do a trial lesson
- This offer is for NEW STUDENTS ONLY
- If you booked a free trial last time but didn’t take it – do try again!
- But if you’ve already done a free trial (we have a list), this is not for you
- Once you’ve done your lesson, our teaching management assistant will send you a 15% discount coupon, to use should you wish to continue…
Compare online lesson prices:
Book your free trial Italian/Spanish/French/German lesson before the offer ends on Sunday:
P.S. La Bohème, just £5.99 (but only until Sunday night…)
The launch offer, a 25% discount, ends on Sunday night. To save the princely sum of £2, get your copy today! Here’s the cover blurb:
Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera, first performed in Turin in 1896, is here simplifed for learners of Italian (with quotes from the actual libretto!)
Christmas Eve 1830, Paris: a group of young friends – a writer, a painter, a musician and a philosopher – are hungry and cold in their shared garret. Marcello, the artist, decides to burn his landscape to warm the room, but the oil paint would smell, so Rodolfo offers his play, instead. As the chapters burn, Schaunard, the musician, arrives home. He has news!
Begin with this ‘easy reader’ ebook before watching the actual opera, or simply use this original Italian reading/listening practice material to add a little variety to your study program.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 6 chapters (based on Puccini’s Act/Scene structure) to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at pre-intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
This being the first week, La Bohème is 25% discounted, so just £5.99 rather than the usual ‘easy reader’ ebook price of £7.99.
Do check out the FREE sample chapter (.pdf) before you buy a copy, though. That way, you’ll know whether the level is suitable and that the format works on the device you intend to use it on.
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally, immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook (.mobi/Kindle-compatible, .epub) cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them.
And here’s the usual Friday reminder to read/listen to Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news.