Staying Connected While Learning a Language Online

Since our founding in 2011, Fluent City has prided itself on being a language school that brings experiences into the classroom. Our students are curious travelers looking to learn and explore and passionate workers who want to connect with their clients and communities. They’re friends and family members finding some common ground by sharing language with the people they care about. Language is for communicating, and language learning certainly doesn’t end after you memorize a verb conjugation or complete a five-minute lesson in an app.

Fluent City students learn languages so that they can connect with people in the real world. So what happens when the real world gets put on pause?

Bringing the classroom experience online

When the spread of COVID-19 made it clear that we would have to make a transition to online classes indefinitely, we knew that we wouldn’t be taking the same approach as many universities, exercise studios, or workshops.

Language learning is inherently social. That’s why apps and grammar books can only get you so far. It’s also why we knew turning our interactive classes into lectures wasn’t going to cut it. To successfully learn a language you need interaction. You need community and culture. You need people.

Fluent City is no stranger to online instruction. Since we first launched our live online classes in 2017, we’ve learned to adapt our courses to deliver the same great experience that our students know and love from our in-person classes, delivered right through their computer.

The key to our live online instruction is a strong emphasis on interaction. When you join one of our group classes, you join the Fluent City community. This is very different from watching a lecture at 2x the normal speed while you scroll through Instagram on your phone.

Our classes are designed to get people talking. Students connect through Zoom, using their cameras and microphones so that they can see and hear their teacher and classmates, just like they would in a traditional classroom. When you join us for class, you’re there to be present (even from a distance) - to laugh, to make mistakes, to hear corrections, to connect, to be supported, and (of course) to learn.

Fluent City teachers at a team happy hour

Learning by socializing

Fluent City teachers are trained in using Zoom so that the class facilitation goes smoothly and the class activities can be completed just like they would in a physical classroom. By using breakout rooms for partner exercises or incorporating interactive online games, we aim to maximize speaking practice to help students get the most out of their class time. Connecting with a teacher and other learners allows students to work on the communicative aspect of language learning in a judgment-free environment. Zero intimidation, lots of fun!

Our classes are small and our support network is ever-growing. Signing up for a group course connects you with a group of like-minded learners so that you can check in on progress to help keep you moving towards your goals. Learning a language can be tough! It always helps to have some friends to support you along the way.

For students who want to take one-on-one classes, we recently launched our new monthly subscriptions. Choose how many lessons to take each month, pick your instructor, and then easily schedule your lessons in our new student platform.

Subscriptions are a more flexible and affordable option for those who want dedicated time with a teacher. With a monthly schedule, you’ll be held accountable and make faster progress toward your goals, and since they’re private lessons, you can fully customize what you learn.

Spin the roulette wheel on one of our new activities

Building new & engaging resources

On our end, we’re constantly developing new ways to keep our students connected and motivated, too (like our newly-launched Slack messaging channels for Spanish students).

We’ve also been working to bring the outside world to you (at a safe social distance, of course) by providing even more opportunities to practice your skills using interactive media. By pairing teacher-recommended videos with level-appropriate grammar and vocabulary exercises, we’ve developed new resources so that you can learn to talk about the things that are most interesting to you.

For the explorers who are aching for their next travel experience, we’ve got you covered - you can use our new exercises to brush up your French while exploring the Louvre or learn some vocabulary for a future trip to the market in Mexico. We release new activities each week, so keep an eye out for more!

When the world is ready to reopen, we know that our students will be eager to get out there and use the language skills that they’ve gained during this time. And until then, we’re here and ready to support you.

We hope to see you in class!