Why I Failed the Lingoda Super Sprint (+5 Mistakes to Avoid)

Girl standing on roof of Montparnasse Tower in Paris - Lingoda Super Sprint

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If you are as passionate about learning languages as I am, you’re probably always on the hunt for new tools and courses that will get you to your goals. That’s why I stumbled upon the Lingoda platform, which periodically offers a Sprint and Super Sprint challenge to turbocharge your efforts.

The latter, which I opted for recently, offers 60 days of classes for free if you achieve perfect attendance. Of course, I vetted it first, reading reviews and finding plenty of success stories. It was winter and there wasn’t much to do, so I knew I’d have the time available to commit to learning.

What I discovered was that beating the Lingoda Super Sprint was achievable in theory, but difficult in practice. That said, it’s definitely not impossible, but success takes careful thought and planning. If you are considering this challenge, below I am sharing my experience and essential tips for getting your refund!

Why I Failed the Lingoda Super Sprint Challenge (& How You Can Succeed!)

What is Lingoda?

First of all, maybe you are unfamiliar with Lingoda. Basically, it is an online platform that offers both private and group language courses in French, Spanish, English, and German.

You can simply purchase a monthly class subscription or sign up for periodic challenges that offer refunds as rewards. The group classes are cheaper and there is never more than five students in each session.

Related: How to Learn French Online on Your Own

What is the Super Sprint Challenge?

Lingoda offers two types of challenges: the Sprint and Super Sprint. These challenges are offered periodically throughout the year, promising to reimburse a portion of your fee if you achieve perfect attendance.

The Sprint requires 30 classes over 60 days, while the Super Sprint requires 60 classes over 60 days. After you meet the attendance requirements, the program will verify your attendance record and then process the refund. The Sprint reimburses half of the fee, while the Super Sprint reimburses 100% (thus you get 60 classes for free!). Here are the prices of each program:

  • Sprint: $440 USD
  • Super Sprint: $880 USD

No matter which challenge you pick, attending language classes pushes you to consistently speak and listen to the language. This is guaranteed to give your skills a quick boost!

Why I Joined the Lingoda Super Sprint?

A display of cream puffs within the black store front of Odette in Paris- Lingoda Super Sprint

I decided to try the Lingoda Super Sprint because I’d been studying French on my own for about five years and felt like I wasn’t progressing fast enough. This was especially true for speaking and listening, as I do not live in a French speaking country or with a French native speaker.

I’d seen several French tutors on Youtube refer to the Lingoda platform, and I’d always been intrigued by the challenges meant to fast track your skills. This past February, I had a trip to France planned and the timing felt right, so I took the plunge.

What Is the Super Sprint Challenge Like?

The Lingoda Super Spring Challenge starts with a basic placement test to make sure you are taking classes at the appropriate level. I placed into B1.2 and worked through the respective module of eight units, with seven or eight one-hour lessons in each.

The lessons cover skills like grammar, reading, speaking, and listening in topics like film, hobbies, and working abroad. You will need to schedule classes covering these lessons in advance, but beware that you cannot cancel them less than seven days out. After a few weeks, you’ll start to find some teachers you like and you can try to book with them whenever possible.

I made sure to schedule classes in each unit early to get my favorite times and instructors. However, as you will see, even the best laid plans don’t always go as you’d hope.

As mentioned, beating the Lingoda Super Sprint requires perfect attendance. Even if you have a technology issue that you cannot control, that counts as a missed class and you will fail the challenge. The ONLY exception is if the mistake is on Lingoda’s end (ie. the teacher doesn’t show up or has a bad connection).

5 Key Mistakes to Avoid

Girl standing outside black iron gate of Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for: the gold nuggets of wisdom I gained from my own failure at the Super Sprint challenge. Let’s also remember the fact that failure is a relative term; I didn’t beat the challenge, but I absolutely improved my French conversation skills!

1. Not Scheduling Classes Ahead of Time

Good planning is essential in order to succeed at the Lingoda Super Sprint. I’d usually start checking two weeks out for classes I liked. Sometimes a teacher isn’t assigned until you book. If you are unhappy with the instructor selection, be sure to pick a different class right away before the good class options run out or the seven day cancellation window closes!

2. Not Keeping Time Zone Changes in Mind

Once you select your account’s time zone, Lingoda will not let you change it. Therefore, if you will be traveling during the challenge, be very careful with getting any time differences right! I traveled to the Netherlands during the Super Sprint, which is where I failed despite planning ahead for the time difference.

3. Not Preparing Before Class

To get your money’s worth, it’s crucial to reinforce what you learn by taking notes during every class. It helps to review them before your next class, as well as to read the upcoming lesson beforehand. This will make your class time go more smoothly, which will in turn improve your confidence and performance.

4. Not Having a Good Internet Connection

Like I said, if you miss class because of bad internet, you will fail the challenge. Also, even a less than par connection will make it harder to hear your professor or participate in class, which will take away from your learning experience.

5. Taking the Super Sprint Challenge During a Busy Time

Admittedly, I failed while exploring Amsterdam because I got distracted, not necessarily because of the time difference. Traveling during this challenge definitely can make succeeding harder! If you have upcoming travel or a busy schedule, consider doing the Sprint instead of the Super Sprint. Maybe it’s even better to wait for a calmer time.

• • •

Despite my best efforts, I was not able to achieve my lofty goal of beating the Lingoda Super Sprint challenge. However, there is not necessarily a perfect time to learn a language. The only thing I MIGHT have done differently is opt for the Sprint instead of the Super Sprint.

Sadly, I failed at getting a full refund of my course fees and had to shell out $880. However, I am being completely honest when I say I got the full value out of the fifty-five or so classes I took (once I missed one, I took a few more liberties here and there). I walked away from the Super Sprint challenge much better and more confident at speaking than ever before.

If you are wondering whether the Lingoda Sprint or Super Sprint will improve your language skills, they totally will! The only thing you have to lose by entering the challenge is potentially money that you can make back. To me, what you gain makes the time, effort, and risk totally worth it.

Will you be signing up for a Lingoda challenge?

How joining the Lingoda Super Sprint majorly leveled up my French language skills despite ultimately failing the challenge. This program helps you master French pronunciation, immerses you into the aesthetic charm of the language, and elevates your French speaking skills effortlessly. Read this blog post for essential tips so that you pass the Super Sprint in order to get 100% of your money back. Say bonjour to a new chapter in your French language adventure!

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