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Fluenz vs Rocket Languages
Determine which language learning program is best for you in this Rocket vs Fluenz comparison
Although the courses from Fluenz and Rocket Languages share several similarities, the two programs do differ in several ways. In this comparison, our expert language team highlights those differences by evaluating price, lesson format, their approach to language acquisition, and overall effectiveness. That way, you can easily make a decision as to which language learning app/course best fits your budget and learning style.
As this is a lengthy article, we’ve included jump-to links above for easy navigation.
Video Review: Rocket or Fluenz?
In the above video, John (from the TPI team) discusses the most prominent strengths and weaknesses of each language program, as well as how they directly stack up. For more detail, please keep reading.
What The Lessons Are Like From Both Companies
First up here, let’s quickly compare what the lessons from Fluenz and Rocket are like. In terms of overall length, the lessons from both companies take around 45 minutes to an hour to complete, which is a little longer than the industry standard.
For example, the lessons from Babbel, which is a popular language app, take around 10-15 minutes to complete. When it comes to lesson format though, the two companies start to diverge.
In Rocket’s case, their curriculum is broken down into lesson modules. To start each module, you begin with interactive audio lessons where a host speaking in English guides you through a mock conversation in your target language in intervals.
You’ll listen to fluent speakers converse, and every few sentences the host will stop to explain what you just heard, provide some context, and most importantly, ask you questions to keep you engaged. Essentially, you can think of these interactive audio lessons as moderated conversations.
Then to conclude the audio lesson, you review what you just learned in the moderated conversation through several brief, reinforcement exercises. These includes different variations of flashcards, speaking drills, writing drills, and quizzes. And following these quick-hit drills, you move onto Rocket’s language and culture lessons, which I discuss below.
Fluenz’s lessons, on the other hand, take a more traditional approach in which you watch an instructor on screen introduce a new topic or concept, and then complete a variety of drills and exercises to reinforce the material.
That’s the key difference here: Rocket’s lessons emphasize conversational, audio-based practice and include dedicated grammar instruction, whereas Fluenz’s lessons have a more classic, online classroom-type of feel to them.
Personally, I prefer the conversational aspect of Rocket’s lessons over Fluenz’s (I just found them more engaging and useful); however, I realize everyone is different in this respect.
Now that we’ve covered what the lessons from both companies are all about, let’s quickly compare pricing, starting with Rocket.
Rocket Languages offers two different options. You can choose between a 6-month plan or a lifetime subscription. The 6-month plan costs around $30 per month, while the lifetime subscriptions range anywhere from $150 to $450, depending on how many levels you want to purchase.
To be clear though, those prices are a little deceiving, as those are just the full MSRPs. Rocket Languages is almost always running some sort of deal or special promotion, and in most cases, you can expect to receive at least 40% off, if not more.
Then moving over to Fluenz, they do not offer any monthly subscription options. You either have to purchase access to each level for a specific language individually, or you can purchase an all-level package.
For example, for Fluenz Spanish, you can purchase Level 1 for around $190 or all five levels at once for around $400. Unfortunately though, unlike Rocket Languages, Fluenz doesn’t seem to offer many discounts. Their prices seem to be what they are.
Thus, in terms of MSRPs, the courses from both companies are actually priced very similarly. Obviously though, once you apply the discount code for Rocket, it ends up being the cheaper option by a pretty good margin.
Strengths Of The Rocket Languages Program
Now that you have a good idea of how the two companies compare in terms of lesson format and pricing, let’s cover the advantages of using Rocket to learn a new language.
Interactive Audio Lessons
The first advantage for Rocket Languages is that their lessons are much better for developing your speaking and conversational skills as you’re continuously prompted to use vocabulary and respond to fluent speakers within the framework of a simulated conversation.
You’re actively involved in monitoring the conversation, and the host keeps you attentive and engaged since you need to understand the situation and respond at the proper times.
In my personal opinion, this active participation is extremely effective at helping you to recall and use the target language under pressure just like you would in real life situations.
I suppose that’s key takeaway with Rocket: you’re getting simulated real world experience with them. And that, in my opinion, is about the best practice you can get when attempting to learn a new language.
Not to mention, because of this of conversation simulation, I actually think Rocket’s courses overall are better suited for people looking to achieve an intermediate to advanced level of fluency of a new language.
Complete Lessons On-The-Go
Another noteworthy pro of Rocket’s program is that because roughly half of the lessons are audio-based, I like that you can complete these lessons while you’re working out, watching your child’s soccer practice, watering your garden, or whatever else you want. You don’t need to be glued to your smartphone.
I think I can speak for most people out there when I say that sometimes, it’s just nice to have a change of scenery and get away from your phone or laptop when you’re studying. So overall, I have to give Rocket credit for how flexible their lessons are.
Detailed Grammar Content
Although I think both companies do a good job mixing in grammar content, Rocket just takes it to a different stratosphere. They integrate grammar content and cultural insights into their course in multiple ways.
First, as you complete Rocket’s interactive audio lessons, the moderator frequently stops to discuss different grammar principles and verbally explain the rules and rationale behind them. Plus, as noted above, the majority of the grammar content is delivered through the company’s language and culture lessons.
These specialized lessons take the form of a digital textbook. Rocket does a great job breaking these lessons down into short, digestible chunks for readers. Each section within a given grammar lesson is only about 3 to 6 sentences long on average.
Not to mention, within each lesson, there are dozens of break points where you interact with examples and images to keep you engaged.
All in all, I was just really impressed with the level of grammar and cultural insights the Rocket courses provide, as well as how the company melds this content into their lessons.
Rocket Makes The Learning Experience Fun
Lastly, I like that Rocket tries to gamify the language learning experience. It’s not quite as gamey as Duolingo, but it is fun nonetheless. For example, as you complete lessons and drills, you earn points. This allows you to keep track of your streaks and compare your performance against other Rocket users on the leaderboard.
This is a great way to keep yourself motivated and having fun, so you can keep grinding. Then in addition to the points aspect, Rocket also offer certification tests.
So as you can complete each module, you can choose to take a test based on the widely accepted CEFR framework. If you score at least 80%, you’ll receive a printable Certificate of Achievement.
I know in the big picture doesn’t really doesn’t mean much, but when you’re grinding and trying to learn a new language, every achievement can be a major boost for morale. So overall, I like that the Rocket program offers tools and incentives to keep your spirits high.
Now that we’ve touched on the strengths of the Rocket Languages program, let’s turn the tables and discuss the advantages of using Fluenz to learn a new language.
The first major advantage for Fluenz is that their lessons include a heavy dose of video, which is something that is missing from the Rocket lessons and coursework. Each Fluenz session starts with an introduction video in which the instructor introduces the topics being taught and explains the basic principles for the upcoming lesson.
You then complete a series of practice drills (or “workouts,” as Fluenz calls them). Between these different workouts though, you’re frequently prompted to watch additional videos that further explain and illustrate the content.
Overall, I just found this type of lesson format where you switch back and forth between video instruction and reinforcement exercises to be very effective.
Now, to be totally honest, the videos do feel a little over-choreographed at times. They were almost a little gimmicky. But still, having an instructor on-screen guiding you through the lessons is extremely valuable in my opinion.
So bottom line, if you’re more of a visual learner, you may very well prefer the lesson format of Fluenz over Rocket.
Classroom Type Feel
My second major win for Fluenz somewhat relates back to the previous point about their lessons incorporating instructor-led videos. In my opinion, the Fluenz program generally has more of a classroom-type of feel to it compared to a standard language learning app. And that’s intentional.
Fluenz states that their lessons are designed to simulate a 1-on-1 tutoring session. To play devil’s advocate, I think their marketing may be pushing it a little. After all, they are just pre-recorded videos. However, I do have to give Fluenz props.
Their courses certainly have a different vibe than most of the language learning apps out there. Therefore, I would say that if you’re the type of person who normally excels in a classroom environment, as opposed to self-studying, then Fluenz may work out quite well for you.
Verdict: Which Language Program Is Better Overall?
That about does it for the detail in this comparison, so let’s get to the final verdict. Should you choose Fluenz or Rocket to help you learn a new language?
After testing each program, I think it’s a fairly easy call. Rocket wins this battle by a pretty good margin. Although I do like that the Fluenz lessons emphasize video and their program overall has a little more of a traditional classroom-type feel (which may be ideal for some types of learners out there), I still just think Rocket’s language courses are more comprehensive and conducive for quickly learning a new language.
Between the interactive simulated conversations with fluent speakers and the level of detail provided in their grammar lessons, Rocket is just plain hard to beat. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Rocket is more affordable than Fluenz as well.
What is the difference between Rocket Languages and Fluenz?
The main difference between Rocket Languages and Fluenz is lesson format. The Rocket lessons include interactive audio lessons and detailed grammar content, whereas the Fluenz lessons take a more traditional classroom-style approach.
Which is the better program, Fluenz or Rocket Languages?
After evaluating the language programs from both Rocket and Fluenz, our team thinks Rocket Languages offers the more complete and well-rounded language courses.
Which language program is cheaper, Rocket Languages or Fluenz?
The courses from both companies are very similar in terms of full retail MSRP; however, Rocket Languages offers larger and more frequent discounts, making them the more affordable option.