Frequently Asked Questions

What does Onolingo offer?

Online courses and workshops for learners of English, Business English, and intercultural communication. In the Frankfurt-Rhein-Main region of Germany we also offer in-person corporate workshops and team-building events.

Does Onolingo offer languages other than English?

Not at this time, nor are we likely to in the foreseeable future. Onolingo's predecessor, Smart Flower Language School, which was founded in 2012, and rebranded Onolingo English Training in 2022, offered 7 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The reality was, however, that English was in greatest demand, with over 85% of our students learning English. Therefore, Onolingo focuses solely on providing the best English training that we can.

Does Onolingo offer in-person training?

Yes, we will do in-person workshops, and team-building events, as the COVID situation allows. (As mentioned in the question, above, Onolingo's predecessor, Smart Flower Language School, offered in-person training prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

What do I need in order to take a course or workshop?

Taking an online course or workshop with us is easy. All you need is an internet connection, and a browser. Any sort of device will work: a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Onolingo uses BigBlueButton, a conferencing system specially designed for online learning. We run our own conference server, located in Germany at a secure data center operated by Hetzner GmbH. Germany has among the most stringent data protection laws in the world. We do this for the privacy and security of our customers. (Note that if you prefer to use your company’s own conferencing system that this is possible, as well.)

What does "Onolingo" mean?

The name is made from two words, "onomatopoeia" and "lingo." "Lingo" comes from Latin and means "language," "speech," or "tongue." The definition of "onomatopoeia" is the naming of something by imitating the sound that it makes. Words like "buzz" (the sound that a door buzzer makes), or "meow" (the sound a cat makes) are examples of onomatopoeia. The word itself originally comes from Greek, with "onoma" meaning "name" and "poiein" meaning "to make."

Does Onolingo offer corporate training?

Absolutely! As a corporate client, we can offer you discounted rates (based on how much training you book), flexible invoicing, and accurate and timely reporting on your employees' progress. Your employees can take our online language-level assessment test to determine who needs training, and how much. We will work with you to establish your organization's training goals.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes, we offer discounts to corporate clients based up the number of training hours booked. We also offer discounts to groups, or individuals who wish to purchase a large number of training hours. Contact us to find out more.

How long does it take to improve one's language skills?

Some of the factors that influence this include how many hours per week a learner can learn, but a good rule-of-thumb is that to move from one language level to another takes roughly 120 guided learning hours.

What is my language level?

You can check your language level in 30 minutes or less using our online test. We call it OSLA, for Onolingo Swift Level Assessment.

What is Onolingo's training concept?

Briefly, our concept is to use real teachers (not algorithms), who are experienced and well-qualified, to deliver highly-effective, learner-centered English training.

What methods do you use in the classroom?

The details of what happens in the classroom depend on what the course is. In a Business English course for intermediate learners, for instance, we may do a roleplay where one participant plays a buyer and another the seller, whereas in a conversation-based course for upper-intermediate speakers we are likely to begin by reading an article or watching a video, and then discussing it. In a writing-skills development workshop, participants write on topics that are relevant to their own situations, and we discuss how they could make improvements. These are just a few examples. In every case, however, the communicative activities that you'll do in an Onolingo course or workshop are language-level appropriate, and chosen specifically to help you reach your learning goals.

Do I have to learn a lot of grammar?

If you don't posses any knowledge of, or skill in using grammar, you are very limited, communicatively. But, a better question is, How can I effectively develop my grammatical competence? The short answer is, by acquiring grammar as you develop your other language skills, e.g., by doing engaging activities.

Is it possible for a teacher to come to my company?

If your company is within a reasonable distance from Frankfurt Germany, and to the extent the COVID situation allows it, we would be happy to do in-person training in the form of workshops and team-building events.

Are learning materials included in the price?

Many courses and workshops include learning materials such as PDF documents that you can download, or practice exercises that you can do online.

Does Onolingo do translations?

Delivering the best training courses and workshops that we can is our core mission. We are, however, able to do translations, e.g., websites, product catalogs, and general business correspondence. Use our contact form, tell us what you've got to translate, and we'll give you a price quote.

Can Onolingo provide interpreters?

We have interpreters who go both directions in the following languages: English - German; English - French; English - Russian; German - Russian.

Are you hiring?

Onolingo is looking for highly-qualified, experienced teachers, who are native-speakers. For information on how to apply, see Become a Teacher.

Any other questions?