Livemocha gets an A+ for tutoring because they have figured out a way to keep the cost down and still give students access to native speakers. When a student gets an invitation to work with someone, the profile of that person pops up on the screen. The student can then determine if this is the person they indeed want to work with. You can pick your tutor based on country of origin, interests, age, looks (there’s a photograph), or any other criteria they prefer.
Although there were some options for learning alternative subject matters, Livemocha hasn’t done much to develop materials for those who need specific vocabulary for a job in the restaurant industry or in healthcare, however, there is nothing keeping students from finding study partners that can help them in this particular endeavor, or whatever topic they are interested in.
Livemocha has many options available for lessons. In fact, it was the only one in the group that had options for further exercises on a particular grammar point. Their images were of good quality and they were used cleverly and what was being asked of the student was clear. Their reliance on translation was a little disappointing since translation is not the best way to acquire language.
Livemocha's range of levels is impressive, although the lack of rich supplemental materials will greatly affect those who really want to become fluent in the language.
All in all, Livemocha is a Spanish language website anyone who is studying Spanish should check out. The chance for interaction in Spanish can't be beat because there appears to be a plethora of Spanish speakers who want to learn English and English speakers who want to learn Spanish. The forum is full of opportunities to make friends and for rich Spanish interaction.
We really do have to applaud the Livemocha founders for implementing their audio component and we're sure this will only get richer as time goes on and more people have the hardware to participate.
We recommend that the Livemocha staff consider adding supplemental materials such as essays, articles, and other kinds of cultural material. We also recommend they start some kind of newsletter. They have so many speakers of so many languages to choose from it wouldn't be so difficult to implement.
Pros: Livemocha is making the most out of social media options.
Cons: There are few articles or stories and their website is still being developed.
The Verdict: Get involved with Livemocha where you'll learn a lot from other students from all over the world.