Frequently Asked Questions

Chatterbug is an online language learning system with two parts: Self-Study and Live Lessons. Self-study is time spent on activities like study cards, readings, audio and video media, and writing practice in Chatterbug. Live Lessons are guided, 45 minute one-on-one video chats with a native speaker of the language you are learning.

Chatterbug offers the effectiveness of private language tutoring and the flexibility of online study. Study when and wherever you like!

Chatterbug courses are organized in language pairs and at the moment, we offer:

  1. a German, Spanish, and French course for English speakers
  2. a Spanish, French and English course for German speakers
  3. and an English course for Spanish speakers.

And we definitely won’t stop here, so stay tuned for more languages!

To use Chatterbug past the initial trial period, you must subscribe to one of our plans or buy a live lesson bundle.

Our study plans start at $23/€20 per month. All plans include one or more Live Lessons per month. See the pricing section for more details.

Bundles are the perfect alternative if you do not have a credit card and would rather pay via PayPal. You can purchase live lessons in bulk and you’ll get full access to our curriculum for 6 to 8 months, while your credits are active.

Yes! Chatterbug offers four gift certificate options starting from 2-lesson bundles for 40 €, to 20 Live Lessons for 400 €. We accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express), Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers, and PayPal. More information on Gift Certificate at this link.

It’s up to you! The more you study, the faster you get better.

Spending about 2 hours a week in self-study and 2 Live Lessons per week—a total of 3.5 hours per week—will typically get you from a complete novice to CEFR’s A1 (basic communication skills) in about 5 to 6 months. Going from A1 to A2 (routine conversations) would take a similar amount of time.

Nope! Chatterbug courses span complete beginner to advanced levels, so whether you’ve learned the language before or not, we’ve got you covered. You’ll be asked to adjust your level when you sign up so you could immediately jump ahead to your current level. And if you need help deciding what the most fitting level is, you can also take our placement test to help you find your ground.

And if, after adjusting your level, you feel like the exercises are still a little too easy or perhaps a little too hard, you can adjust it again or retake the placement test as many times as you need to get your level just right.

Yes! Chatterbug is also available on iOS and Android.

Currently our mobile app supports vocabulary card study and grammar topics.

The app does not support Live Lessons, readings, writing exercises and videos, however, we plan on adding these activities in the future.

Live Lessons are guided, 45 minute, one-on-one video chats with native speakers of the language you are learning. Learn more on the home page.

To put it plainly, yes. There are many tools out there that help you practice vocabulary or study grammar, but without conversations with real humans, using your new language skills in the real world will be very difficult. You may find you know many words, but cannot understand anyone speaking or form complete sentences on your own.

Well this one’s tricky! Technically, you can take just Live Lessons and advance through the levels that way, but by doing so, you would be missing some core learning material that’s only available in our Self-study activities.

The thing is, Self-study and Live Lessons are like peanut butter and jelly—they are pretty good on their own, but way better when used together. Self-study will teach you vocabulary and language rules that you will use in the Live Lessons; the Live Lessons will reinforce the vocabulary and rules by using what you learned during real conversations.

Live Lessons bring together all of your efforts and really teach you to speak the language. But you have to work concurrently on building your foundation of vocabulary and grammar so you have the raw materials you need to benefit from the Live Lessons.

That said, if you’re having a particularly busy week and only have time for Live Lessons, or if you’re already quite advanced and only need a language brush up, you can totally do just the lessons. You can also get a Chatterbug certificate with just Live Lessons, as long as you’ve seen 50% of the Live Lesson exercises in a level and received an average 75% score from your tutors.

We make this part super easy—no coordination involved. You select the times you want to take lessons each week, and we pair you with tutors that are available during those times.

Per our Terms of Servicechildren under 13 are not allowed to study on Chatterbug.

Teaching children requires us to provide learning material that’s adapted to young learners and categorized by age, and unfortunately, our current curricula is geared solely towards adult learners. Because of that, we also don’t provide Chatterbug tutors with special training to lead video lessons with children.

We want to provide a platform that’s adapted to their needs and fully complies with the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) before we open Chatterbug to children. Until then, we will suspend any Chatterbug account created by and for young learners until we can verify that they are 13 and older.

Only if you want them to be. If you opt in, you will be able to go back and see replays of all of your old lessons including video, audio, chat messages, and exercise information for each lesson.

As a student, the recordings can be very useful to see your progress, and to jog your memory of tips from your tutors.

You can select one of 3 options:

  1. Don’t record at all. If you choose this option, your lessons will not be recorded by or stored on our platform.
  2. Record only for your use and for Chatterbug in cases of required support. With this option, your recordings are stored on Chatterbug and are entirely for your own benefit. The Chatterbug support staff can only review your recordings if you or your tutor report a possible breach of our Terms of Use during a lesson.
  3. Record for your use, for Chatterbug in cases of required support, and for Chatterbug research purposes. Choosing this option allows us to use the videos for research purposes to improve Chatterbug and our curriculum. Your recordings will not be made public or otherwise shared outside the people improving the system.

You don’t need to be! Chatterbug does not record your lesson without your explicit consent, which is why you will be asked to select one of three privacy options at signup:

  1. Don’t record at all.
  2. Record only for your use and for Chatterbug in cases of required support.
  3. Record for your use, for Chatterbug in cases of required support, and for Chatterbug research purposes.

If you do not wish for your lessons to be recorded, you can choose the first option. You can change this setting anytime after signup.

Yes! You can definitely learn several languages simultaneously and you don’t need to pay anything extra for an additional course. That said, Chatterbug courses are organized in language pairs and you can only access courses that are paired with your native language. Namely:

English speakers can learn German, Spanish, and French. German speakers can learn Spanish, French and English. And Spanish speakers can learn English on Chatterbug.

You can easily add a new language to your study plan via your Settings.

Not at this time. All of our Live Lessons are one-on-one, but we’re working on a feature that will allow you to study with your friends. You’ll be able to keep up with their progress and compete with them. Ready, set, go!

Nope, we think it’s helpful for you to hear different accents and speaking styles just like you would in real world conversations. So we pair you with a variety of native speakers for your Live Lessons.

However, if you have a favorite tutor you would like to work with often, you can signal your preference in our tutor management tool and we’ll pair you with them as often as possible.

You’ll have a tutor management tool on your dashboard that allows you to record your tutor preferences. There you can favorite tutors you’d like to work with often, and unfavorite or even block tutors you did not click with.

If you ever want to end a Live Lesson early for any reason, you can do so by pressing the button that says “End Session Early”.

You will also have the opportunity to rate your tutors at the end of each session so we can anonymously reach out to them if there’s something they should improve.

It is very important to us that everyone has a positive experience, and that’s why we regularly screen our tutors for friendliness and helpfulness.

You can cancel your Chatterbug subscription at any time. Any cancellations comes into effect at the end of your current billing cycle. If you cancel in the middle of the month, your credits and appointments will remain active for two more weeks before your subscription ends completely. A cancellation immediately stops any further subscription charges and once the subscription has ended, you are no longer able to take lessons.

Yes! Here’s the application process to tutor for Chatterbug:

  1. Fill in the tutor application page. This part is easy and straightforward. We ask a series of questions regarding your experiences and basic info. This should be answered in English, our official company language.

  2. Send in a 30 - 60 minute video about yourself: After we have approved your application, we will ask you to send us a short video in order for us to ‘get to know’ you. In this video you will introduce yourself and show us a bit of your personality.

  3. Training Lesson: In this last step of the on-boarding process, you will set up a training lesson with one of Chatterbug’s team members. In this training lesson you will get to know the platform, as well as do some trial exercises. You as the tutor, our team member as the student.

  4. Start Tutoring: If our team member approves you as a tutor, you are free to go into your dashboard and set your schedule. Then, have fun tutoring!

As a tutor you will be in 45 minute one-on-one video chats with students. Each lesson has a pre-defined curriculum broken up into 5 to 10 minute exercises that guide the conversation. Since the curriculum is driven by Chatterbug, you do not need to provide your own material or prepare anything beforehand.

Check out our tutor application page for more info.

Nope. At this time, we only require that you are native in the target language and are a really nice person.

No. All curriculum is provided by Chatterbug. The system will show guided exercises to the student that are at the student’s level.

Yes. At this time, we require all tutors to allow recording. Some students will have opted out of recording, and in those cases you will not be recorded.

You have two options regarding recording: record only for the student’s use, or record for the student’s use plus our research.

In the first option (record for the student’s use), we do nothing with your recordings—they are yours for your own benefit.

The second option (for the student’s use plus research) allows us to use the videos for research purposes to improve Chatterbug and our curriculum. Your recordings will not be made public or otherwise shared outside the people improving the system.

If you’re a good fit, you will receive an email from our curriculum team with further instructions. If you’re not a good fit at the moment, you will also receive an answer with feedback on why your application was rejected.

We try to process applications as soon as possible but things get busy so bear with us if it takes some time. We kindly ask that you give us a few weeks before inquiring for updates.

We approve tutors based on their availability in timezones where there is student demand.

Yes! Please check out Chatterbug for Business.