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About Us – The FluentU Blog

Why the FluentU Blog?

FluentU is an online education company that helps people learn languages with real-world videos, including movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. We have a popular website, iOS app and Android app, several YouTube channels and language-specific blogs for learners. You can learn more about our company and its founder, Alan Park, here.

We’ve been obsessed about this since 2011 and have an international team of 10 people who speak 15 languages (and counting). We’ve worked professionally as language teachers, tutors, translators and instructional content creators. We spend most of our days thinking, talking and writing about languages, and tinkering with language learning apps.

So naturally, we have a lot of opinions, experiences and knowledge to share!

Our Review Process

We decided to start writing reviews of the language learning products and services we come across in the line of duty.

Yes, yes—we know our own learning program is considered to be “the competition” for some of the products we review, but we also know that there’s something out there for everyone.

And we made a pact early on.

Our writers and editors will always try each language program for themselves, test out all the features, and provide an honest assessment of how well it improved their knowledge of a given language over time. 

Our reviews are always honest, unbiased and are the real opinions of our writers and editors.

  • We don’t do paid reviews or sponsorships. We will never accept money in return for a favorable review.  
  • Review are based on their reviewer’s personal opinions and outcomes. As long as the review is respectful (we don’t bash or bad-mouth programs), writers have free rein of their reviews. 

Our review process goes through these steps prior to publication: 

1. A writer thoroughly tests the program to be reviewed.

We try to match the right reviewer to the right program. For instance, an editor who’s also a Spanish teacher may test out a Spanish learning program and give their professional perspective. Other times, a complete beginner may try using a program to learn Japanese from scratch and report back.

The reviewer spends time exploring all features and content offered by the program, or at least sample a wide range, and then assess the program based on a number of criteria:

  • Does the program deliver on its promises?
  • What does the program do really well?
  • What could the program do better?
  • Are there opportunities to practice every language skill? (Speaking, reading, writing, listening.)
  • What methods and ideas is the program based on?
  • Does the price reflect the value of the program?

2. The reviewer puts together a draft of their detailed thoughts about the program they tested.

We ask reviewers to be honest but respectful, to include detailed, firsthand information about the program, and to share screenshots of their journey with the program. 

Reviewers are responsible for taking their own program screenshots of key features and content. This allows them to highlight aspects of the program that they find important. 

3. The post is then edited by an experienced editor to ensure clarity, accuracy and authenticity. It’s then ready to publish!

We hope our reviews are helpful to our fellow language learners who are on the hunt for the best learning tools.

FTC Disclosure

FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. We also participate in other affiliate advertising programs for products and services we believe in, but we never let it affect the outcome of the review.

About the Team

 

About the Founder

Alan Park

Alan started blogging after creating FluentU in 2011. Alan became fluent in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, through the power of movies and TV shows. Inspired by that experience, he started FluentU. Before starting FluentU, he worked as a management consultant in the Boston Consulting Group, and graduated from Harvard Law School (JD) and Duke University (BA, summa cum laude).

 

About the Editorial Team

Maureen Stimola 
Marketing Manager

Maureen has 10+ years of experience managing content marketing strategy and she’s dedicated to the performance and growth of our blog. She speaks fluent Spanish and not-so-fluent Japanese, Portuguese, Italian and Kichwa. Maureen lives in rural Vermont, travels often to Latin America (especially back to Ecuador) and enjoys spending time with her three kids, running, and shooting trap.

 
 
Sheena Dizon
Senior Blog Editor
 
Sheena is a freelance writer based in Shanghai. Growing up as a third culture kid, Sheena had to learn Tagalog, English and Mandarin all at once. After traveling the world, she’s back in China again, rediscovering Mandarin, exploring other languages and sharing her tips with fellow learners.
 
 
 
 
Louise Maclaurin
Senior Blog Editor
 
Louise Maclaurin is an avid language learner from New Zealand, who has been engrossed in ways to self-learn languages since 2013. While Spanish is her greatest love, she is also excited by good food, travel, and new books.
 

 

Emily Bozigar
Blog Editor

Emily is a Florida native now living in Taiwan. After taking Spanish in middle school and Latin in university, she dabbled in Greek, Italian, Swedish and Esperanto, and currently studies Taiwanese Mandarin quite seriously. She has worked in the education field in numerous roles since 2014. In her free time, she enjoys books, dance, board games and traveling.

 

Ima Ocon
Blog Editor

Ima Ocon is an editor and writer who’s based in Taiwan. She has been taking Mandarin language classes in Taipei since 2022 and was a recipient of the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship. She hopes to be able to read Classical Chinese (文言文) eventually, and she’s an avid fan of wuxia dramas. Since she came from a tech background, she’s also fascinated with language technology, especially with how AI can help people learn languages.

 

Brooke Bagley
Blog Editor

Brooke is a travel-loving, multilingual, Texas-based writer, editor and language enthusiast with Venezuelan roots. She speaks fluent Spanish, advanced Mandarin Chinese, decent Indonesian and is currently learning Japanese and Levantine Arabic. While in college, she double-majored in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish while minoring in Teaching English as a Second Language, which she later used to teach English online in 2021. In her spare time, you can find her in the gym, reading, taking long walks, planning her next travels and playing with her cat Yuki.

 
 
 
Yuliya Geikhman
Blog Editor/Writer
 
Yuliya is a freelance writer and editor based in NYC. She’s been writing professionally since 2009 and editing since 2018 and has a degree in English education that’s gathering dust in a drawer. She’s a life-long language learner and speaks English, Russian, a decent amount of Spanish, some basic Japanese and, somewhere in the dark recesses of her mind, Hebrew.
 

Blair Mastbaum
Blog Editor

Blair Mastbaum is a freelance writer and editor, and the author of the novels “Clay’s Way” (Alyson Books) and “Us Ones in Between” (Running Press) and the editor of Cool Thing: Best New American Fiction (Running Press). He’s also the co-writer of the film “It Takes Three,” which was released by Gunpowder & Sky in 2023. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

 

Katrina Phillips
Blog Editor

Katrina has a background in environmental advocacy and education with a lifelong passion for writing. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, she spent over 5 years working on policy for clean water at a non-profit in Chicago. In 2019, she left her life in the U.S. to move to the Galapagos Islands. There, she taught ESL for 3 years and has greatly improved her Spanish fluency with daily practice and persistence. She spends most of her free time at the beach or exploring the highlands.

 

Georgina Smith
Blog Editor

Georgina Smith is a Blog Editor for FluentU from the UK. While at university studying for her English Literature degree, she decided to start learning Korean, and since then has been obsessed with the world of language learning. More recently she has also started studying Spanish, and is loving it so far.

 

Cristina Coronado
Blog Editor

Cristina is an experienced translator based in Madrid, Spain. With a Bachelor’s Degree in English Philology, she has a deep understanding of the language, literature, and culture. Her passion for languages has led her to pursue further training in teaching Spanish as a foreign language, where she hopes to share her knowledge and passion.

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and learning about astronomy.

 

Usama Hassan
Virtual Assistant

Meet Usama Hassan, a talented freelance Virtual Assistant with 4 years of experience and a diverse set of skills. He is passionate about delivering top-notch assistance to clients and takes pride in providing exceptional services. Outside of work, Usama loves to explore new destinations and cultures through traveling. When not on the road, he can be found curled up with a good book or swimming laps at the local pool. 

Md Jahidul Islam
Virtual Assistant

Meet Jahid, a highly skilled Virtual Assistant who is fluent in both English and Bengali. Originally from India, he holds a Master’s in Technology and has been successfully freelancing since 2015. With a love for internet browsing and keeping up with the latest tech trends, Jahid is always ready to take on new challenges and provide innovative solutions for his clients. When he’s not hard at work, you can find Jahid exploring the beautiful hill stations of the world, indulging his love for travel and exploration. 

Download the app Enjoy FluentU wherever you are, whenever you want. Audio dialogues are even downloadable for offline listening.
As seen on
Review 1

I am enjoying FluentU. I have been using this site for a couple weeks and I have definitely noticed a huge improvement in my vocabulary. I love that it uses a lot of relevant clips like Norman fait des videos to practice REAL French, and it is presented in such a fun way that it makes it easy to practice. Using this site has become part of my daily routine.

- Rachel Hollars

Review 1

I really like learning with the videos. I have studied using other methods and it was very hard to put what you were learning into context. With the videos, not only are you learning new vocabulary, you are seeing how it is used. For example the tone which is used, the body language of the person using the phrase and the reaction to the phrase being said.

- Frederick Calestini

Review 1

I love how I get to see videos, listen to music and learn about real and relevant aspects of the Chinese culture. I enjoy seeing faces in those videos of actors and people that I can recognize from other programs outside of Fluent U - which again tells me that the materials I get are relevant in the real Chinese/Taiwanese culture!

- Aileen Raquel Araúz