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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the nature of the teaching style at Rola?

Since all classes (both online and in-person) are all small, teachers are able to tailor class structure to the individual needs of the students. We take a very personalized approach to teaching to ensure that every student is comfortable and receiving the attention needed to move them down their unique language learning path. Our philosophy, the Rola Method, is a progressive teaching method that promotes fluency through repetition. We formed our method with the needs of our adult students in mind; designed to increase retention and confidence and make the most of practice time (we know many of our students are very motivated but also very busy!). All of our classes and lessons include three parts - General Conversation/Fluency, Verb Drills/Grammar, and Vocabulary Building/Repetition.

What languages do you teach?

We offer online group glasses, in-person group classes, and private tutoring for Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, and (Brazilian) Portuguese. For English (ESL), we offer private tutoring, in-person or online.

How long do classes last?

-In-person group classes are once a week for 8 weeks. Each class lasts an hour and a half.

*COVID-19 update*: 8-week classes are also being held online at this time.

-Online group classes are once a week for 6 weeks. Each class takes place via Zoom video conference and lasts an hour.

-Private lessons are sold in packages of 1, 5, 10, 12, 15, and 15+ hours.

How much do classes cost?

-8-week group classes (1.5 hours per class) are $255 (12 hours total class time).

-6-week group classes (1 hour per class) are $135 (6 hours total class time).

-Private tutoring at our office varies for each package but starts at $75 for a 1-hour package down to $50 per hour for a 15+-hour package.

-Private online tutoring varies for each package but starts at $60 for a 1-hour package down to $40 per hour for a 15+-hour package.

-Semi-private in-person tutoring varies for each package but starts at $50 per student for a 1-hour package down to $30 per hour per student for a 15+-hour package.

-Semi-private online tutoring varies for each package but starts at $49 for a 1-hour package per hour per student and $40 per hour per student for a 15+-hour package.

What are the immersion trips?

Immersion trips are the best way to truly engulf yourself in a new language. We have previously lead trips to Paris and Madrid and are always planning to expand our list of destinations. Please visit the Immersion Trips tab under Programs for more information.

*Immersion trips are currently suspended due to COVID*

How do I know what level class I should take? Is there a placement test?

We offer a free brief level evaluation by phone or Zoom/Skype before you register so you can be sure to get placed in the class for your correct skill set. It is a casual conversation with a teacher using a series of discussion questions to gauge your grammar and vocabulary abilities. The length depends on your level but is usually in the range of 10 - 15 minutes. You'll find the Evaluation Request Form in the main menu or on any of our language pages to let us know some good times for you to chat.

If you have no experience with your target language, Intro 1 is the right place for you.

What is the difference between Rola Languages and Rola Education?

Rola Languages is geared towards programs for adults while Rola Education specializes in children's programs for elementary and middle school-age students.

If I miss a class, can I take a make-up class?

It is our policy that no make-up classes will be given for student absences, however whether you attend class or not, you will always receive the homework, and you are welcome to ask the teacher for a summary of the class so you can prepare before returning for the next class.

What happens if my course cannot be confirmed to run (student registration minimums cannot be met)?

Rola Languages reserves the right to cancel classes 24 hours in advance. Classes must have a three-person minimum to be confirmed. In the event of a class cancellation on our part, Rola will offer affected students either a refund or credit towards other Rola classes/programs.

How do I sign up for a course?

On our website, you can go to the class page of any language and press "sign up" under the class you'd like to join to take you to the registration form. Or you can go directly to the Group Class Registration Form page from the menu bar at the top of the page.

Where can I find Rola?

You can find our office in Porter Square, Cambridge at 1798 Massachusetts Avenue. We're only a couple minutes from the Porter Square T stop on the red line, and the 77 bus has several stops close to our front door. As far as parking, there is on-street metered parking. There is a parking lot behind the building, however it's private so unfortunately it's not for student use. All the offices are in the basement level, so when you come in the front door, you will go straight downstairs.

Does Rola have parking?

There is on-street metered parking along Massachusetts Avenue. Rola does not have a student parking lot (the lot behind our building is private!) and cannot guarantee parking for its students. Students are highly encouraged to come by foot, bike, subway, bus or ride sharing service.

If I know I am going to miss a class, can I pay a reduced rate for the session?

We're sorry but courses will not be pro-rated due to absences, planned or unplanned.

What is the difference between semi-private tutoring and group classes?

In terms of " semi- private tutoring", these groups are determined by you - for example, with a friend, colleague or family member (usually one or two other people); versus a "group class" where we find other students to join you and is open to the public.

When are classes?

We offer classes year-round, and start a new round of courses at the beginning of each month. Schedules are posted about a month in advance. The day and time of your class will vary depending on the language, level, and month, so please check out the page of the language you want to study to see all the available schedules. As the vast majority of our students are working professionals on a 9-5 schedule, most classes are offered on weekday evenings (Monday - Thursday) from 5:30 - 7 pm or 7:05 - 8:35 pm.

Who can take classes at Rola (in terms of age)?

While our group classes are for students of 17 years and above, we offer private tutoring in-person and online for students age 6 and above. For group classes for kindergarten through middle school age students (6 - 13), please consult the Rola Education website ( for more options.

Under what conditions will Rola cancel classes due to bad weather and how will I be notified my class isn't happening that day?

Postponement of afternoon and evening programs will be announced by noon of class day by email. However, we reserve the right to postpone classes after the noon deadline subject to updated information and/or changing conditions. If a class is postponed, an additional week will automatically be attached onto the end of the originally planned finishing date, and students will still receive the same number of classes included in the course description. If you are not able to attend the final class on the new end date, Rola will refund you the cost of the class or apply it as a credit to another future class. Classes will be postponed if any of the following conditions are met: If the MBTA is not in service, If a state of emergency is declared, If there is a power failure (no electricity), If the temperature is at or below 15°F or -9°C, If the temperature is at or above 100°F or 38°C, or If 6+ inches (15+ cm) of snow have fallen within 24 hours of class time.

I see your registration form is connected with PayPal. I don't have a PayPal account - what should I do?

Don't panic! While we do use PayPal as a payment portal, you don't need to have a PayPal account to use it, and can pay with a credit/debit card. On the checkout page, click "PayPal Checkout", then "Pay with Debit or Credit Card". If you are having trouble to find the credit/debit card option, please contact us.

What happens if I need to drop out of my course midway? Can I get a refund?

Unfortunately refunds will not be given, but if a student decides to withdraw from a class while the session is in progress, Rola will hold the unused classes as a credit on the student's file. 'Unused' classes will be determined by the session's calendar and the date of requested withdrawal, not by the student's attendance record. Once you're able to return to classes, you can apply your credit towards a new session. For example, if you were able to attend 3 classes in your 8-week session before withdrawing (5 classes unused), to join another 8-week class once you're ready to come back, your 5-class credit would be applied, and you would have a 3-class balance to pay in order to join a new 8-week session. It is not permitted to join a new session in the middle where you previously left off.

*COVID-19 Update* When will Rola re-open for in-person classes?

At the current time our in-person offices are closed and all classes are being held live online, based on the feedback from our staff and students about how they feel safest and most comfortable to hold lessons. That being said, plans to re-open our location under the new guidelines and safety protocols are well underway and we are looking forward to returning to in-person operations. We will continue to survey our community frequently and monitor public health data to determine when our offices will reopen. Stay tuned into our social media for updates!

How do online classes work? Are they live or recorded?

Our online classes are live with audio, video, and real people to recreate as much of the in-person experience as possible! You will need a free Zoom account (you can create one on their website in minutes: to attend the classes. You will also need a camera (which is built into most laptops, tablets, smartphones, and some desktops) and working audio so you can hear your classmates and teacher, as well as be heard (also built into most devices). Rola administration will provide you with the class' meeting ID and password for your group. At class time, log into your Zoom account, enter the meeting ID and password, and class is in session! As a general note, our online classes work best if you can be in an enclosed room (rather than an open space) and we strongly recommend using headphones and/or a microphone if you have them.

Do I need to buy a book or other materials?

All materials will be provided by Rola, and at no additional cost (it's included in the class fee). In general, levels Intro 1 - 4 will be furnished with a PDF textbook, created by our curriculum team, prior to the first class (students may print it if they wish to do so, but we encourage you to save paper and ink!). For Intermediate and Advanced levels, materials will be provided digitally as needed throughout the course such as exercise packets, readings, etc. If you would like a hard copy sent to your home, select Rola textbooks are for sale on our Shop page.

How do I find a tutor? Are there set schedules? How frequent are lessons? Will I have a different teacher each week?

It's very flexible and we aim to meet your needs! Rola administration will collect details from you about the type of arrangement you're looking for (your availability, how often you want to take lessons, your current level, your objectives, the time frame, any other requests, etc.) and then consult with our teacher team to match you up with the right instructor. In general, most of our students have private classes once per week for 60 minutes each, but it completely depends on your project. Once you've found your match, you will meet with the same teacher each lesson, unless you request a change. Lessons are purchased in packages of 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours, 15 hours, and 15+ hours. For each lesson, you will use a portion of your hours package. Once you arrive at the end of your package, you can decide if you'd like to purchase more tutoring time.

Are there class payment plans available? Do I have to pay before my class starts?

For group classes, the entire session must be paid in advance as part of the registration process in order to reserve your spot in the class. For private classes, students must complete payment prior to the first session for their selected hours package (1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours, 15 hours, 15+ hours). Students may choose to purchase additional blocks of hours after the first set finishes.

How will I receive my homework?

All classes will have a group on our communication platform, called Basecamp (you can access it from your internet browser or you can download their app onto your device - called "Basecamp 3"). In the group we will post your class materials, weekly homework assignments, announcements and more.

Are there any discounts available?

Yes! For current students, we encourage you to complete the mid-term and final surveys about your class. Each completed survey will earn you a $10 off discount code towards your next registration! You can find surveys in the Schedule section of your class Basecamp group. The discount codes are included on the confirmation page of completing the survey. We also have a referral program so if you are new to Rola and found us through a current or former student, you can earn a 10% off discount code for your registration (and a 10% off discount code for the person that referred you). Just let us know who connected you on the referral form of our registration page before signing up for your class! In addition, we offer 25% off discounts on group classes for Teach for America teachers (current & former), Massachusetts Teachers Association members (current & former), Peace Corps Volunteers (current & former), and US military veterans (current & former). Discount codes are provided in the registration form. Please note that only one 25% service group discount code can be applied per registration.