italki language classes
Enjoy $10 free credit on one-on-one classes with italki!
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There are thousands of teachers on italki, categorised into “professional” and “community” tutors.
Professional tutors have formal qualifications and experience in teaching the target language. They could be a good option if you are looking for more structured language classes or intend to use italki as your main language learning program.
Community tutors are generally native speakers of the language. They tend to offer more conversation practice or will help you work through your textbook, but typically do not offer to plan structured classes for you.
On italki, you can search their network of tutors, narrow down your search by categories such as nationality (e.g. mainland Chinese vs Taiwanese, depending on the dialect you are most interested in learning) or price, and view each tutor’s profile to learn more.
Being totally honest, we’ve found the quality of teachers on italki to be quite varied. You do need to be prepared to scrutinise reviews and try out a few tutors until you find the best for you. However, there are definitely some really amazing tutors out there!
Unlike most other tutoring agencies, italki gives you a lot of flexibility in choosing the most convenient platform for you. They have their own “italki classroom” which recently launched, or you can select to have classes on your choice of third party platform (e.g. Zoom, WeChat, Skype, etc).
The italki classroom is very convenient and provides a simple whiteboard feature, the option for teachers to screenshare or upload resources, etc.
italki is a marketplace platform for tutors, so each tutor can set their own prices. We’ve generally found that tutoring prices vary from $7-$15/ hour depending on the tutor’s experience and qualifications.
They also offer trial class rates (you can take a maximum of three trial classes) which are often less than $5 so you can try out the tutor. Tutors can also sell packages of classes at a small discount, to encourage you to book more classes as a batch.
For one-on-one classes, the rates offered on italki are definitely very competitive.
To book a class, you simply view the tutor’s calendar on italki and select a time which is convenient for you. This makes it incredibly flexible, with no requirement to commit to a fixed schedule or buy a long-term package of classes.
However, a disadvantage of this flexibility is that sometimes it is difficult to get into a regular schedule (as it is not possible to set classes to recur every week, you have to book each individual class separately), particularly if your favourite tutor is unable to offer set hours every week.
Because italki is a marketplace platform, they do not have a set curriculum. Some tutors (typically professional tutors rather than community tutors) are willing to put together a structured curriculum for you or sell lesson packages on a specific topic they already have developed a curriculum for.
We recommend being very clear with your tutor as to what your goals and expectations are for the tutoring. If you would like a more structured course, ask your tutor to put together a recommended schedule of topics or ask them to follow a specific textbook (you may need to buy them the pdf).
Alternatively, if you are looking more for conversation practice (which we’ve found italki to often be best for), it is best to message with your tutor in advance to arrange a suitable topic. You may find it useful to pick an interesting article in your target language to read and discuss together, in order that your discussion can have more of a focus.
How to receive your discount
Browse the italki website, check out tutors’ profiles, introductory videos and reviews, and pick the best tutor for you. You can also message each tutor directly to discuss your study plans/ goals and request a customised study plan.
Use the teacher’s booking calendar to book a trial class as convenient for you. Your $10 free credit will then be automatically applied to your account for any future purchases (and don’t worry, you don’t need to spend it all in one go!)
Enjoy your class on the video platform of your choice – including Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, WeChat, and more!