Italki review : What you need to know to decide learning or not
Italki is an online language platform connecting language learners with teachers around the world.
They offer 1-on-1 lessons based on the students goals and interests. You can find popular languages like Spanish, German, English, Chinese and less popular ones.
How does Italki work?
First, you have to open an Italki student’s account. Once done, you can browse the list of teachers. You can filter it depending on what you are looking for : price, native teacher, availability, certified teacher or not.
On Italki, you have two types of teachers : community and professional teachers.
Community tutors are native speakers but are not certified and professional teachers who are certified and/or have a minimum experience. Community tutors are cheaper than professionals.
Teachers make video introductions so that you can learn more about their teaching methods and also see them speaking French.
Teachers are reviewed by students after each class and you can have an idea about a teacher’s reputation but analyzing his reviews and the ratio number of lessons on number of students.
Once you find “a suitable tutor” for your learning objectives, you can fill the teacher’s form to make a first contact with him/her or directly buy Italki credits and book a lesson.
You have up to 3 trials. In general, the price of a trial lesson varies between 1 and 4$ and the duration is generally 30 mns. If after the trial class you have the feeling it’s not the right teacher for you, you can still change to another one.
And when you finally find the right one, you can opt to book a package with that teacher in order to lower down your learning fees.
You can also fill the teacher’s form to make a first contact with him.
Who is Italki for ?
Italki is for those who want to have customized lessons, depending on their interests. A lot of people use Italki to practice their conversation skills. But Italki is also for you if you are looking for structured lessons. It will be slightly more expensive than conversation lessons but still at a reasonable price.
What is in fact Italki challenge?
Italki challenge is a language competition held among language learners on Italki. The principle is simple : You set yourself a learning goal, wich can be learning 12, 16, 20 or 24 hours, with a minimum commitment of 12hours.
If you stick to your initial goal, you might end up winning prizes which can be a badge, certificate, or discount coupons depending on the goal reached. You can even win up to 500$ Italki credits if you are are among the first international learners.
At the moment I am writing this, the challenge is already on and ending on July 6th but you can still join anytime by using my link. It is free to join !
The plus of Italki +++
A great tool to boost your fluency
With Italki, it's possible to develop your communication skills through practice with live native teachers and from the confort of your home.
An affordable option
Italki fees won’t break your bank account. If you are not looking at all costs to learn from a professional teacher, then you can find a great teacher for as low as 7 to 8$ per hour. Some people even have several teachers for the same language, depending on their learning objectives.
You can have any duration of lessons from a 30 mns lesson to 1.5 hour lesson. In case of problem with the lesson, you can get it solved by signaling a lesson problem.
You can also pay as you go, per lesson without obligation to commit for the long term.
Possibility to get Language partners
Through Italki, you can search people who speak your target language for a language exchange. Once you find a potential partner, you can directly message him to propose the partnership. If both of you agree, that means you just made yourself a language buddy for more practice.
The down sides
If you are not lucky to find a great teacher, lessons can be not enough structured. But since you can switch to another teacher, that won’t be a problem. Italki lessons are great for conversations lessons.
Booking fee to be aware of
There is a lesson booking fee, called processing fee which is linked to the payment method used. Depending on your payment option (credit card, Paypal, Skrill, …), the processing fee is different but still ok for the price you will be paying and the quality of the lessons you will get. The only payment option to avoid is bank transfer as it seems to be expensive.
Alternative language learning platforms
Just like Italki, other language learning platforms functions the same way and can help you reach your fluency goal. Among the most famous, I can list Preply, Verbling, Verbal planet, Tamdem.
Preply is my number one alternative as it allows you to learn more languages. You can learn languages like German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic as well as Hebrew, Serbian, … To find a tutor, you can make a research based on different criterias or post a request for a teacher. In the last option, you will be contacted by different teachers and you will then decide who to put on trial. Prices are very affordable, and can be as low as 3$ per hour for a new teacher.