Italki Review

Editor choice Italki Review
9.2 Total Score
  • 1-on-1 personalised language lessons
  • The ability to change teacher if you aren’t satisfied
  • Read reviews of the italki tutors before going ahead
  • Making use of trial lessons
  • Great for all levels of language learners
  • The italki community is a great place to find help on your language learning journey

How italki is Revolutionising Online Language Learning

You may have already guessed from our title that we are big fans of italki. If you were once like us, searching for the holy grail of online language learning you will be reading this and asking yourself, what is italki? So let us introduce you to this amazing product!

Italki is an online language tutor platform that allows language learners to connect via video chat with experienced language teachers, at an extremely reasonable price. You can even collaborate for free if you use their language exchange section, but more on that at a later stage in our italki review. The most amazing part of Italki is that it is personal. You will enjoy 1-on-1 lessons with your chosen language tutor, who will structure each session in the best possible way to suit your learning needs.

Italki isn’t completely new, in fact, they have been operating since 2007. The co-founders, Kevin Chen and Yongue Jiang first started Italki to operate as a free language exchange community. Two years later in 2009, they added the main tutoring service which they are now famous for. It has proved to be a huge success with over 3 million users from more than 100 countries around the world and over 4000 active tutors.

Italki Tutors

Languages to Choose From at italki

When we discuss the italki languages that are available it’s not a question of do they have tutors offering this language or that one. Actually, it is possible to choose from over 100 languages, due to italki being the biggest online language tutor platform. Have a quick browse at a list of their most popular languages below.

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • German

At the time of writing this review, there are 520 English teachers, 824 Spanish teachers so there is a large selection, to say the least. This is still true with less popular languages like Korean for example as there are still 100 tutors ready to help you learn their language.

Another thing that we totally love about italki is the fact that they offer some languages that are endangered and that you may have never heard of. For example, you can learn Native American Blackfoot (Niitsi’powahsin), Ancient Greek and even Neapolitan (Napoletano) which would be great to learn if you are fed up of watching the explosive television series Gomorrah with subtitles. Be sure to check out for yourself the full list of languages offered by italki tutors.

Tutor Prices on italki

Let us now get down to the nitty-gritty of pricing. Italki costs aren’t fixed as they are different depending on the tutor you use. When you are deciding which language tutor is best for you, you can adjust the price range. This usually starts at $4 and goes all the way up to $80! Don’t expect to book an hour lesson for $4 though, that is the minimum that it costs for a 30-minute italki trial lesson.

The average price of an hour lesson completely depends on the language you are looking to learn and whether the teacher is an italki professional tutor or community tutor (we’ll explain the two next). What does italki cost then? All in all, we would give a rough average of between $10 and $16 per hour lesson.

You may be thinking that this is expensive, which it is compared to one-off or annual subscriptions that language apps cost. In comparison to in person language classes it is fairly equal. No traveling is required, you just need internet.

Professional Teacher or Community Tutor

So, what is the difference between an italki community tutor and a professional teacher? Well, it’s actually very simple.

  • Professional teachers are skilled, qualified tutors that have certifications in the language(s) that they offer to teach in. You should expect to pay a little extra, but you will definitely benefit from well structured personalised lessons
  • Then there are community tutors who are usually native speakers or close to. Their lessons will be more informal and generally used for speaking practice. That being said if you are looking to pick up the basics of a language, community tutors can be just as helpful as professional tutors and probably at a slightly lower cost.

How to Pick The Perfect italki Teacher

If you find yourself scrolling through the hundreds of Spanish teachers, don’t worry we did too. After becoming a frequent italki user, allow us to give you some tips when it comes to picking the right italki tutor for you. You should know why you want to learn a language, this is a crucial part of the selection process

  • Check how many students they have taught since being active on italki
  • The number of lessons available
  • Watch the video introduction if they have one, full-time teachers usually do
  • Check if they offer language learning to your level be it beginner, intermediate or advanced

We always recommend having a 30-minute trial lesson, this allows you to see if you click with the tutor or not. If not then, of course, you can find another that may suit you better.

Using italki on Multiple Devices

In this day and age, customers expect any language learning platform to offer their product across a full range of different devices. Luckily italki have this to offer. Read on to find out more about their mobile app, specific italki android app, and the desktop version.

italki App

The italki app is available from your mobile phone or tablets app store, just head over and key in ‘italki’ to download it. We love the fact that you can be on-the-go but still be in complete control of reviewing and selecting teachers, checking your already scheduled lessons and engaging with the italki community. There is only one difference between the italki android app and iOS version, this is that you can easily update any changes and requests by using the touch ID that is supported on iOS devices.

Desktop

For us the italki desktop version is the best, this is due to being able to be on the italki dashboard and Skype at the same time. The app is good on-the-go to make amendments, but we feel that to fully engage with the tutor using your computer/laptop is the best way. It enables you to have a pen and paper next to you to jot down key points from each lesson.

Community at italki

The Italki community area is another great addition to their language learning commitment! You will find a lot of useful resources in the community. Let us a take a closer look at each of the sections.

Articles

In this section of the community you will find well-written pieces from professional teachers, community tutors, and even normal italki users. They can be focused on a specific language, topic or just a general language learning article. Take a browse and see what can help you.

Notebook

This feature is a place where you can enter a post in the language that you are learning. Write about your day, hobbies or interests etc. Once posted in your notebook, natives of your chosen language can give you feedback on what should be corrected. People are always nice, so don’t be shy, this is a great way to learn the written form of any language.

Answers

It’s in the name, you will find questions from other language learners and helpful answers from italki members. If there is anything you want to know about your selected language or language learning in general, ask away!

Discussions

On the italki website this section is said to be used for offering to help or asking for help. You can discuss anything here, favourite foods, films etc. As stated on italki it is a great way to talk about upcoming exams, feel free to share your revision and learning advice. Or ask for it!

Language Hacking

This part of the community is a collaboration with Benny Lewis from the well known fluentin3months.com. This section is for people looking to learn French, German, Italian or Spanish. Benny sets daily missions, where you as the learner has to complete each one by recording yourself speaking in the language you are trying to learn. Uploading it to youtube and sharing it with the community. Check it out and join #LanguageHacking

Language Partners

Now to look at the italki language partner section, which is still part of the community. As we already mentioned you can access italki for free and this is how. You won’t be learning from a professional teacher or community tutor, you will be setting up language exchanges with other learners like yourself. Before you get started with the italki language exchange you first need to complete your account. Add a friendly photo, give the community a bit of background information and what languages you are looking to learn.

Once you have that complete you can go ahead and search for a language partner. Search for people that are looking to study your native language that can speak the language that you are looking to learn. You can then easily add a new friend, get speaking and arrange a time that suits you both for a video chat. Remember that you are there for both parties, not just to learn yourself. Make sure to give relevant feedback to your language partner. These language exchanges can open you up to new friends and opportunities!

Customer Service and Help

Italki doesn’t offer a helpline that you can call, however, it isn’t particularly needed. They have a great support section filled with FAQs, if you have any unsolved questions you’ll most certainly find the answers here. If you don’t however, you can get in touch with the team on [email protected] detailing your issue or query.

Time to Sign up!

Hopefully, you will jump at the chance, like us, to really start progressing in your target language. Teachers at Italki make this possible! Here are the key points that you will be asked when you go to create an account:

  • Teacher preference – Decide if you want to learn with a professional or community tutor. If you are studying to pass an exam we’d recommend you to go with an italki professional teacher.
  • Specialised tags – Each teacher has different areas that they excel in ranging from beginners, test preparation, business formal focused and so on.
  • They also ask whether you are interested in language exchange, maybe you feel like teaching yourself and want to learn for free. You can partner with other Italki users and help each other learn.

All of the selections made in this sign-up process can be amended at a later date, so don’t waste valuable learning time deciding.

Our Final Thoughts

As you can tell we are huge fans of italki’s amazing product. With over 4000 teachers offering their services on the marketplace you are never going to be stuck with finding an online language tutor. The website and italki mobile app are both clean and easy to use. Being able to schedule your lessons from your mobile is a great addition when compared to other language tutor services.

The pricing on Italki isn’t as expensive as sometimes perceived either. Let us make a quick comparison with Rypeapp and Lingoda. With 4 one-hour lessons a week at $12 an hour you would be receiving 16 hours a month for $192. Rypeapp costs $175 for 14 hours a month and Lingoda would cost $179 for 17 hours tutoring a month (only 2 hours 1-on-1).

For us, Italki comes out on top. This is due to the 16 hours of 1-to-1 tutoring and being able to choose from hundreds of languages and thousands of teachers!

I hope that we have managed to cover everything in our Italki review. If you think that we have missed anything, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment as well as your opinion on Italki below.

9.2 Total Score
Best Online Tutor Offering!

Italki is well known by now as being the #1 online language tutoring platform. You will find 4000+ tutors across over 100 languages and dialects. It's a perfect place to also meet a language partner that will help you succeed in learning. It really is a one-stop-shop!

Language Variety
9.8
Pricing
7.9
Usability
9.2
Teaching Material
9
PROS
  • 1-on-1 personalised language lessons
  • The ability to change teacher if you aren’t satisfied
  • Read reviews of the italki tutors before going ahead
  • Making use of trial lessons
  • Great for all levels of language learners
  • The italki community is a great place to find help on your language learning journey
CONS
  • The processing fee is a bit annoying
  • We would like if they included the option of 30 minute lessons
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