1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Has anyone tried italki?


Has anyone tried italki?

I'd like to know about any experiences you've had with this website/app. I'm thinking about being a community tutor for ESL and/or getting a community tutor for German at some point in the future. :)

PS: For anyone that gives feedback, I can give you lingots. I have way more than I need.

May 9, 2017



Aside from it costing money, it seems to be pretty good. Some free alternatives I use though are mylanguageexchange, verbling, hinative, and lang-8.com


I use italki and I like it. I had tutors and community tutors. I had 2 good experiences, 1 OK and 1 not so good. The 2 very good experiences, one was a professional tutor and the other a community tutor. It takes some trying to get it right, not only to get the right tutor, but also the right system. For German I have recommendations for you if you want them, I love my tutor and the community tutor I used 2X, both of them are the same price.

For ESL, I have no experience, but you should have clear goals. I have tutored English and it is important to have a plan and not be spontaneous unless you only want to practice conversation.


Thank you for your response! Would you care to elaborate on what you mean when you say "clear goals?" The website describes community tutors more as one sided conversational practice partners rather than actual teachers. It actually says these tutors are not expected to plan for lessons at all.

I don't like the idea of not planning, so I was thinking I could message with each person beforehand (is this possible, or is there no contact before the lesson?) to find out what their level/ goals are. That way, I could prepare some topics of conversation accordingly, but I was not expecting to have a rigid lesson plan with written assignments etc.

Also, I'm not going to be doing any of this for a while, but I would like your recommendations for German tutors, maybe even the ones you didn't like, if you remember their names.

This message is kind of scattered so here is my summary: 1. What do you mean by "clear goals"? 2. Do students and tutors communicate before lessons? 3. Who do you recommend? Also... 4. You said you tutored English but not ESL, so do you mean English lessons for English speakers? Like writing?


Clear goals: Do you want to improve conversation, grammar, reach a language level, etc.

Class preparation: you need to tell your tutor what do you want to do (both pro and community), the professional tutors have training, experience and resources, some of them explain what they teach in their profile, such as, A1 and A2 or have different prices for different levels. For German we follow a DW course (Jojo) and some other grammar topics, there is always time for conversation and I can ask anything such as something I read, something I did not understand in a film etc.

The community tutors will help you in anything you want, for me it has been conversation and vocabulary, and once I asked one of them to correct a short story I wrote. They have topics of conversation, pictures, and things like that, ready for the class, but you can ask for other topics ahead of time (so they can get ready). Every tutor has its own way of teaching. For German I recommend Bianca (Pro) and Kai (community). Yes, you can email your tutor and ask questions. I was in Literacy volunteers.


Oh you mean goals as a student? I thought you meant goals as a tutor, which didn't make much sense to me as I thought that tutors were supposed to tailor their "lessons" to the students' needs.


I'm not sure about community tutor because I've only tried professional tutors. I guess it'd be good have someone to talk to in the targeted language and it's less expensive. Sometimes language partners aren't that helpful. However, I think there's too many English tutors already so diversifying would be good.


Well, I'm not sure why you would talk to me about "diversifying it"... after all, the only language I'd be qualified to teach is English so I can't exactly add to the rest of the group. And if I can make some money from it, it doesn't really matter if there are other tutors. People choose the best product they can find for the lowest price, so if someone is interested in me over another tutor, so be it. And if not, oh well. Thanks for your response, though! You don't seem like you need it, but I am giving you lingots, anyway. :)


I use it extensively as a learner. I've tried various professional teachers and tutors. If you go with a tutor, I recommend you come prepared with questions and conversation topics. I think overall, I've had a good experience on the site. Although recently I've decided to slow down on these in-person lessons because I'm not sure what works best for me, that is working with one teacher or multiple.


Would you mind telling me what hourly rate you paid for the tutors? If I decide to tutor in the future, I'm not sure what my rate should be. I see that the rates for tutors go as low as $7 and as high as 15ish I think. I don't want to go super low, because apparently italki gets 15% of each transaction, but I don't want to have 0 students because my price is too high...


Good questions and ones I'd be interested in knowing the answer to myself. In the meantime, I've got one for you, melzzz123. Does italki require that you have any credentials to tutor or is it one of those sites where anyone can set up a profile and market themselves any way they want to (buyer beware!)? I would imagine that when it comes to eking out a living, truth in advertising is sometimes a casualty.


I've been using italki for about 6-7 months now and love it. You can work with a professional teacher, a community tutor (relatively inexpensive), or a language partner (free) depending on what (if) you want to spend. I started taking lessons with a community tutor for Japanese to improve my speaking ability; once I became more comfortable, I found language partners without any trouble who want to learn English and we Skype often so I haven't been paying for lessons of late. I was lucky enough to find a couple of good and reliable language partners though. It's probably not always the case for everyone.


Thank you for your response!

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.