The Complete Italki Review From An Experienced Student And Tutor 


Introduction

Online learning is one of the most common forms of learning in the modern world. This form of earning involves three subjects: a teacher, a student, and a network platform. Teachers and students can be and you and me, but where will you get the platform to facilitate the learning process? The field of education is vast, and there are a lot of things which need to be learned. One of the education fields is languages. Today’s technology has changed the world into a village where a person at one point can communicate with another one from another point me less than a second. It is therefore essential to know more than your native language. How will you get to know other languages? You will know the languages by learning them. There is a number of online platforms which are giving you an opportunity to learn a foreign language from any part of the world where you would be. One of the highly prolific platforms is known as Italki. This article is going to review Italki, its services, and how it operates.

What Is Italki?

Italki is a name that is not new to the ears of many. You may have heard of the name Italki, but you fail to understand what it is or what does it refer to. This article will help you understand what the name Italki is all about.

Italki is an online platform that helps you to learn different types of languages existing on this earth remotely. The platform helps you to search and get connected to a massive database of tutors, teachers, and other partners in more than hindered languages. It is a helpful website which has helped a lot of people across the world. Personally, I have benefited a lot from Italki as I have learned from it some languages including French, Chinese and English as well as I have served as a tutor and made some earnings from the job. There more than one thousand tutors on the website that is willing to help you speak the language you would like to learn.

You might be asking yourself what is the need of Italki and yet there are institutions offering courses in linguistics and arts? It is true that there are institutions are offering the courses, but with Italki you get a one-on-one connection with your tutor making it the perfect place to learn a new language. Moreover, the platform has made it easier for people to study foreign languages without the need of traveling across borders in order to learn the language.

The training fees are also affordable, unlike the institution fees where you will have to pay a lump sum of money for you to pursue the course and it will take you a bit longer. You might also fail to get a connection and get to practice the language in an institution, but you can do interact with your tutor and practice the language at Italki.

When Was Italki Established?

Italki was established in the year 2007 by two Chinese entrepreneurs namely: Yongyue Jiang and Kevin Chen. The headquarters of the online language learning company is in Hong Kong, China. The website has been designed to help you get access to a variety of professional language tutors of different languages. So before you can select your teacher, you can view his or her qualifications by having a look at the reviews he or she has received from other students. Later, you can plan for classes after you have come into agreement on the cost of the whole session. You will then plan for platforms which you will use in getting the training, either via Facetime or Skype or any other platform.

Why I recommend Italki

From my experience with Italki, the following are the main reasons as to why I will always recommend it.

1. Personalized Learning Services

With the Italki platform, you will be in a position to get personalized learning sessions with your tutor. Personalized learning sessions will make it possible to achieve your goals and objectives because the tutor will offer you full support in achieving your goals. Before starting the sessions, you can speak out your objectives to the teacher, and he or she will understand where to start and how to go about to achieve your objectives. Your interest will be covered fully, and you will receive quality services unlike if the sessions were conducted in groups, it could be challenging to get what you want at the individual basis.

2. Italki Costs Are Friendly

When you study a language through Italki, you get to pay for every session that you will be active. This will help you to make proper arrangements for your study as you will be studying only when you have cash. Unlike in institutions, where you pay for the whole term or semester fees while the number of classes could be even fifty. At Italki, you will get to see the value of your money. Furthermore, you go for the tutor who suits your budget, making it convenient for everyone.

3. It Is Reliable

Italki services are reliable as it as an international website which is accessible from almost all parts of the world. The website is always open, and so you can schedule your sessions with your tutor anytime you want. Time is not an issue at Italki, but it is an issue between you and your tutor. Since the teaching is taking place via the net, all you need is a secure network, and you can access the website from anywhere. You are assured of quality and real services since you will be trained by a human being and not robots; hence its services are NOT scam.

Teaching Strategies Used At Italki

Basically, Italki applies two teaching strategies in facilitating the learning process. The two strategies are described below.

Connecting Students With Professional teachers

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This first approach ensures that the student is connected to teachers who are qualified to serve as tutors of the language. Italki verifies the certificates of the tutors before enrolling them to the teaching team. Some of the qualifications the company looks for include a bachelor’s degree in education from a recognized institution, certificate in teaching, degree in linguistics, degree in arts and communication among many others. Italki have a strict vetting process of enrolling the teachers, so as to protect the company and help students get quality training and guidance.

  • Connecting Students With Community Tutors

This teaching strategy involves connecting the language students with the community tutors. The Community tutors will help the student by offering him or her conversation sessions or informal lessons whose costs are relatively cheap. The community can help you learn the language better than the professional teachers. It is your personal choice to choose either of the two teaching strategies based on your needs and your wallet. Some may need casual conversations to learn a language easily while others may need a professional and well-structured strategy.

Languages Found At Italki

First and for most, I want you to understand that there many languages in this world and each language has got its dialects. Some have two dialects while others have more than twenty dialects. For example, the English spoken in the United States is different from that spoken in Britain as well as England and other parts of the world. At Italki, you will get a tutor of each and every language you want to learn and even the specific dialect. I experienced this by myself when I was learning the Chinese language. When I joined Italki and wanted to know if they were tutors offering learning session for the Hakka dialect. Surprising enough, I found a number of tutors in the website and this made me happy as I had ample time to choose the best one.

Any language which you want to learn, I guarantee you that, you will some tutors at Italki. Not only any language but also any dialect you want to learn, you will learn it at Italki. The rare languages which you have been wondering where you will get to learn them are also available at Italki. It is because of language availability that the website is attracting students every day from all corners of the world.

What Are The Prices Of The Teachers And The Tutors?

Maybe you have not tried Italki lessons because of fearing the costs of the teachers and tutors which you have heard from others that they are expensive. No, here is the reality about the tutor and teacher pricing. Take it from a former student and now a teacher at Italki. Italki does set prices for neither the tutors nor the teachers. The prices are set independently. All the Italki does, is registering the teachers based on their qualifications and after that have been approved to serve as teachers and tutors at the website, they set their own prices.

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There are some tutors and teachers who are expensive while others are cheap but the price does not determine the quality of the teacher. When selecting a teacher or a tutor, do not look at the price as a factor but instead, you should have an insight of his or her qualifications as well as the reviews from other students who have learned from him or her.

NOTE: My Advice on the Issue of Pricing

As I have stated earlier that Italki is an international platform where there are people from all parts of the world. At the website, you will get some tutors from the developing countries {third world countries} who are struggling to get something for their lives. These types of tutors have set a low price for their services and people take advantage of them it is not good to take advantage of a person living in an impoverished country and offering you quality services while you could have paid a higher amount for the same services if he or she could be from your place. The prices tutors from the marginalized can go to as low as 4 dollars per hour. Add them some bonuses and make them feel the value of the services they offer.

A Guide on Getting the Best Teacher at Italki

Italki has an advanced and perfect process of filtering and searching for the teacher who best suits your needs and goals. Their system helps you in selecting the best teacher who will take you through the whole journey of learning the language you want. When you are searching for a teacher, these are some of the filters which you will answer:

  • Type of teacher( either professional or a community tutor)
  • Price of the teacher
  • Location
  • Teacher’s native language
  • Skills and qualities

By filling in the filters correctly, you will end up getting the best teacher for yourself. After filtering, the website will display a number of teachers and tutors who teach the language which you have chosen. Now it is up to you to select the best teacher who suits you. How will you identify a good teacher or tutor?

  • Have a look at the number of lessons he or she has completed. This involves looking at the number of lessons that the tutor or teacher has taken and successfully completed them.
  • Look at his or her schedule. The schedule of the teacher should be able to suit your availability. Do not go for a teacher who will be on the time when you will be off.
  • Look at the review stars. The reviews stars are out of five so do not go for a tutor whose rating is poor as this reflects his or her services and how he or she handles the students. Go for the one who has a four or five-star rating if you need quality services.
  • Finally, look at the price as this will help you in budgeting. Though you should put in mind that the higher the price, the good the teacher, NO. Personally, I have met teachers who pay as low as 4 dollars and they are exemplary and I have met some whose price is $30 per hour and they are bogus.

NOTE: My advice on choosing the best teacher

Looking at the number of lessons completed is not a major factor considered when selecting your teacher as there will be others who will be new and so they will have zero numbers of task lessons. You might omit them and they could be the best. Secondly, I advise you not to go for a non-native since you will not learn more like the way you will from a native tutor.

How to Schedule a Lesson at Italki

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At this juncture now when you have already selected your teacher, I am going to explain to you how you can schedule for a lesson at Italki. The following are the steps you can follow to schedule for a lesson.

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  • Look at the calendar of your teacher. The teacher’s calendar is visible at his or her profile and from the calendar is a list of the times when he or she will be available.
  • Select your time. At the calendar, the teacher has highlighted the days and the times when he or she will be free and on for the studies. It is up to you to select a suitable time for yourself out of the listed times and dates of the teacher. Consider your time as well. Do not choose a period when you will be held somewhere as this will cause inconveniences.

After you have finished selecting a time, it is now submitted to the teacher as a request and the teacher is given time to accept or deny the request. Afterward, credits from your Italki wallet are taken and held as an escrow. They will be paid to the teacher after the completion of the lesson. In case there is a dispute between you and the tutor or the lesson is missed, then the credit is released back to your Italki wallet.

For all the years I have been working with Italki app, I have never experienced any issue with payments. The company enacted systems which ensure a high level of transparency and integrity among the stakeholders.

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About Italki Lessons

This is the most important part of this review. I want to be frank with you about Italki lessons so that you don’t get shocked by what you are going to encounter during your study at Italki.

To begin with, I can frankly state that you ought to be careful when choosing a teacher or a tutor on Italki. There are so many teachers who are experienced and others have got poor strategies for delivering information. You can access information about their experience by having a look at their profiles and backgrounds as well as reviews by students. There are some teachers who are not competent enough in delivering information or they have poor teaching strategies but not all of them. Such teachers may not guide you properly.

As a student, you should understand that you are paying for the teachings and so you should see the value of your money. Therefore, I advise you not to be a silent student as this will cost you too much. The sessions will be over and you would have not grasped anything from the teachings. I have seen many silent students completing training sessions, but in the end, they are unable to construct even a single sentence of the language they studied.

I advise you to speak up if you are not comfortable with anything from your tutor. Some teachers are not audible enough, others could be talking faster and others could be wasting a lot of time. It is up to you to speak out what you feel is not comfortable for you to receive quality services that will meet your goals.

Italki Coupons

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This is an interesting part of the review. I am going to explain how you can get and enjoy the coupons at Italki. There are number Italki coupons which keep on changing every day. Every day at Italki is an offer-day. You enjoy the credits and bonuses if you are a teacher. One of the most renowned coupons for both the students and the teacher is the referral bonus. For every person who you invite either a teacher or a student, there is a bonus you get in your wallet. The credits added in your account, you can use them as a student to pay for your study sessions. This is just but one of the many bonuses and discounts offered by Italki.

Payment Methods

Italki is a company which is technologically advanced and it uses the modern ways of conducting transactions at the international level. You can make your payments as a student and receive your payments as a teacher via Payoneer, PayPal and bank transfers. The website is not responsible for the withdrawal fee and the transactions costs. But there is a process before you can withdraw your cash from Italki. The process is as follows:

  1. First, you submit a withdrawal request and your payment method
  2. The company processes your withdrawal request based on your payment method
  3. Your money is transferred to the account you have provided

All the processes of payment and money withdrawal are operating with times and deadlines. You should request your withdrawal by date 15th of every month. When you do so, the company will pay the cash by 26th of that particular month. Another time when you can request for a withdrawal is between 30th and 31st of every month and the amount will be paid by 10th of the following month.

Verily, I can confess that there are no payment issues with Italki only if you do your withdrawal request on time.

You might ask if there are any charges that Italki charges from your withdrawal. Italki does not charge you even a single cent from your withdrawal. You will be charged by the company or based on the method of payment that you are using. There are some whose rates are high while others have lower rates. It is up to you to choose the best payment method.

Fees for Teaching at Italki

Italki only takes fifteen percent commission of the payment made to the teacher after the sessions have been completed successfully. If the student pays the teacher but they have not yet scheduled for classes or they have not yet completed the class, the website does not take the commission. It only does so after the training sessions have ended successfully. Italki takes the commission because it uses it to market the company and pay for some services like zonal –times, paying for the website among many others.

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Note: There are no commissions for applying, creating a profile, becoming a teacher and selecting your languages. Teachers are free to set their own prices based on their various factors.

Criticisms about Italki

Italki is a good application that one can use in learning any language but in every something good, there are some weaknesses. This section of the article describes some of the challenges I have faced when I was a student and those that am facing as a teacher.

  1. Money first then lessons. This is the approach used by Italki in offering its services. You have to pay first before you can schedule your lessons. You cannot start learning before you load your account, If you have no credits in your wallet, then you cannot access the lessons. It is one of the criticisms which I found and I suggest they deal with this because sometimes you might have cash in hand, not in the ban and so it needs time to bank the money.
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  1. Delayed Payment. At Italki you have to wait for 15 to 20 days after working for you to get your cash. In comparison to other sites like Preply where you get paid instantly, Italki has to improve their payment mechanism and reschedule the payment pattern.

These are the three criticisms of Italki that I can talk about the company.

Pros of Italki platform

I have highlighted the criticisms of Italki. Now let me give the state some of the advantages of using Italki for your language learning purposes.

  1. It offers an array of languages. The numbers of languages that are taught at Italki website are more than one hundred. Therefore, there is a high probability that the language you are looking for is available on the website. Not only the languages but also their dialects.
  2. The prices are suitable. You can access quality services even at cheap prices as there are some tutors who have priced their services cheaper.
  3. Offers job opportunities. There are more than one thousand tutors and teachers who are now working with Italki and they are making a living out of that. Affiliate marketers are also benefitting from the company.
  4. The system is advanced. Italki’s website system is highly advanced making it easy for the company to serve its customers to their maximum satisfaction. If you ask questions, you are answered instantly. The system is just okay provided that you have strong network connectivity. Despite your location, you will enjoy its accessibility

How To Make A Living Via Italki?

Interestingly, Italki gives you an opportunity to make money online using their website. Despite the fact that it is a language learning platform, you can still make a living out of it. Personally, I am making handsome cash out of Italki. I am going to describe two ways that you can make dollars at Italki.

  1. By Teaching Your Native language
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You can start earning by applying as a professional teacher of your native language or any other near-native language based on your location and where you were brought up. If you do not have the credentials needed by the website to serve as a professional teacher, you can apply to serve as a community tutor and be paid well based on the hours you spend with your students. The application process is free of charge as mentioned earlier and the numbers of students who want to learn new languages are increasing each day. Nowadays becoming a teacher at Italki is not a simple thing since the number has increased. If you successfully become a teacher, this is what I can advise you for you to proliferate in whatever you are doing.

  • Always keep your students happy. Do not be a harsh teacher. Practice with them and interact with them. You should also embrace them and where they come from as well as motivating them
  • Start small. By starting small I mean start with relatively affordable prices and then focus on delivering more than your price. Work hard to meet the expectations of your students in each lesson you will have with your them. By so doing you will receive good reviews and you will get even a five-star review. Afterward, you can increase your prices after you have increased your client base.
  1. By Referring Others

This is one of the easiest ways to make money with Italki. You can increase your cash either as a student or a teacher by referring others to join the website. Upon referral, you get a bonus. Personally, I have benefitted a lot from the referral bonuses which I earned mostly when I was still a student. I got almost $1000 as a bonus and this helped me in completing my Arabic course.

The Affiliate System At Italki

What is an affiliate system? It is a multilevel marketing strategy where one markets a product or a company by making referrals and through the referrals, he or she gets paid. It is one of the common forms of marketing which is taking place in the today digital business industry. Italki also gives you a chance to be an affiliate marketer. If you have your own website or application, you can benefit a lot from Italki. By making referrals to Italki, you get paid. For each referral, you receive a total amount of 10 US Dollars. The money will be put in your credit wallet the moment the person you referred subscribes to Italki’s services.

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Becoming an affiliate marketer with Italki is easy. All you need to do is to apply for the position at the Affiliate section of the website. They will review your application in less than five days. After that, you will start getting advertising materials like text links and banners for free. Italki will enroll you in a training program for thirty days and you will be set to increase the number of clients to refer. How much do you earn as an affiliate partner? There is no limit. You can make as much as possible based on the number of referrals you make. Sign up here to get free $10 bonus.

Alternative Sites

There are other sites which are offering similar services as those of Italki. Their services are also premium. I will give a highlight of three alternative websites namely: Preply, Verbling, and Verbalplanet.

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  • Preply

Preply is an online platform which provides you with offers you educational opportunities to languages, art, and other educations; it enhances so by connecting with tutors at the local and the international level. The application can help you get connected to a physical tutor who you will be meeting on a regular basis or meet a remote teacher who will be training you online. Preply was launched in the year 2016 and it has its headquarters in Brighton, Massachusetts inside the United States. The founders of the company are three businesspeople namely: Serge Lukianov, Kirill Bigai, Dmytro Voloshyn. Kirill Bigai is the current Chief Executive Officer of Preply. Read my review article about Preply by clicking this link…

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  • Verbling

Same as Italki and Preply, Verbling is also an online language learning website which gives an opportunity to students across the world learn different types of languages that are interested in. The company was founded in the year 2017 with its main offices in Francisco, United States. The principal founders of Verbling are Mikael Bernstein, Jake Jolis, and Gustav Rydstedt. Mr. Bernsten is the serving Chief Executive Officer of the firm. Verbling is among the top leading online language teaching companies in the world with a large population of students across the globe. Read my review about Verbling by clicking this link…

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  • Verbalplanet

Verbal Planet is also an e-learning platform which deals with language training. With the aid of the platform, you can learn different languages spoken on this planet. It offers you an opportunity to learn remotely from wherever you are. With the help of a strong network, you can access the website and open an account with the frim withers as a tutor or s student. The platform helps students to learn new languages and also they get to improve their fluency by getting connected to natives of the respective language. Verbalplanet is equipped with highly professional teachers and the management team is ensuring that the company runs smoothly. Verbal Planet was established in the year 2006 and the headquarters of the company is situated in Boston, United States. Read my review article about Verbal Planet by clicking this link…

What Makes Me Love Italki Most

I am in love with Italki and I feel like I have a sentimental attachment to it. The platform has helped in shaping my life, I have been able to pursue some languages via the application and today I am working as a teacher with the same company. I really appreciate Italki and I will always give it a five star despite some of the critics which I mentioned earlier. I will always recommend anyone who is need of learning a foreign language, to visit Italki since it is the place to be.

Conclusion

From the review, it is conclusive that Italki is the best online platform for learning that foreign language which you desire to speak. Not only is the platform of an education center, but also a workplace where you can make your living. There are many people whose lives have been uplifted by Italki especially from the developing countries. I am one of the people who are living well courtesy of Italki. There are some rumors which are going on that Italki is a scam. Get it right from me, Italki is REAL and LEGIT.

About the Author Simo

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