italki

Language teaching and tutoring marketplace.

Summary
italki is a semi-structured foreign language learning/tutoring platform that connects paying language learners with either “professional teachers” or “community tutors” using an open marketplace model. Teachers and tutors are paid hourly and set their own rates. Over 100 languages are offered.

 

How To Use It:
A short form and video application are required, after which you wait for italki to contact you. Then you fill out a profile and wait for students to get in touch. Typically, community tutors do paid conversation, and professionals teach.

There is no curriculum set by italki, so you and your students can use the time as you see fit. However, italki does include tutor profiles, scheduling, rating systems, etc. This puts it near the middle of the spectrum in regards to structure when compared to other services of this category.

 

Recommended For:
For community tutors (no professional credentials), making side cash/ beer money. Professional teachers earn more. For both pay varies widely, depending on how well they perform in the marketplace.

 

Pros:

  • Options for both those with teaching experience/ certifications, and those without them.
  • Plenty of students to market to.
  • Flexible schedule, though you must decide with the student what that schedule is.
  • Solid website and app, plus responsive tech support is a big plus.
  • If you want to learn another language as well, you can choose to trade in some earned credits for lessons of your own.
  • Lots of freedom in designing your content and communicating with students outside of the website.

 

Cons:

  • italki takes a 15% commission.
  • You are competing with a lot of tutors who live in developing countries that can afford low rates.
  • Hourly rates for tutors are generally lower than other language learning/tutoring sites, such as Nice Talk or Cambly.
  • Requires a strong internet connection – they test.

 

Things To Know

  • Those with provable professional credentials earn more.
  • Funny/ quirky intro videos seem to get more students, as shown by many successful tutors. Find a way to stand out.

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