Unbiased Honest Italki Review: 6 Things You Have to Know About Language Tutoring – Pros and Cons (2024)

In the world of language learning, having access to the right resources can make all the difference. And one of the hardest resources to find is a good tutor. That’s exactly what the Italki platform set out to solve. This italki review will help you decide! But first, let’s see this italki introduction:

Italki offers an array of language tutoring services and prides itself on its vibrant community of learners and educators. But can you truly find high-quality teachers on Italki? Is the platform secure and reliable? And is taking video lessons enough to get fluent?

Italki is an intuitive language tutoring platform that offers an array of services, focusing on conversation practice over rigid curriculum-based learning. The platform thrives on personalization and features a variety of resources for a comprehensive learning experience.

What we like
  • User-friendly interface and easy onboarding process
  • Extensive selection of tutors for finding the perfect match
  • Secure and transparent booking and payment process
  • Vibrant community for enhanced engagement and learning
What we don't like
  • Quality of the teacher varies
  • Choosing the best professional teacher can be time-consuming due to the vast selection
  • Benefits greatly depend on learner's consistency and dedication; no support or resources provided outside the lessons


Interested in trying it out?

In this italki review article, we’ll take a close look at what this popular tutoring learning platform has to offer, its pricing, user experience, and its teaching methodology (especially if it teaches you enough chunks), to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your learning journey.

As a linguist, my team and I spend considerable time reviewing platforms, not just superficially, but also to test them against the latest research in linguistics and teaching methodology, including compatibility with Conversation Based Chunking™. To support that work, we do earn a small commission whenever we recommend a language product. Learn more about our language product reviews’ process and policy.

1. Getting Started with Italki Platform

Getting started with Italki is a breeze.

Using our referral link will net you a $10 credit for your first lesson. To sign up, simply go to this signup page click “Start Learning,” enter your details, and voila!

You’re in.

italki review screenshot of affiliate referral link
Italki offers 1-on-1 lessons in more than 150 languages

Ultra-easy Onboarding and Great User Experience

One commendable aspect of Italki is its onboarding process. (The onboarding experience is similar to what I described in the Spanishpod101 review article.)

After creating your account, Italki prompts you to specify your target language and proficiency level.

After determining your proficiency, you can specify your reasons for learning the foreign language. This might include educational goals, business needs, or leisure interests like travel. From there, you select a regional variant of your chosen language (Spanish from Spain vs. Mexico, for example), your interests, and then you’re good to go!

italki review screenshot of italki onboarding, which language do you want to learn
Choose the language you want to learn

User Experience Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (10/10)

2. Your First Italki Lesson With a Tutor: How to Learn a Language With the Right Teacher

Choosing Your Tutor

A key component of Italki is its broad array of tutors. It’s also its biggest downside, because the quality of the Italki teachers varies widely and it might take a while before you find a good match.

Italki is aware of that, and they’ve implemented a useful feature: the option to book a trial lesson: a shortened (and often cheaper) lesson to get to know the professional teacher.

My recommendation is to try out a few before settling on one. Of course, if you like several tutors, nothing’s stopping you from taking classes with all of them and rotating in italki classrooms!

Be sure to also leverage Italki’s extensive ratings and reviews system, and availability schedules to find a language teacher that fits your learning style and schedule.

italki review screenshot of availability
Check the availability of your favorite teacher

Moreover, you can also filter teachers based on which language you want to learn, location, reviews, prices, and many other filters.

But the most useful filter is definitely “what are you’re looking to practice?”.

TIP: Always remember that a tutor’s main value lies in the conversation practice they offer, not grammar instruction. It’s crucial to choose professional teachers that are willing to prioritize conversation practice and flexibility over a rigid curriculum. In your search filters, I recommend filtering for conversation practice, pronunciation, and listening comprehension. More on that in the section about “Making the most of your Italki lessons”

3. Booking and Payment Process

Italki Tutor Prices: Choose Wisely for the Best Value for Money

Italki teachers can set their own rates, so you’ll encounter a variety of prices depending on the tutor’s qualifications and experience. Some tutors charge as low as $4 per hour, while others charge up to $80 per hour.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the more expensive tutors are always better.

There are other factors at play, such as their level of experience, teaching style, and availability.

Screenshot 2023-06-20 at 11.53.27.png
Check the teacher’s rating

A more experienced tutor may charge a higher rate, but they may also be able to offer more advanced lessons and personalized instruction. Many teachers may offer discounts for bulk purchases or have special rates for new students.

Ultimately, the pricing of a tutor should be balanced with your own budget and learning goals. Take the time to research and compare tutors before making a decision, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations or schedule a trial lesson to ensure a good fit.

TIP: You’ll often find better rates for teachers offering pure conversation practice (as opposed to, say, exam prep classes). And if you use the tips later in this article on making the most of your Italki lessons, conversation practice classes could actually the most valuable type of classes you can take on Italki! Win-win.

Value For Money Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (8/10)

Booking a lesson on Italki

After you’ve chosen a teacher, Italki offers a seamless booking and payment process.

You can book trial lessons and select packages that suit your needs. Payments are made with credits which you can top up according to your requirements.

Italki holds your funds and ensures safety and transparency for both student and teacher.

4. Making the Most of Your Italki Language Learning Lessons: Use Italki Community Features to Reach Language Partners and Native Teachers

Okay, so you’ve chosen your teacher.

How can you make sure you truly learn your target language through the lessons you’re to take with them? 

Italki is a tutoring platform so it doesn’t have so much content beside that but you can make the most out of it with our tips!

Content Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (7/10)

Listen to identify chunks, speak to use chunks.

One important thing to remember is that Italki and working with a teacher is only part of the learning process.

At Effortless Conversations, we pioneered a method called Conversation Based Chunking, which follows four steps.

Product reviews Conversation Based Chunking
While doing the 1-on-1 lessons, use the Conversation Based Chunking method
  1. Listen to conversations: Start from native speaker conversations instead of words or grammar rules.
  2. Identify “chunks” or fixed word combinations in the conversations you listen to. For Spanish, these include phrases like mucho gusto (nice to meet you), cómo estás (how are you), and por supuesto (of course)…
  3. Memorize these chunks: Imprint these chunks on your brain using flashcards or similar memorization methods.
  4. Start speaking: Begin using these chunks in conversation yourself.

Your Italki lessons will mainly help you:

  • Listen to your teacher to learn new chunks
  • Speak yourself to use chunks you’ve learned
italki review screenshot of best spanish tutor for you
Choose the category you want to practice

In between classes, you’ll have to spend time on your own to memorize chunks and listen to even more conversations; during your tutoring sessions you’ll put everything into practice. If you’d like to learn more about this method (and how to memorize chunks), I recommend you sign up for our Conversation Based Chunking Starter Kit to get an in-depth guide, demo lessons, and flashcard decks.

Here are some extra tips to make the most out of your Italki lessons:

Maximizing The Platform’s Features and Your Italki Lesson’s Effectiveness

  1. Ask for conversation, not grammar instruction: Focus on getting exposure to Spanish conversation and practice yourself, not following a strict curriculum. Remember, the goal is to use the chunks or phrases you’ve learned in the past.
  2. Focus on chunks, not grammar: Ask your tutor how they would express certain phrases. It’s better to learn sentences, not just words, to acquire the language in context.
  3. Take note of new vocab in context: This could be a shared Google Doc with your tutor or your own personal notebook. It’s beneficial to write down full sentences rather than individual words to help contextualize the learning.
  4. Record your sessions: This allows you to revisit and reinforce your learning later.
  5. Be Consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to learning a new language. It’s better to spend a small amount of time each day learning than to cram several hours into one day. Try to set a regular schedule with your teacher, and make it a priority. It could be a few times per week or even every day, depending on your available time and budget.

Most of us struggle with the act of learning or writing itself, but with consistency. I have the best solution for your consistency problems with 7-Day Writing Habit Challenge. It’s a brand new challenge I created for a new project called Tiny Trust Builders.

Powered by the Tiny Trust Builders™ methodology, the Challenge helps you:

  • Craft an Intent Builder: light a fire under you so you finally take your writing aspirations seriously;
  • Develop a Tiny Trust Builder: a small daily writing action that builds self-trust and proof that you can, in fact, write every day;
  • Set you up for a lifelong writing habit that becomes deeply entrenched with your writing identity.
  1. Reflect After Each Lesson: Take a few minutes after each lesson to reflect on what you’ve learned. What chunks did you learn? How did you use them in a conversation? What did you struggle with? Keeping a learning journal can be extremely helpful for this process.
  2. Review and Revise: Regularly review the notes and chunks you’ve taken from previous lessons. Revision is crucial in language learning. Make sure to revise the chunks you’ve learned, as frequent exposure to these phrases and sentences will help cement them in your mind.

Enhancing Your Language Learning Experience

  1. Use the Community features: As mentioned earlier, Italki offers a vibrant community of language learners from around the world. Make use of this platform to interact with other students, participate in language exchange, or simply to discuss your learning experiences. Engaging with others can be a fun and effective way to practice your new language outside of lessons.
  2. Practice Pronunciation: Italki gives you the unique opportunity to learn from native speakers, so take advantage of this by focusing on your pronunciation. Ask your teacher to correct your accent and to help you perfect the sounds that are challenging for you. This will ensure that you not only understand and speak the language but also sound like a local when you do!
  3. Use group classes to save money: Italki also offers affordable group classes. Since you’re sharing the spotlight with other students, you’ll take on a slightly less active role and won’t get as much speaking practice, but on the other hand, you’ll save money, they can also be excellent for listening practice and for identifying chunks.
  4. Engage in Cultural Exchange: Learning a language isn’t just about memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules – it’s about understanding and immersing yourself in a different culture. Don’t be shy about asking your teachers from around the world about cultural nuances, traditions, idioms, and more. This will deepen your understanding of the language and make you a more competent speaker.
  5. Be Patient and Persistent: Learning a language takes time and dedication. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see instant progress. Remember, every little bit helps, and each lesson is a step closer to fluency.
  6. Take Advantage of Other Resources: While Italki is an excellent tool, it shouldn’t be your only resource when learning a language. Use learning apps, read books in your target language, watch movies or listen to music, and seek out opportunities to practice your skills in real-life situations.

Features Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (10/10)

5. What Other Users Say About Italki Tutoring?

Users who have experienced Italki consistently express their satisfaction and admiration for the platform.

The quality of tutors receives high praise, with users commending their expertise and commitment – although mentioning that it might take a lot of time to find the ideal teacher. The platform’s user-friendly interface is frequently highlighted as a positive aspect, making it effortless for learners to schedule sessions with their preferred tutors.

Through the rating system, learners have the opportunity to provide feedback on their learning experiences, ensuring transparency and accountability. Many users also value the sense of the Italki community, as they can connect with language learners from around the world.

Italki garners enthusiastic reviews for its comprehensive features, personalized learning approach, and the notable progress users achieve in their language learning endeavors.

User Reviews Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (8/10)

6. The Honest Italki Review You Needed: Is It Worth Your Time?

Italki can be an incredibly effective tool for language learning if used correctly. Overall, Italki offers an unparalleled platform for language learners. With an abundance of tutors, a user-friendly interface, and a plethora of resources, it’s a boon for those seeking to learn a new language.

Its biggest advantage (a sheer unlimited teacher pool) is also its biggest downside (choice overload and quality issues).

But by following the tips in this article (especially seeing the tutor sessions as part of an overarching learning methodology like Conversation Based Chunking™) and making the most of the features it offers, you can significantly improve your language skills and even make some new friends around the world.

Italki Review: Overall Rating
Overall Conversation Based Chunking™ Stamp of Approval8
User Experience10
User reviews8
Value For Money8

Effortless Conversations takes pride in providing well-researched, reliable, and unbiased language product reviews, based on the Conversation Based Chunking™ methodology. Our team’s extensive experience in language teaching and learning, combined with our Linguist Code of Ethics, ensures that the reviews you read on our website come from a place of genuine expertise and care for your language learning success.

With patience, consistency, and the right mindset, you could be speaking a new language fluently before you know it!

What are you waiting for?

Click the button down below to get a 10$ lesson credit and start your journey on the Italki tutoring platform!

italki review

Looking for a language learning tutor? Check out this in-depth Italki review for everything you need to know about the platform and its features.

Editor's Rating:

Is Italki worth the money?

One important thing to remember is that Italki and working with a teacher is only part of the learning process. Italki can be an incredibly effective tool for language learning if used correctly: combine it with other language learning tools and with the right mindset, you could be speaking a new language fluently before you know it!

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