italki Review

italki dominates the language tutoring space. The platform connects you with language teachers around the world for 1-on-1 lessons.

You can practice many languages at italki (even dialects such as Sicilian or fictional languages such as Klingon). When we published this post, you could choose among +320 languages. Plus, there are thousands of teachers per language. Having many tutors enables you to find those that best fit your learning style, schedule, and personality.

There are also teachers for every budget (starting at $4 USD per hour and can reach $80 USD per hour). Most teachers charge somewhere near $10 USD per hour. 

Currently, italki is giving $10 USD worth of credits with your first purchase (purchase must be at least $20 USD italki credits to receive the gift). And you also need to complete your first lesson for the $10 USD bonus to appear on your italki balance.

Click here to join italki and receive the $10 USD bonus after buying $20 USD italki credits.

Practicing with a native speaker is the best way to learn a language, and italki is the best place to find them! 

To simplify our review, we evaluated italki in four categories. Here are the results:

User Experience: 10/10

Not two teachers are alike. But it is a thrill to connect with all of them.

Content Quality: 8/10

The teachers are good but do not all have the same training background. You will find from long-time professionals to brand-new teachers.

Features Available: 7/10

The platform has many helpful features, but there is also room for improvement.

Value for Money: 10/10

Compared to offline options in your local town, prices are lower, teacher options are vaster, and scheduling is more flexible.


+320 languages and dialects.

Thousands of skilled teachers.

Low prices.

The app and website are easy to navigate.

italki has an active community.

Free features enable you to ask questions, get your writing checked, and find a free language exchange partner.


Teacher quality varies a lot.

Teachers establish the lesson prices. Thus, higher prices do not translate into higher quality.

You will not click with all teachers. Therefore, you may need to try several before finding those that match your personality and learning style.

The platform does not enforce a curriculum, which could be something good. But it can become a negative point when you take fewer classes than you should.

So, enough of this introduction. It is time to dive into this review about what it’s like to use italki for your language lessons.

Table of content

What is italki?

Languages and teachers

Professional Teacher vs. Community Tutor

Choosing a teacher


italki Instant Booking

The italki app

Scheduling classes

Paying for classes

Safety and Security

Learning Experience

Areas of Improvement

Does italki have a free trial?

Can italki make me fluent?

How often should I use italki?

When should I start italki lessons?

The lessons

italki community

Wrapping Up!

Nowadays, we can learn another language without leaving our homes. The Internet has breached the gap. Years ago, there was no way around getting immersed in Italian. You had to go to Italy! But today, opening our laptop or phone is now enough to access a flood of Italian content.

However, you may argue that nothing beats learning a language by interacting with locals. And how could we get that online? We can certainly read a newspaper, listen to audio and watch videos on our computers. But there’s just no substitute for speaking to an actual person. And even enrolling in an online course does not give us that experience. 

Did you know there are several platforms where you can talk for hours with language teachers? The good news is that these platforms exist. And we are going to review the most famous of them.

italki review: What is italki?

italki is a platform where you can book language classes directly with a tutor. You can set your schedule and choose the price you can afford. There are thousands of independent teachers from all around the world offering classes on italki. Beginners and advanced students can benefit from the platform. There are italki tutors for everyone.

italki itself doesn’t offer any classes. Tutors using the italki platform are the ones that teach. Classes typically take place over Skype, but options such as WeChat, FaceTime, and others are often available.

Here is an analogy. Comparing italki with traditional classes at a language school would be similar to comparing Airbnb with a typical hotel.

Languages and teachers

Italki is not the only platform in this space. But it certainly is the one that groups the most teachers and languages.

At italki, not only the standard languages are included, but also dialects and even fictional languages such as Klingon. Even American Sign Language is available.

+320 languages were listed at italki when this post was published. You can see the complete italki languages list by clicking here.

And there are thousands of teachers per language. Thus, enabling you to go pickier than you otherwise might be able to. Here is an example of what you can do inside italki. 

You want to learn Italian. Got it!

You want your Italian teacher to be from Switzerland. Got it!

You want your Italian teacher to be a native speaker. Got it!

You want your Italian teacher to have experience teaching children. Got it!

You want your Italian teacher to prepare you for a specific test. Got it!

You want your Italian teacher to explain things in Arabic (assuming Arabic is your first language). Got it! When a student’s first language is a language different from English, he can likely find someone teaching his target language and explaining things in his native language.

So, because of how many teachers there are available, italki enables you to fine-pick your tutor. Back in the day, when you searched for a teacher in your local town, you would not imagine you could boil your selection down this much!

At italki, you can even hire influencers in the language learning space to be your teachers. Graziana Filomeno runs the Italian language learning site and has a popular Youtube channel. But you can also book an Italian lesson with her by clicking here. Or you may have heard about the YouTube channel Learn Italian with Lucrezia. It has more than half a million subscribers. You guessed it! You can also book a class with Lucrezia Oddone by clicking here.

Some of you may not feel prepared yet to have 1-on-1 lessons with a tutor. So, here is a course we recommend for those wanting to learn Italian that may cement your skills before engaging in a more conversational approach. 

Professional Teacher vs. Community Tutor

There are two teacher categories in italki: Professional Teachers and Community Tutors. 

Professional Teachers are professionals that can prove it with certifications. They have at least one of the following:

Experience teaching professionally in schools, universities, or language institutes.

University degree in education.

Teaching certificate.

The italki staff verifies every Professional Teacher.

Professional teachers are ideal for students with detailed questions or those wanting to study advanced topics, like test preparation.

Community Tutors are native or advanced speakers. And they are helpful for informal practice and conversation exchange.

Professional teachers are usually more expensive and have more experience teaching. They’re more likely to have extra materials or prepare lessons specifically for the student.

Community tutors generally are a better idea if you’re more interested in casual conversation practice.

Some Community Tutors are more skilled than some Professional Teachers. Remember, these are just labels. Each teacher or tutor is unique.

Choosing a teacher

Before scrolling through the teachers available, it is helpful to picture what is your ideal class.

Do you want the teacher to explain things in your native language when you do not understand something?

Do you want the teacher to focus on specific grammar points?

Would you prefer casual conversational practice?

Are there any specific materials you’d like to go through?

What else would you like or dislike in your lessons?

These questions intend to narrow down your teacher selection. After you know what you’re looking for in a class, you can begin to look for the right teacher for yourself. 

italki has features that help you choose your tutor. You can see where each teacher is from, how many lessons they’ve taught, their ratings, availability schedule, other languages they speak, and both a video and written introduction.

There is extra information on the teachers’ profiles (description of the teacher’s lessons, teaching style, and Resume).

Additionally, reading through the reviews left by other students can help you choose your tutor. At italki, people rarely leave bad reviews. However, you can still get an idea of whether or not a teacher would work for you based on what others say. The main points you could check reading reviews are: 

What is the teacher’s teaching style?

How does the teacher interact with students?

And even how good their internet connection is (a lag can become annoying when learning a new language).

Researching teachers is a step you should not skip. But on the other hand, please do not overdo it. You could easily spend hours reading through tons of teacher profiles. But it is impossible to be sure a teacher suits you until you have a class with them. The good news is that italki makes it easy for you to try out new teachers. You’ll find that most teachers offer a 30-minute trial class. Usually, the trial is half the price of a regular lesson.

So, schedule several trial lessons with different teachers and then continue taking regular classes with one or two that best fit your learning preferences.

italki Prices

Every teacher sets their price. The allowed range goes from $4 to $80 USD per hour. However, we must warn you that higher prices do not always mean better quality.

The average price teachers charge per hour is $10 USD.

Here is an example. For Italian, at the time of publishing, you can find 16 teachers charging over $50 per hour. But 93 teachers charge between $6 and $9 USD per hour. And 105 teachers charge $10 per hour.

Having many tutors available makes it possible to find your ideal teacher and take classes online without breaking the bank. And some tutors even offer lower prices if you book multiple lessons at once. Taking language classes online is usually cheaper than finding an in-person tutor.

italki Instant Booking

At italki, to take a lesson, you usually book it first. Every teacher has a schedule that shows their availability. However, some tutors have enabled the option to start their classes immediately if a student requests an instant booking. Being able to book right away is super convenient because you don’t have to wait for the tutor to confirm your class. It all happens automatically.

The italki app

There are two options when it comes to taking lessons at italki. You can choose to use their website, or you can download the italki app.

The app seems more convenient, but both offer the same experience.

We say the app is more convenient because you can take lessons or complete activities anywhere you want.

Scheduling classes

When you find a teacher you like, the next step is to schedule a lesson with him. The process is straightforward. All you need to do is click the “Book Now” button. You need to know that before booking you can contact the teacher and ask any questions. The teacher can give you an idea of your language level. And you can share what you’d like to focus on in the next lesson.

Most teachers have a few different types of classes that they offer. These may have different prices or all be the same price.

The length of the lessons can also vary (lesson prices accordingly). Sometimes, you may be able to book a package of classes at a discount.

You can also leave a message for the teacher before taking a lesson. 

You’ll need to select the time that you’d like the lesson to take place. italki shows the teacher’s schedule. On it, you can see when the teacher is available according to your own time zone.

Next, choose the platform you’ll use for your lessons and add your username.

The italki Classroom platform works well for video lessons. It allows for easy messaging and screen sharing. However, you can choose other communication tools (Skype, Zoom, WeChat, Google Hangout, FaceTime, QQ, etc.) The italki Classroom has the advantage that italki can easily monitor if you or your tutor have technical problems during the lesson.

Paying for classes

You can pay for classes on italki with a specific teacher or purchase italki credits.

The credits carry the same value as USD and can be used to purchase classes with any italki teacher.

When you pay for a lesson, lesson package, or credits, you’ll also see a processing fee attached, depending on the payment method.

For $10 paid by debit card, it’s 6.90%.

This fee shoots up to 80.40% if paid by bank transfer! 

The percentage goes down a little if you purchase more credits. Buying $100 worth of credits will cost 4.44% extra on fees (if paid with a debit or credit card).

The advantage of purchasing credits instead of lessons with a specific teacher is that you could potentially save some money on the processing fee by paying for more at once without being committed to one teacher.

The credits will sit in your account wallet until you use them. Unfortunately, you can’t get a refund for your purchase. Thus, only purchase as many credits as you’ll need. Given the relatively minor savings in the processing fee for higher amounts, do not add too much money unless you’re sure you’ll use it.

Safety and Security

One of the reasons to find tutors using italki is safety and security. 

For example, you may find somebody on social media (or at other forums online) offering to teach you your target language. However, booking a lesson directly with the person involves risks. You could pay the person and lose your money (because the person does not show up). Or the person could do or say all kinds of unexpected and unpleasant things during the class, and there is nobody to arbitrage.

The role of italki is to take these risks out of the picture. The platform ensures you receive the lessons. And it also helps solve any problems you have with a tutor. This added layer of security is a benefit, undoubtedly!

Learning Experience

Your learning experience has a lot to do with the tutors you choose. Overall, the teachers on the platform are good! Thus, your learning experience should be good.

Concerning the platform itself, it is user-friendly. There is no need to spend time learning how to use it.

italki also has some free practice activities you can complete to learn even more. It asks questions in your target language, and native speakers help correct your responses. You can also ask questions to the italki community and interact with tutors outside your classes. 

Areas of Improvement

italki has been dominating this 1-on-1 tutoring space, and it has not been by chance. They have put a lot of work into making the platform safe and secure. Plus, the learning experience is interactive and fun. 

However, keep an eye on the tutors you choose. Some tutors will click with you, and some will not. To avoid disappointment, watch the tutors’ introduction videos, read reviews from other students, and book trial classes.

For now, italki has not learned to feed you instructors that match your personality and learning style. Probably in the future, they will incorporate Artificial Intelligence into their feed and save you from picking teachers that disappoint you. But for now, it is up to you to filter which teachers you like.

Does italki have a free trial?

italki does not have a free trial. But, as we mentioned in the section where we discussed how to choose a teacher, most tutors offer trial lessons (at a discounted rate). Thus, it enables you to try different tutors and find the ones you like best.

Can italki make me fluent?

Yes, you can become fluent using italki. Practicing with native speakers is the best way to learn a language.

Back in the day, to have this type of interaction with locals, you had to travel. So, let’s be grateful platforms like italki exist. And that lessons are affordable.

How often should I use italki?

Do you want to learn fast? Are you on a budget? We recommend 3 hours of lessons per week. It ensures you practice consistently but not overwhelmingly. You can also ask your italki tutor to send you practice activities to complete outside of your lessons.

When should I start italki lessons?

The quickest way to improve your communication skills is by talking with natives. Therefore, start using italki when you start learning a language.

Many use only language apps at the beginning of their language-learning endeavor. And build upon mistakes that later on take time to purge. It’s simpler to receive correction from locals from the start.

The lessons

The lessons on italki are unique. Not two teachers are the same. And you may want to discuss a topic that other students would never choose. So there never will be duplicate lessons.

Everyone has different personalities and different learning styles. One person’s dream teacher could be another’s least favorite. Thus, the importance of taking trial lessons.

italki community

italki is most well-known for affordable online language tutors. But it also has several free “Community” features that help a lot. Under the Community button are the following tabs:

a.) Following: You can follow other italki members. And they can also follow you. So, in this section appears what your following has been publishing. This way, you keep updated with their content.

b.) For you: in this section, italki presents posts that might interest you. The content covers many topics. There are also some prompts on this screen for users looking to get writing or speaking practice, which other users can see in the Exercise section and then provide feedback.

The posts published here can be just about anything. Many times, teachers write posts as a means of helping promote their tutoring services. These posts include general language discussions, conversations on more specific topics like food or books, people asking questions about languages, and many learners looking for language partners. 

What are language partners? It’s another member with whom you can practice your target language. Your partner will expect you to help him, and he will also help you. Both parties will help each other out. With a language partner, you do not pay anything. Although lessons on italki are generally inexpensive, you can also use the platform without spending money.

There used to be a dedicated feature to search for language partners with handy filters such as native language, where they’re from, gender, etc.

Unfortunately, connecting with other users isn’t as simple as it once was. As we mentioned at the beginning of the “For you” section, you will have to write a post stating you want a language partner. Do you want to find a language partner at italki for free? Then click here.

When you find someone to be your language partner, you can send him a message or add him as a friend. You’ll notice many of the teachers also take part in language exchanges.

c.) Podcasts: many tutors also have podcasts. They are available for free in this section.

d.) Exercises: italki has many exercises for you even when you’re not taking classes. Other members of the community review your work and correct it if necessary. This section is the best place to improve your writing skills in your target language. And it’s free!

It works simply. You write about any topic you’d like to write about in the language you’re learning. Then, someone who’s proficient (usually a native speaker) will come in and read your writing, making corrections.

Just be sure that whatever you write, you’re comfortable having strangers read it. It’s public!

If you find this feature helpful, be sure to return the favor and help correct other people’s writing.

You can also record yourself speaking about anything you like and upload it to this section. That way, you get feedback on pronunciation for free.

e.) Questions: you will come up with questions once in a while. So, this section finds solutions to your inquiries. You can ask things like which word to use in a specific context, questions about grammar points, and whatever other random questions you come across while studying. You will receive answers for free. So, we encourage you to answer questions from other users about your native language to pay it forward.

Do you want to take advantage of all the free features offered in the community section of italki? Click here to join the community.

Wrapping Up!

You have arrived at the same conclusion as many that are part of italki. Practicing your target language by interacting with natives and tutors is a must. A few years ago, this seemed impossible. But these 1-on-1 sessions with locals are now one click away from you.

You can even find a language partner today, completely free. You do not need to pay a subscription or a monthly fee. It’s a no-brainer!

It would not make sense to try to learn a language, nowadays, without being part of the italki community. Click here to join.

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