italki Review – Scam or Legit? Truth Exposed!

Are you looking for an italki review? But you may wonder if it is a scam.

The purpose of italki is to help you master any language. It finds you teachers who’re a good fit for you based on your individual needs. The ability to pay for what you use is a major selling point for italki. There are no set prices or set times.

But is there an advantage to applying what you learn in the real world?

I’ve been involved with italki for a while and I can explain.

italki offers online tutoring in more than 150 languages. Italki’s conversation features are great for learning a new language and making friends.

Italki is great because you can set your own learning schedule. You can customize your lessons by choosing the teachers and time blocks that work best for you.

But is Italki really any good? And does it actually help you learn a language faster and master it better?

This italki review aims to provide an answer to that question.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with italki. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to italki that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

What is italki?

The goal of the Italki language learning website and app is to facilitate learning by creating online connections between students and qualified teachers from the community and beyond.

Supporting more than 150 different languages, Italki is one of the most comprehensive language learning platforms available. Unlike other online resources, there is no limit to the number of languages one can learn here.

Depending on the teacher, students can choose from a variety of course formats (often tailored to their current language level), and the pay-as-you-go model gives them the freedom to tailor their learning experience to their specific needs without committing to a set curriculum.

In addition, some instructors offer students the opportunity to create their own curriculum. This makes it possible to discuss your needs and create a curriculum tailored to your needs during or after a trial lesson.

You can practice daily by asking questions, listening to podcasts, and doing activities on the Community page.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

How Does italki Work?

Italki’s focus on its users is one of the main attractions of the service. You can decide what, when and with whom you learn. Tutors are pre-screened to ensure they are suitable for your language and level.

You do not need to sign long-term contracts and only need to commit to the number of lessons you need.

Most teachers have a reduced rate for the first 30 minutes of a lesson and charge an hourly rate thereafter. Since teachers can set their own fees, it ensures that students can choose teachers and courses that fit their financial capabilities.

Both Italki’s desktop and mobile applications include a feature called italki Classroom, which works similarly to Zoom but is integrated into the software itself. So there is no need to purchase additional software.

Italki is based on the premise that finding a private tutor is the most effective way to learn a new language quickly. Italki is a practical and convenient alternative to traditional language courses that will help you learn a new language faster. 

You can choose the lessons that work best for you and your tutor to have a one-on-one conversation.

  • Italki is a fee-based service. This means that there are no fixed prices or rigid programs, and you can customize your learning to suit your own needs.
  • You can choose your language level, take a placement test, and work with teachers to create personalized learning plans.
  • Lessons vary in length and cost, so you can choose the lessons that are both right for you and within your budget.
  • Each lesson includes an interactive whiteboard and conversation area that can be used both during and after the course.
  • You can record the lessons and repeat them as many times as you like, which is ideal for review.

What’s The Method Behind Italki?

Hiring a teacher and practicing face-to-face with a native speaker can help you learn a language faster and more effectively than self-study.

If you’re looking for personalized one-on-one lessons, italki is the best choice thanks to its vast network of over 15,000 experienced teachers.

Lesson ideas are business-oriented and CILS test-specific, so students can expect real-world applications and measurable improvements.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

What Languages Can You Learn With Italki?

At this moment italki supports more than 150 different languages.

Language courses in English, Spanish, French and German are among the most demanded nowadays.

What a italki Lesson Is Like?

It’s hard to say.

In several conversation classes I’ve taken, we’ve started with an introduction and then moved on to different topics. The hour goes by quickly if the tutor manages to put me at ease. 

It’s wonderful if you find this type of teaching effective for your educational needs. In my experience, not all teachers are comfortable with being interrupted, so I find it helpful to let them know ahead of time that I want to be corrected if I make a mistake while speaking.

Some teachers take a more methodical and organized approach. They suggest different directions for the lesson and are receptive to your goals for the lesson. Currently, I take organized, grammar-based Italki lessons with a tutor. 

At the beginning of a chapter, she discusses the grammar rules, and then the two of us go through the chapter’s exercises together. Having such a customized teacher is very helpful.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to know your goals and your preferred approach to learning. Try out different teachers as you get started at Italki by taking advantage of the free trial classes. There’s a wide variety of educational approaches here. Use only the ones you like best.

Pros of italki

Over 150 languages to choose from

The wide range of languages and teachers available on italki is one of the service’s main advantages over similar offerings from competitors.

Unlike textbooks or automated online programs, you can have a more personal and realistic experience learning a new language by engaging both professional and community teachers.

Effective 1-1 tutoring and conversation practice

Another characteristic of italki is that instruction is individualized rather than communal. Although learning in a group has its advantages, nothing beats the individual attention and quick response time of a one-on-one tutoring session.

Italki is unique in that the focus is on one-on-one tutoring rather than group instruction; this allows your individual needs to be addressed while you work on becoming fluent in the language.

Learn at your own pace without fixed fees

Italki has an edge over the competition thanks to its one-on-one instruction and flexible pricing model.

This allows you to customize your education to fit your schedule and avoid enrolling in programs that don’t meet your needs.

You get more for your money, since you can design your language lessons according to your own schedule, instead of sticking to a pre-set plan.

Free italki community to ask questions and receive feedback

As with other services, italki users can ask and answer questions in an online forum.

If you’re learning a new language, this is a fantastic resource to broaden your horizons and eliminate any confusion you may be experiencing.

Also, the italki language challenge offers points and awards for the time you spend learning your target language.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Cons of italki

No free trial

Despite italki’s apparent promise to offer a free trial, I could find no such offer when I created an account. In fact, the Oxford Placement Test is advertised for about $10, while the italki language test costs about $30.

Unfortunately, there is no free trial offer to attract potential customers, although trial lessons cost only $3. With many other service providers, you can test their offerings risk-free for a certain amount of time before you have to commit to or pay anything.

However, the cost can be considered an investment in your own education and growth as a language learner. Generally, students invest more in their education and appreciate it when they have to pay out of pocket for their courses.

Finding the right time slot can be long-winded

This may not seem like a big deal, but I found it annoying because I couldn’t search for teachers or courses that fit my schedule. Instead, I’d to narrow my search by language and then search through a list of teachers to find one whose availability matched mine.

Of course, there are more than 15,000 teachers to choose from in total, so it’s pretty unlikely that you won’t find a class time that works for you. While it’s great that italki emphasizes flexibility and individuality in language learning, it would have been good to be able to search by specific time slots.

Who is italki For?

The italki learning style would suit anyone who:

  • They are eager to practice speaking in their preferred language.
  • They believe they would benefit more from one-on-one instruction.
  • They are unable to adhere to rigid schedules and time intervals
  • Has some basic knowledge and would like to develop further

Although italki is designed for learners of all levels, you should be prepared to hold conversations in your target language. To get the most out of your experience with italki, it is best to have a foundation of information to work with.

With italki, you will quickly learn to speak and listen in your target language. Conversation with a tutor or native speaker is invaluable practice.

How Much Does Italki Cost?

Italki does not charge a regular subscription fee like most other services.

Instead, you can browse the available sessions, choose the ones that best suit your needs, and pay only for the ones you actually use. A one-time 30-minute trial lesson costs about $3.99.

After that, teachers can set their own hourly rates. Depending on the experience of the teacher, this can range from about $10 to significantly more.

A distinct advantage of italki over competing services is that you only pay for the time you actually use. This eliminates the frustration of missing material due to scheduling conflicts that can occur in traditional classrooms.

Is Italki Safe? 

I’d say that Italki is safe, if you asked me. In fact, several families have sent their children through Italki classes. Don’t hesitate to choose a teacher with many positive reviews on Italki if you’re still unsure.

Some people just can’t bring themselves to start a video call with a complete stranger on Skype. If you want my opinion, I suggest you try something new.

We can rule out a lot of potential disasters (aside from internet connection issues). If your instructor behaves inappropriately, you can end the conversation and file a complaint with Italki.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

How to Choose a Good Teacher on Italki?

Teachers fall into three broad categories. I refer to these as “The Professional,” “The Teacher,” and “The Friend.”

To make a long story short:

  • The friend is a casual teacher who likes to meet new people, talk and teach, but does not do so systematically. They are great for teaching you banter, slang, and modern culture. Think of them as disposable language partners. In fact, many of them become friends.
  • The schoolteacher could be a retired teacher or a current teacher who tutors on the side. They take time to go over textbooks with you and give you reading material and assignments for class. They are not cheap, although they may be a little more expensive than the friend.
  • You are looking for the Professional who is comparable to a personal trainer or coach. The Professional is an experienced one-on-one tutor who can tailor the material to your level, interests, goals, and level of commitment. He makes the most of the time he spends with you in class by focusing on speaking, and he requires you to do homework outside of class, which he then corrects. With The Professional, you will learn the fastest and probably pay the most.

If you ask me, it is worth the extra money to hire The Professional because you will learn the material 1.5to 2 times faster. That’s because they have extensive teaching experience, know exactly how you learn best, and have the ability to provide you with an endless supply of relevant resources. That’s worth the price tag.

An important caveat is that professional teachers on italki are sometimes no better than tutors in the community, they’re much more expensive, or they aren’t as readily available (e.g., for less common languages).

Can You Get A Refund?

The information below is correct as of the date of this document.

If you cancel a course or choose not to take it, italki will credit your account for the full price. It is recommended that you report any problems with a lesson to italki within three days.

Since there are no upfront costs when using italki, you do not take any risk if you find that the service is not right for you. Nevertheless, you are more likely to find a suitable tutor, since there is a wide range of sessions and teachers to choose from.

Features of italki

Some of the most notable properties of italki are the following:

  • Desktop or device based to best suit your needs – So you can learn a new language whenever and wherever you want.
  • italki Challenge – Complete a 12+ hour task and get rewards like badges, certificates and even discounts.
  • italki Community – Practice your foreign language skills by asking and answering questions, discussing problems and sharing advice.
  • italki Business – To make your entire workforce multilingual

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Italki Alternatives

Preply

Preply is another language tutoring software, similar to Italki. I tried Preply and was very pleased with the results. Unlike other services, I appreciate that Preply prioritizes educational content over simple chats. 

Comparison of Italki and Preply. Why not try both? With Preply, you can connect with a great tutor. The biggest disadvantage compared to paying per lesson with Italki is that you have to buy a package of lessons with a teacher.

Verbling

Verbling is a platform like Italki where you can find qualified teachers to work with your students. Initial thoughts: Verbling has a smaller pool of accessible teachers and often more expensive rates than Italki. It’s a good idea if you have a larger budget to experiment with.

Cambly

Currently, Cambly only teaches the English language. You can choose from a large pool of teachers from the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Thanks to the app’s intuitive design, you can start your first English lesson right away. If you want to learn English, you should try both Cambly and Italki.

So, there you have it: an unbiased review of Italki from a language learner like you. I hope your search for a language teacher is successful!

Italki Customer Reviews

In order for me to write an objective and thorough review of italki, I’ve compiled some feedback from users on the website and discussion forums like Reddit.

“I’m now learning Tagalog with the help of an italki tutor. I’ve had a little more than 20 lessons (30 minutes each), and I’d estimate I’m in the A2 category. For me, tutoring is more about practice than learning. I study grammar and vocabulary on my own with a textbook before working with an instructor on practical application. If you solely use a tutor and don’t have time on your own, I feel it will take longer.” — Comment from Reddit

Yes, I understand what this user is getting at, but the opposite is also possible. If you learn a language mainly from a textbook, you may not be prepared to use it in practise. And although users also learn on their own, they usually achieve fluency much faster when they use 1:1 tutoring.

“I’ve been using Verbling and iTalki for three years. […] I prefer Verbling. My experiences with iTalki have been negative; the instructors appeared unprofessional and only wanted to have conversation-based sessions rather than putting effort into the classes.” — Comment from Reddit

With over 15,000 tutors available on italki, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Tutors have full control over their sessions, which can lead to less strict adherence to lesson plans.

“I recently joined iTalki and have taken roughly 6 sessions so far. The first few lessons are always about determining which tutor is best for you. Once you’ve found someone you’re comfortable with, iTalki becomes a wonderful tool for honing your communication abilities.” — Comment from Reddit

“I’ve observed a tremendous boost in my English learning. I’ve even had some interviews in English, which was not conceivable a few months ago.” — Comment from italki

“I would choose italki over the more expensive course. I believe that having a cool teacher is more important than everything else. Italki allows you to select your teachers. You can’t with the university.” — Comment from  Reddit

Most comments were positive, praising italki for its emphasis on one-on-one conversation training. Having attended a few sessions and experienced a significant boost in confidence, I can relate to the excellent praise italki receives.

italki Review: Final Verdict

Your personal taste is the determining factor.

Italki is great for improving your speaking and listening skills if you have tried other services like DuoLingo and find that the material is not applicable in real life.

Italki makes scheduling easy and convenient by allowing you to choose your preferred time of day, which is especially helpful if you lead a hectic or otherwise unpredictable lifestyle and have trouble committing to specific days.

Although I do not have much experience speaking in public in my target language, I found that after just a few hours of using this site, I had much more confidence speaking in public than I ever had with other services.

The best way to learn and improve your core skills is to jump in at the deep end and talk almost exclusively in your target language.

You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by trying a few trial lessons for $3. Italki is a great e-learning option because it is flexible to the user’s needs and speeds up the process of learning the language.

Take a look at the available teachers and try it out.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

Alternative of italki to Make Passive Income

If you want to make a stable and secure stream of passive income, I would suggest you start an affiliate marketing business online.

Affiliate Marketing is perfect for anyone who is new to online business. 

In fact, of all the online business models I’ve tried, affiliate marketing is the easiest and most rewarding so far.  

In affiliate marketing, you can actually run your business almost with zero cost and achieve a steady and sustainable passive income to pay for your bills. You don’t need any initial capital and can even do it as a side hustle.

And if you really want to learn affiliate marketing and build a business from scratch, I’d recommend you to get started with the most reputable platform for affiliate marketing: Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch. It offers you a free account (including a free website) with comprehensive training on SEO (free traffic methods), which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while using free traffic methods.

italki Review

Wealthy Affiliate has existed for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has free and premium membership.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.

You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny. 

So I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see it yourself.

Recommendation: Here’s The Best Alternative

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