italki vs preply

italki vs Preply: Are They Really The Same?

Maria Claudia Alvarado Published on September 20, 2023
italki vs Preply

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If you want to learn a new language, finding a local tutor can be hard depending on where you live and which language you are studying. Luckily, there are many platforms that help you find someone to practice your target language from the comfort of your home. If you have been looking for one of these platforms, you may have heard about Preply or italki. They are both popular language learning websites that connect you with tutors for 1-on-1 online classes. However, only one has a secure platform that completely allows you to choose how many classes you want to take and when to take them, and that’s italki.

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italki Overview

italki is a well-known language learning platform that connects students with language teachers from all around the world. You can use filters to find a tutor, choose between Community Teachers and Certified Professors, and pick the time for your lessons.

italki and Preply are two massive online language learning platforms that connect you to a  tutor no matter where you are. They are very similar, so it makes sense that people often compare the two. In this article, we’ll look at their pros and cons so you can decide where you want to go next. 
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italki vs Preply: A Quick Breakdown

Preply and italki both have a comprehensive selection of tutors and filters to help you find the right one for you. Both apps allow tutors to set their own prices and schedules, and create their lesson plans, but they have different booking systems. With Preply, you have to buy packages for a certain amount of class hours. italki has lesson packages, but you also have the option of buying one lesson individually. You can use Preply to study other subjects like art, literature, and science, whereas italki only has language classes available. 

The table below shows you a direct comparison of italki and Preply based on their features, prices, and trial offers:

150+ languages50 languages
$4-$80 per lesson$1-$40 per lesson
1 trial lesson at a discounted price1 trial lesson at a discounted rate
Try NowTry Now

Preply vs italki: Cost Comparison

Each italki tutor sets the price for their lessons, which usually starts at $4.00 per lesson and goes up to $80.00 per lesson for more specialized topics. You can also get a discount if you buy multiple lessons at once. Most tutors offer a trial class at a discounted price to help you see if they are a good fit for you.  

The price for Preply lessons can vary depending on the language you want to learn, but the range is often between $1-$40 per lesson. Each tutor chooses how much they charge per lesson, and Preply requires you to buy packages of a certain number of hours to take lessons with them. The app has 6, 12, and 20-hour packages. You can take a trial lesson at a discounted price to see if you like the tutor’s teaching method. If you are not happy with your trial, you can contact Preply and get another trial lesson with a different tutor for free.

In my opinion, being able to buy the exact number of classes you want is much better than buying class hours. If this is your first time trying online classes with a tutor, you probably don’t want to spend more money than you are sure you will end up using. italki lets you buy the number of classes you plan to take, schedule class whenever you want, or switch tutors at your convenience. Preply’s credits also expire after a while, which is a problem if you don’t have time to use them all. Overall, I prefer italki’s pricing model for its flexibility.

If you’d like to see more options, we have more useful recommendations to help you achieve your language goals. Here are some similar alternatives:

italki vs Preply: How They Work

italki and Preply are language learning platforms that have a wide selection of tutors and languages. They both have filters and scheduling charts to help you pick a teacher that fits your schedule and budget. italki allows you to take as many or as few lessons as you want.  Preply offers a satisfaction guarantee but makes you buy packages.

Check out the table below to see how italki and Preply rate across the web:

Apple Store4.84.8
Google Play4.44.5
Total Average Score4.64.3

How italki Works

italki is an online learning platform and app that connects language learners with tutors from all around the world. It has filters that help you find a tutor based on criteria like the language you want to study, their native language, price, lesson type, and availability. italki also has two types of teachers: Community Tutors and Professional Teachers. Community Teachers are native speakers or advanced language students who can help you practice conversation or other common topics, while Professional Teachers are certified professionals with language teaching experience.

italki homepage

Each tutor has a profile page with their bio and an introduction video to tell you more about their personality. They list the type of lessons that they offer and their rates, but you can also contact them if you’d like to study something specific. Each teacher’s profile has their schedule, short bio, and past students’ ratings you can read to learn more about their teaching method.

italki has private and group lessons available you take through the italki Classroom. There are additional interactive practice activities for you to complete outside of class, and a community forum you can use to interact with tutors and other students in italki.   

If you’re interested, you can learn more about the app in this italki review.

How Preply Works

Preply is a language learning platform that helps you find a tutor no matter where you are located. It has thousands of tutors available for each of the 50 languages it offers. You can use filters to find the best tutor for you based on the language you want to study, prices, where the tutors are from, availability, and specialties. Like italki, Preply provides different options. you can learn with a regular tutor, a Super Tutor, or a professional tutor. A regular tutor is a native speaker or an advanced language student, and they can turn into a Super Tutor once they have enough positive ratings and experience. A professional tutor, on the other hand, is always a certified language instructor.

preply homepage

If you want to learn more about a tutor, you can visit their profile page to read their bios and watch their introduction video. Once you choose a teacher, you can pick an open time slot in their schedule to book a class with them. The lessons take place in the Preply Classroom (Space) or a video platform like Zoom or Skype. 

Preply has packages of class time that you can buy, and most teachers on the platform offer a trial lesson at a discounted price. The app has a satisfaction guarantee, so if you aren’t happy with your trial lesson, you can contact their support team, and they can arrange another trial lesson for you with a different tutor at no charge.

Learn more about the app in the Preply review.

italki: What We Like (and Don’t Like)

italki offers a wide variety of languages to help you find a tutor no matter what you want to study. The app has great flexibility and allows you to choose what you study next and how many lessons you want to take. Instead of being forced to buy lesson packages or plans, you can choose to have as many (or as few) classes as you want with a tutor. If you are trying to pick the best tutor for your learning style, most italki tutors have a discounted trial lesson available to help you try out their teaching method. 

You can also use italki if you are looking for tutors that teach specialized topics like medical language. You can take classes with Professional Teachers to make sure you are getting the most accurate information, but continue developing your vocabulary and speaking skills with Community Tutors. italki’s Professional Teachers are certified educators with teaching experience, so you can trust them with more complicated subjects. 

Italian tutors on italki

One of the downsides to using an online platform like italki, is that it can’t control the way tutors teach. While it would be easy to assume that teachers on italki charge more because they have more experience, this isn’t always the case. I’d highly recommend checking their ratings and reviews beforehand to ensure you have the best experience. Reading past students’ reviews can give you a general idea of the tutor’s quality and if people find that their teaching style is effective or not.

It’s worth noting that italki doesn’t provide a set curriculum, which means that their tutors create their own lesson plans. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on what you practice, but it can cause setbacks if you are constantly changing tutors. It’d be best to stick with a couple of tutors you really like.  

Preply: What We Like (and Don’t Like)

If you are on the fence about using the Preply platform, its satisfaction guarantee makes a difference. Even if you just want to take a trial lesson to see if you like taking online classes, if for some reason the tutor you chose doesn’t meet your expectations, Preply can refund your money or help you book a lesson with a different tutor. 

Preply is a well-known language learning platform, but it also has other options available. You can use Preply to prepare for an IELTS or TOEFL exam, work on your pronunciation, or study other subjects like Finances or Art History. The app even has lessons for kids with tutors that have experience teaching children. 

preply prices

I don’t like Preply’s system of buying hours. One of the reasons why people look for online tutors is so that they can practice what they want whenever they want. But, once you have taken your trial lesson, Preply only gives you the option to buy hour packages that start at 6 hours. I understand that this is a way to motivate you to keep studying, but it doesn’t seem like the best strategy to get the most out of your study time, especially if you use multiple tutors. In my experience, this might actually do the opposite and discourage you.

Many users have complained about Preply’s tutors not showing up to their lessons even though they marked them as “confirmed.” The issue seems to stem from the fact that all lessons are immediately confirmed once the user pays for the class. This means that the tutor doesn’t have to confirm the lesson because Preply’s system does that for them. This can lead to tutors accidentally missing the notice. Overall, it’s frustrating for the students who don’t end up receiving the lesson they scheduled and for tutors who get rated 1 star as a result. Hopefully, Preply can change that in the future.

italki or Preply: Which is better?

Choosing between italki and Preply can be hard if you don’t distinguish the key differences between these two platforms. They have similar filters, trial offers, and flexibility. But, after you take a closer look, choosing the right one might not be so hard. 

The whole point of hiring a tutor for online classes is to be able to change the schedule and lesson plan to adapt to your needs. With that said, Preply can successfully connect you with a tutor for online classes, but there is a chance your tutor might not show up for your lesson due to Preply’s booking system. Of course, Preply has its satisfaction guarantee, but that doesn’t make the experience less frustrating.

With italki, on the other hand, you can pay for the number of lessons you plan to take upfront. If you only want to practice conversation with a native speaker, you can book one lesson and call it a day. You don’t have to buy a package unless you want to. I think this is the best option for students who are new to the world of online tutoring, too. If you decide that taking online classes isn’t for you after you finish your trial lesson, you won’t have to think about the pending credits on your account. Overall, italki is better than Preply.

Preply or italki: FAQ

Is Preply tutoring legit?

Preply is a legit tutoring platform that can connect you with tutors for 1-1 classes. The app has thousands of tutors ready to help you develop your language skills. Preply also offers specialized lessons for test prep, medical language, pronunciation, and more.

Can italki make you fluent?

italki can connect you with a tutor to practice conversation, but you need to work on all the areas of language if you want to be fluent. You can look for tutors to help you develop specific skills or write to them for more specialized lessons. Many tutors also provide additional practice materials.

Is Preply a good way to learn another language?

Preply is a good way to practice speaking a language, but you can also study other topics like vocabulary or grammar. Preply tutors prepare their own lesson plans and adapt them to your needs. You can use Preply to learn a language as a hobby, get ready for a trip, or reach the next level of language.

Is italki free to use?

Italki isn’t free. Each tutor on the app chooses the price for their lessons, so there’s an option for all budgets. Most tutors also offer a trial lesson at a discounted price so you can see if you like their teaching style before booking more classes.

Maria Claudia Alvarado

Maria Alvarado is a content writer and translator from Lima, Peru. She graduated from the Savannah College of Arts and Design in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing. She is fluent in Spanish and English, has intermediate knowledge of French and German, and is learning Japanese. She hopes to bring consciousness about the importance of language learning through her articles and aspires to learn as many languages as possible.

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