Finding a Chinese Tutor: In Person or Online?
No matter where you are in your Chinese learning journey, working with a tutor can set you up for immediate success.
Tutoring will help keep you accountable for your own learning, and each session has a built-in feedback loop so you’ll know where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
So now that you’ve decided to enlist the help of a tutor, you will find that there are many options for Chinese tutoring- both locally (in person) and online.
So you may be wondering: which method is right for me?
Both choices have pros and cons, so it’s important to decide what tutoring experience will help you meet your learning goals.
In Person Chinese Lessons – Pros and Cons
- Less interruptions due to technical problems
- Easier to read and interpret body language and other factors (such as tone of voice)
- Kinesthetic/tactile learners may have a hard time learning online and will benefit from in-person tutoring
- Lack of flexibility with time and location
- Less human interaction
- Commuting takes up valuable lesson time
- Often significantly more expensive than online tutoring
Learning Chinese Online- Pros and Cons
- Flexible hours- it’s always a workday somewhere
- No commuting
- Learn from the comfort of your home environment
- A larger pool of tutors to choose from (each with different specialties)
- Lessons plans, notes, due date reminders, etc. can easily be shared online
- Less hands-on/tactile learning
- Technical Difficulties may interrupt learning time
- Less human interaction
Learn Chinese Virtually through Skype
In the age of technology, it is now easier than ever to learn Chinese online.
But not all language tutoring sites are created equally: every website has different features and options to tailor your Chinese learning experience.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the top 10 websites to find Chinese tutors online in 2020.
Preply is home to qualified tutors from over 185 countries, making them a highly diverse pool of teachers. The current Chinese tutor count is 368.
They carefully verify all tutors to ensure they are qualified native speakers and skilled tutors. Every Preply profile is verified as well to ensure accurate information.
Price: $1-$40, depending on tutor and lesson
Payment options: Visa, Mastercard and PayPal
- Detailed Filtering of Teachers: Easily narrow down tutors by specialties such as AP Chinese Language, Business Chinese, Cantonese, and Chinese for beginners (just to name a few)
- User Friendly Design: Each profile gives a detailed breakdown of the tutor and their native language, as well as any other languages they speak.
- Reviews: Tutors are given a rating out of 5 stars, which is submitted by students. This will help you find the most qualified Chinese tutor.
- Trial Lessons: Preply offers trial lessons to find out which tutor is right for you.
- Generous Cancellation Policy: Lessons can be cancelled 4 hours before beginning without incurring any added fees.
- Customer Service: If you’re not satisfied with your tutor or lesson, there is a 100% money back guarantee. Business hours – 6 am – 11 pm on weekdays, 8 am – 6 pm on weekends.
What Makes Preply Special?
If you are unsure of which Chinese tutor will best suit your needs, you have the option of posting a request for a teacher, instead of searching for one yourself.
Also, Tutors rate themselves on proficiency of the languages they speak, so you can find a tutor that can easily communicate with you.
This is a great option if you don’t have time to search for a tutor and want to start immediately. That way, your perfect Chinese tutor can find you, instead of the other way around.
2. Madarin Tutor
Mandarin Tutor is a Chinese learning site that only teaches Chinese (Mandarin) and Cantonese. This sets them apart from other sites, because they only focus on one language and therefore have a larger pool of tutors to choose from.
They specialize in beginner and advanced Chinese, business Chinese, HSK exam preparation, and Chinese for kids. Lessons are 50 minutes long.
Price: $11-$18, depending on tutor and lesson
Payment Options: PayPal, credit card, or debit card
- Free 25 minute trial
- Full refund within 30 days of the lesson if you’re unsatisfied with your experience
- Credit System: Your lesson credits have a one year expiry date from the date of purchase.
- Some tutors speak Cantonese as well
- No minimum purchase necessary (you can buy just one lesson) You can also buy a package of 5, 10, or 20 lessons for a slightly reduced price.
What Makes Mandarin Tutor Special?
You can purchase a single lesson at a time, while other companies may require you to book multiple lessons at once. Their free trial is 25 minutes long, which is a generous amount of time to test-drive the program.
Mandarin Tutor uses Skype for communication, which is easy to use for most people. Some tutors offer preparation tutoring for the HSK (Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì).
Italki is a virtual language learning website that offers customized learning, pay-per-lesson options, and claim to have helped over 5,000,000 learners across the globe. They feature testimonials on their front page, so you can decide if Italki is right for you.
They place an emphasis on learning about Chinese Culture and connecting with fascinating people from all over the world. Italki currently has 521 Chinese (Mandarin) tutors available to choose from.
Price: $4-$80, depending on tutor and lesson
Payment Options: Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Alipay, Skrill eWallet and Bank Transfer
- Discounts on buying multiple lessons at one time (depending on the teacher)
- Italki was recently redesigned, and the layout is intuitive and visually pleasing
- Largest numbers of tutors online
- A special discussion community for Chinese learners to find support and build friendships
What Makes Italki Special?
Italki offers more than just Mandarin Chinese. They have tutors that specialize in Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, Shanghainese, and Taiwanese. Their website is aesthetic and intuitive- which makes it easy for the user to navigate and find the perfect tutor.
The profiles are detailed and even feature a video of the tutor so you can feel comfortable before meeting 1-on-1 for the first time.
4. Amazing Talker
Started in 2016, Amazing Talker takes a fresh perspective on learning Chinese virtually. On their website, you can browse from hundreds of teacher profiles and 1729 Reviews from 4779 successful cases.
They have affordable prices and many filters to refine your search. Although Amazing Talker has a smaller scale than its competitors, this ensures that every tutor is verified and highly qualified to teach Chinese.
Price: $14 – $24/hour, depending on tutor and lessons
Payment Options: VISA, Mastercard and JCB
- You can purchase anywhere between 1 and 100 lessons to suit your needs
- They offer discounted packages for purchasing 5, 10, or 20 lessons at a time
- Amazing customer service: The average response time on AmazingTalker is within an hour on weekdays and a few hours on weekends.
- Amazing Talker uses an advanced AI system to help you find the perfect Chinese tutor
- The straightforward layout makes it easy to find whatever you’re looking for quickly
What Makes Amazing Talker Special?
Amazing Talker’s AI system allows users to answer a few simple questions, and the computer does the rest. They will match you with the perfect Chinese tutor based on your requirements and learning preferences.
If you prefer to search for a tutor the traditional way, their tutor profiles are detailed and informative. Amazing Talker uses Skype to communicate, which is a software that many people are familiar with.
Since they operate on a smaller scale than their competitors, Amazing Talker has fast customer service if you have any questions or technical issues- which frees up more time for you to learn Chinese online.
Wyzant is an online language learning platform that allows users to connect with experts in more than 300 skills and subjects. You can easily choose the tutor you want by hourly rates and qualifications.
They also offer ways to connect with in-person Chinese tutors in your local area if you want a combination of both virtual and in-person tutoring.
They have been featured by The New York Times, CNBC, and Forbes (just to name a few).
Price: $10 – $200, depending on tutor and lesson
Payment Options: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, personal check and money order.
- A short questionnaire allows the user to fill in their preferred schedule, experience level, and what type of Chinese they wish to learn (business, school, beginner, etc.)
- Each profile shows exactly how many hours they have spent tutoring for Wyzant
- Each profile has a detailed breakdown of the teacher’s skills, cultural background, and teaching methods
- Each tutor lists displays their schedule, so you know whether it will match yours
What Makes Wyzant Special?
Wyzant displays customer reviews on the Chinese tutor’s profile directly under their bio, so you can read what others have thought about their teaching performance.
Wyzant offers private tutoring with highly qualified tutors, but they also allow users to buy group classes for lower rates (depending on the tutor).
This is a great way for Chinese learners to interact with others that are in the same boat as them, and build a sense of community between teachers and students.
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