Preply vs italki: Which Platform Wins?

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

If you want to learn a new language, finding good virtual one-on-one classes is an excellent idea.

Language apps and online courses can be a fantastic learning source. But they will not give you the same results as private online language lessons.

Having personalized guidance and an individual approach is truly precious. You’ll build strong conversational skills and improve your comprehension in no time.

Luckily, there are many great platforms that connect learners with language tutors.

And Preply and italki are among the best.

So, which platform should you choose, Preply or italki?

It’s not easy to pick the winner in a Preply vs italki match. They’re very similar.

But we took a closer look at their features, structure, and highlights, and managed to choose the winner.

Let’s find out who it is!

Preply vs italki: Which Platform Wins?

Preply and italki are created with the goal to connect learners and teachers.

Both platforms are very popular and convenient.

After all, learning with an online tutor is the closest it gets to traditional language learning.

Preply vs italki

And in many ways, platforms like Preply and italki are so much better than language schools.

Preply and italki are more affordable, and they are definitely more convenient. You don’t even have to leave the house to have a lesson.

There are many more benefits, but more on that in a moment.

For starters, let’s look at each platform’s pricing.

Scheduling Lessons and Pricing

In terms of prices and hourly rates, Preply is very affordable, but italki seems to have slightly lower rates.

But the price for each platform is set by the teachers, so you can also come across less expensive prices on both italki and Preply.

However, Preply has a higher commission for teachers. They take a 100% commission fee of the first lesson payment with every new student.

Teachers should be paid fairly, which evidently isn’t always the case with Preply. So even though it’s great to find a really cheap course, thanks to its high commission, they don’t really earn a lot.

But then again, it all depends on the teacher’s hourly rate.

Also, Preply requires 6 hours per tutor to be purchased in advance, and that’s another potential disadvantage.

On the other hand, if you like your teacher’s approach, methods, and energy, why not commit to your lessons and follow the schedule? That will definitely add more structure to your learning.

So, it all depends on what type of learner you are.

Preply review

But Preply offers a trial lesson. It’s not a free lesson, but if the lesson didn’t happen or the tutor didn’t meet your expectations, you can request a free tutor replacement (regardless of the price difference) or a refund.

On italki, trial lessons are offered by teachers at a discounted price. And you should keep in mind that not all teachers provide trial lessons.

Nonetheless, each new user has three trial lessons that need to be taken with three different teachers. 

The cost of italki lessons generally ranges from around $5 to $30 per hour.

Also, students and teachers each have one chance of requesting a lesson cancellation. 

You can easily cancel your lesson, unless it’s about to start within 24 hours.

But booking lessons on italki is generally more flexible than on Preply. You can book lessons with a teacher one by one until you find the teacher that suits you.

You can choose a tool of communication – Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Wechat, Zoom, or QQ.

There’s also the italki classroom. It’s a nice video communication tool with a screen-sharing feature.

italki classroom

And you can decide how long the lessons are. But the scheduling on Preply is also quite flexible, so that’s not really a huge advantage.

But there are some other features that italki has and Preply lacks and vice versa.

Structure and Features

Just like Preply, italki is created to connect language learners with language tutors around the world.

The website is very easy to navigate, and you can easily find a teacher you like.

italki one-on-one virtual lessons

You can choose to use italki’s website or you can download the italki app. The app is, in our opinion, more practical, and it’s very user-friendly and well-designed.

Using italki on your computer also has its perks. First of all, you can see your teacher a little better, and you can use tools and textbooks more easily.

But let’s go back to finding a teacher. On italki, you can use many filter in the search bar.

You can also look for two types of teachers.

Community Tutor is a native or advanced speaker who can help you learn a new language through informal tutoring or practice.

Professional Teacher, on the other hand, is a highly-skilled and experienced teacher who can help you achieve your goals and gain intricate language skills. They usually have learning materials such as textbooks, PDFs, Powerpoint slides, and videos. 

There’s also a business section on italki. You can find a qualified teacher who will help you focus on vocabulary useful for job interviews, presentations, meetings, and so on.

There are also teachers who will prepare you for exams like IELTS, Goethe Certificates, DELF, and JLPT.

The point is, there’s a large number of teachers on italki. And every teacher has their own strengths.

On a teacher’s profile, you can see their hourly rate (and 30 minutes trial rate), their calendar, and a short video introduction.

You can also check the statistics as well as students’ reviews.

There’s also an Instant Teacher feature, so you can find a teacher who’s available right now.

italki instant teacher feature

And there’s a ton of language to choose from. Compared to Preply, italki definitely has a wider selection.

Besides one-on-one virtual language lessons, italki also offers some other things.

For example, you can take a free language assessment and the italki Language Challenge.

And you can join italki community. One of the best things about the community is the possibility to find a language partner. And that’s definitely a great way to practice and improve your conversational skills even more.

And how does Preply work?

In terms of structure and features, it’s similar to italki. But not quite the same.

You can filter teachers by cost, availability, and language.

On their profiles, you can see their course description and their resume – you’ll see all about their work experience, education, and certifications.

You can also see what subjects they offer. For instance, some tutors offer classes for beginners, for work, intensive classes, classes focused on a specific skill or dialect, and so on.

There are also lessons focused on TOEFL and IELTS exam preparation.

You can send messages to tutors before booking a trial lesson.       

If you liked your lesson, you can follow the ‘Buy hours’ link on My lessons and choose a package.

Preply vs italki: which platform wins?

Now, you can begin with your learning journey. Preply recommends setting up a regular schedule with at least 2-3 lessons per week

You can always reschedule or cancel your lessons. If you cancel less than 4 hours before the scheduled start time, you will be charged for the lesson.

You can use any device you want. Just like italki, Preply is very convenient and flexible.

But unlike italki, Preply has a slightly different video platform.

Preply classroom is a comprehensive video platform that allows video calls, file sharing, and messaging. You can also review your teacher’s vocabulary and so on.

Preply also introduced a new option: group classes. You can now join groups of 4-6 international students, which is also an interesting and engaging experience.

Preply group classes

Plus, all classes and teachers are very flexible. It doesn’t matter in which time zone you’re in.

You can also easily keep track of your learning progress.

And you can improve your speaking skills and vocabulary with Preply’s Learning plans.

Getting a customized study plan and lesson tailored to your needs and goals is arguably the best way to learn a new language. And probably the fastest.

All things considered, both italki and Preply are amazing platforms for learning languages online.

If you find the right teacher, you will learn in a productive yet relaxed environment.

And you’ll be able to focus on your specific goals.

But even if you want to teach your native language or another language you’re qualified for, Preply and italki are the best platforms to begin building your teacher business.

However, if you want to become an online teacher, you should consider italki.

On Preply, teachers don’t receive payment for trial lessons. And they have a higher commission rate.

All right, but what about topics and content? What will you actually learn with italki and Preply?

Topics

Well, what you’re going to learn in your lessons really depends on your teacher.

But it also depends on your wishes. You can choose a teacher who will create a curriculum based on your goals and abilities.

So, there’s no set curriculum.

However, on italki, teachers offer courses/lessons focused on a specific topic or skills. For example, there are business English classes, lessons for younger learners, IELTS prep courses, and so on.

You can also see levels and a price for each course.

That said, both Preply and italki are very flexible when it comes to topics.

But like in every reliable online language-learning course, you’ll learn practical vocabulary useful for everyday situations.

More importantly, you’ll be able to pick up new words and expressions, listen to your teacher’s perfect pronunciation, and get valuable, personalized feedback.

That said, let’s move on to each platform’s advantages.

Benefits

Let’s start with italki.

Why is italki better than Preply?

italki lessons review

Firstly, italki offers more languages. If you want to learn a rarely taught language or a dialect, italki is the platform for you.

Italki also offers a lot of courses focused on specific skill, areas, or topics. There’s a business section, exam preparations, classes aimed at a specific age group, and so on.

Italki is useful for all types of learners.

So, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular language-learning websites.

But italki also makes effort to improve its visibility. It’s very active on social media, and it has a strong online community.

italki on social media

Another advantage is its affordability. Compared to Preply, italki has slightly lower rates.

It has a slightly lower commission for teachers as well. That also means that it has the overall quality of the teacher pool.  

Italki also provides free tools and features. For example, there’s a very useful notebook section for writing homework.

Free language practice is also available (by finding language partners.)

And what would make Preply a better option than italki?

Well, Preply is also very versatile and well-structured.

The website looks great and it’s very easy to navigate.

Moreover, Preply provides a very simple and straightforward registration process.

It also has great features and a well-designed video platform. Preply Space is great for structured learning. It’s literally a virtual classroom.

Another thing that separates Preply from other similar platforms is the possibility to join live group classes. You can learn grammar, expand your vocabulary, and meet new people.

Before searching for group lessons, you need to pick your current level. Then you’ll be able to see all the suitable courses.

Many group classes offer a free trial lesson and that’s really cool.

Course descriptions are also very clear. You can see exactly what you’re going to learn. So,

Preply live group lessons are great for people who need structured learning and learners who feel more comfortable being a part of the group.

Preply group lessons

But what do user reviews say about Preply and italki?

What Do Users Say?

There are thousands of italki reviews on Trustpilot. And 83% of people rated it as excellent. That’s a really high percentage.

Users seem to be very satisfied with how everything works. Many of them say that italki offers great value for money.

And they love italki’s community, resources, and language partners option.

Of course, there are some bad reviews as well, but most of them are centered around specific situations where a teacher had to reschedule a few times, etc.

Preply has many excellent reviews on Trustpilot too.

Users find it convenient and easy to use, and some even called it a life-changing platform.

On the other hand, some people say that they had to use Zoom because the built-in video platform didn’t work. There are also some complaints about the scheduling system.

But generally, both italki and Preply have great user reviews.

Final Verdict

As you can see, it’s almost a tie.

Both Preply and italki are reliable, effective, and affordable.

They have an impressive roster of teachers, and they will provide you with structure and useful study tools.

However, Italki provides lower rates and more learning tools.

Plus, italki has a more comprehensive selection of tutors. Perhaps that’s because Preply has a higher commission for teachers.

Generally speaking, at such pricing, italki offers incredible value for money.

And it offers hundreds of languages to choose from.

That said, in the Preply vs italki comparison, we have to give an edge to italki.

It simply has more benefits and a wider selection of languages and teachers.

So, if you’re searching for reliable, quality one-to-one lessons, you can’t go wrong with italki!