Updated: March 2020.
So, about back in 2018, I started teaching on italki, having first researched a wide range of online teaching websites, all with various promises, claims and flashy adverts. However, after digging down further, I settled on italki and haven’t looked back since. Why? Well here’s why…
Preface: I should preface this post by saying that there are lots of other great language websites to teach on, such as VIPKID, Palfish, DADAabc and Landi, just to name a few (there’s a lot more). However, the main issue here is that most of these teaching websites cater exclusively to children and younger learners, where lessons are mainly at unsociable times or require you to commit to blocks of hours each day/week in order for you to work with them. Another issue is that unless you are a native English speaker, there is also very little chance to be able to teach on these platforms, but not on italki!
You can teach any language (not just English), at times that suit you, and you can set the price that you want to charge. So this can be part-time, full time, or in the evenings or on weekends etc. There are a lot of teachers who teach full time on italki and make a living from this. Also, if you are not a qualified or licensed teacher, you are still able to teach on italki. There are two categories of teacher on italki. Community and Professional teachers. Community teachers are those who may not be certified/licensed teachers, but can still offer conversational practice and basic language lessons. Certified teachers are those with teaching licenses /certifications who can offer a wider range of classes and sometimes charge a little more for their classes compared to community tutors.
One other huge benefit is the students. Your students will usually be older, be learning of their own volition, and usually be highly motivated and ready to learn. This usually makes lessons much more interesting, enjoyable and ensures the time goes by much more quickly! I regularly find myself running out of time as lessons are usually a lot of fun.
When it comes to support, queries, withdrawals of teaching credit and so on, italki is very simple and straightforward. Support is usually great, with fast responses to questions. All credit money used on the site is in USD. Funds are withdrawable in as little as 24 hours (for a fee), but if you are prepared to wait a little longer, it can be withdrawn without a fee, to paypal, payoneer or alipay. italki does charge a 15% commission for each lesson, so if you charge $10 for a lesson, you will receive $8.50, if you charge $20 an lesson, you would recieve $17 and so on. For the amount of students available, the support, the platform and the ease of use, I see this as a small price to pay. After a few months, I actually raised my lesson rates slightly which almost fully offset this fee charged.
The platform itself is easy to use, there is a great community for teachers and students, as there are lots of places for discussion, the exchange of ideas, and opportunities to communicate with lots of different language learners from all over the world! Also every teacher and student has a profile page which can be customized quite a lot, giving you some uniqueness to your profile. The best part is that all students/teachers leave each other reviews after each lesson, which are then visible on your profile, giving students a chance to get a better idea of their teacher, as well as give you a rating, up to 5 stars.
So 11 months on, here’s where I am at. I have been teaching on italki part time, while also working my other teaching jobs, but as I really enjoy working with my students and the flexibility italki offers, this far outweighs any money made from teaching here. I’ve now taught almost 500 lessons, with 50+ students, many of whom are long time students. In 2019, after fees (italki takes 15%), I made on average around $300 USD a month, and a total of around $3500 during that time. So as a part time extra income, this is something you can still do in 2020 and beyond!
So what are you waiting for? If you want to get started, https://www.italki.com/i/Dc6CE0?hl=en_us here is a link for a free $10 credit, which should be more than enough to pay for your first lesson! Use it to learn any language with any teacher.
Be sure to comment below if you have any questions or comments!