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italki Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Arabic Lesson Reviews

italki Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Pricing from $10 to $40 per hour
  • Trial lesson usually available at half-price
  • Tutoring and video-call lessons
  • Highly qualified tutors and teachers
  • 30-90-minute sessions
  • Synchronous meetings
  • 4.8-star average rating

italki shines as a flexible and cost-effective platform for connecting with language tutors. Rather than offering its own curated lesson material, italki is a place to find a tutor who will help you through your Arabic journey. The platform offers a wide selection of teachers proficient in over 100 languages, so you have the flexibility to pick a tutor that suits your learning style, timetable, and personality. The tutors each determine their own prices and availability, so you can have some flexibility in what you want to spend too.

Choose a tutor from the list

To begin, choose either an "instant" lesson or schedule one within the next 72 hours. This will display a list of available teachers and tutors ready to assist you in practicing Arabic. Each tutor sets their own hourly rate, so the pricing will be a determining factor in selecting the tutor or tutors you'd like to engage with. To get an idea of what you might learn, you can watch a preview video from each tutor.

Watch the preview video

For example, the top option suggested to us noted that he was born in Syria, held a Master's degree in Arabic, and was studying Arabic Language for his PhD. The video also showed a basic example of speaking exercises (introducing yourself, basic greetings, conversational comprehension) that that particular tutor might use in a session. However, the videos don't generally show exercises or work being done with students and that part of sessions will be designed with the tutor you choose based on your learning style.

Best Arabic Lessons

Best as a supplement to other learning platforms

italki helps you find the best tutor match by providing all of the important credentials. You can also read reviews for individual tutors so you can make well-informed decisions about your Arabic lessons. In terms of learning methods, all sessions take place through video conference tools such as Skype or Facetime. Remember, italki doesn't offer educational services directly; it serves as a platform connecting learners with skilled language tutors. Ideally, italki complements your other Arabic learning materials and courses.

Price range changes depending on tutor

Pricing for Arabic lessons at italki will depend entirely on the tutor or teacher that you choose to work with as well as the length of the session. During our research, we found prices ranging from $5 to $20 per hour for trial lessons. After that, the prices go up to anywhere from $10 to $40 per hour for full lessons. You can choose lessons from 30-90 minutes, which will affect the overall price. For example, one tutor had prices at $11 for 30 minutes, $14 for 45 minutes, $19 per hour, and $25 for a 90-minute session. If you're trying to choose between tutors and prices, you can easily see student ratings for each tutor to get an idea of what quality of service you can expect. Many of the tutors we checked during our review had a full 5-star rating out of 5 from students.

Progress depends on you, not the platform

Your advancement in Arabic relies on your efforts and interactions with individual tutors. italki doesn't function as a language-learning program but as a tutoring service. So, there aren't pre-built lesson plans or benchmarks to hit. Your progress is shaped by the plan you establish with your tutor, the lesson materials you use outside of italki (which can sometimes be designed and provided by the tutor), and the frequency of your tutoring sessions. While certain tutors can help you with specific areas of focus (like "language and the Quran" from one tutor or "Conversation practice" for another), you'll have to seek out those lessons yourself. It's a more "self-guided" approach compared to other platforms we've reviewed.

Best Arabic Lessons

Unclear refund for card purchases

To receive a refund from italki, you need to pay with "credits" purchased through its platform rather than paying directly, which can be pretty confusing. If you've gone the credits route, you can receive a "refund" of credits back to your account. Thankfully, you aren't penalized if you cancel versus your tutor canceling. However, we encountered difficulties in finding any policy related to payment if you opt not to use the italki credits.

High-quality teachers

In general, the feedback for italki is overwhelmingly positive. Based on Trustpilot reviews, the overall average rating for italki is 4.7 stars out of 5. Students specifically praised the excellent quality of instruction provided by the teachers. While a few customers complained that sessions were too short, this could just be the tutors that the customer chose as we saw sessions up to 90 minutes from different teachers on the platform. In terms of ratings for Arabic lessons specifically, italki shows that the majority of teachers and tutors have 4.9-5-star ratings.

Best if you want supplemental learning help

italki has built a solid reputation, but it comes with a notable limitation. The platform prioritizes tutoring sessions without a specific curriculum, expecting students to either bring their own or find external learning materials if they're not part of the services offered by the tutor. If your sole strategy for learning Arabic is relying on italki, you might face challenges or, at the very least, need to seek additional learning resources. This extra step and potential extra cost contribute to italki receiving a 3-star rating overall. However, if you seek a top-notch language-focused tutoring service to support your Arabic learning, italki is highly rated and recommended by students.

Where Can You Find the Best Arabic Lessons?

Are you interested in learning Arabic? You may find yourself contemplating a relocation to one of the many countries where Arabic is the national language, or maybe you're just planning a trip to see Egypt. Whether you're looking to reconnect with your culture, learn more about a new one, or brush up on some courses you took in school, learning Arabic can be a truly worthwhile experience.

However, finding Arabic lessons that fit your busy life, include your preferred learning methods, and don't break the bank can be hard. For most people, in-person lessons aren't an option either for cost reasons or time commitments. Fortunately, the realm of online courses continues to grow, offering new Arabic learning opportunities that were previously unavailable.

The Best Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lesson Reviews What are the best Arabic Lessons Best Arabic Lesson Reviews

Arabic Lesson FAQ

It is estimated that there are over 420 million speakers of Arabic worldwide, making it one of the five most commonly-spoken languages around the globe. This includes both native and non-native speakers.
Generally speaking, there are two basic forms of Arabic: standard and colloquial. The former is used by the media and in universities, literature and formal writing. If you take Arabic lessons from a Western school, this is probably the form you'll get. But, this isn't the way Arabic speakers use the language in their day-to-day lives! If you know that you'll be using Arabic mainly in one particular location (e.g. Egypt vs. Persian Gulf nations vs. Lebanon), it might be worth looking for an Arabic course that at least introduces the dialect of that area. On the other hand, of all of the Arabic dialects, Egyptian is the most widely-understood by all speakers (largely due to the nation's popular music, film and TV industry), so learning the Egyptian dialect is a safe bet too.
If your first language is English, be prepared for your Arabic studies to require some work! Ranked as a Category IV language by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute, Arabic is "exceptionally difficult" on par with Japanese, Korean and Chinese. But, if you're willing to put in the time and effort, it's definitely doable!
Your first step should be to learn the Arabic alphabet, so that you don't have to depend on transliteration into English. Arabic experts also recommend that you memorize the plural forms of every noun you learn, because they can be very different (no tacking on an "s" like we do in English!), as well as the verb forms and any prepositions that go along with them. Finally, as with learning any language, give yourself plenty of time to study regularly; a few minutes here and there won't get you speaking Arabic fluently!
Availability, affordability and access: for those three reasons alone, you should consider studying Arabic online. Many colleges and universities don't offer courses in the language, and there's no guarantee you can secure one of the coveted seats in the class if your school does. Studying Arabic online can be done according to your preferred schedule, and at a fraction of the cost you'd pay per credit hour at a local school.
If you're studying Arabic online, you will probably need to take a few extra steps to enable the language on your computer. The steps depend on whether you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, so search for the instructions according to your operating system. There are also online Arabic keyboards you can use without changing your computer settings.
No! They're definitely less costly than taking in-person courses. Some programs charge a one-time fee, while others use a month-to-month subscription format. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a one-off software purchase, or between $10 and $30 per month for an online course that lasts up to two years. You've got lots of options!
That depends on the provider you choose. Some offer satisfaction guarantees ranging from 30-60 days from the date of purchase or start of the subscription plan, while others only allow you to cancel future months without refunding past payments. We recommend that you use any free materials offered by the Arabic lessons platform prior to making your choice: you can often take full sample lessons or watch a demo of how the program works, which will help you get a feel for which Arabic lessons are the best fit for your preferences and learning style.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Whether you prefer hearing, writing, or speaking, various Arabic programs are designed to offer a range of skill-building exercises. Modern audio materials cover syllables, words, phrases, and sentences for effective repetition.

Alternatively, for visual learners, there are Arabic language platforms that cleverly gamify the entire learning process. These platforms not only cover grammar and writing exercises but also often integrate speech recognition software, allowing you to compare your pronunciation directly with that of a native speaker.

Nearly every Arabic platform offers cultural and historical aspects in their programs. Given the rich historical background and symbolic importance of the Arabic language, a thorough grasp of it requires exploring its historical origins and understanding its contemporary applications. Many of today's language-learning options also emphasize Modern Standard Arabic, mirroring the language you would encounter in general conversations. And, some companies focus on local dialects too.

As you navigate the wide array of online Arabic lessons, it might seem a little daunting to pick the best fit. To help you find the best Arabic lessons for you, we've put together some helpful criteria:

  • Teaching methodology. What type of learner are you? Are you inclined towards auditory learning, finding podcasts or narrations to be your favorite? Perhaps you enjoy engaging in written or gamified exercises to support your learning experience? While several Arabic lesson programs integrate various learning modalities, some platforms prioritize one style over others. Consider your preferred learning approach so you select the most suitable platform for how you learn best.
  • Free trial option. Top-notch Arabic lesson programs allow you to explore the program without making a payment. Look for platforms that offer free trials and pay attention to their duration. You should also look for sites that provide example lessons or preview videos on the site so you can see what you're getting into at a glance. Exercise extra caution if a company doesn't have these important details.
  • Cost vs. value. The cost of the subscription (or one-time payment) is a significant factor for your Arabic education. But you'll also want to assess the value you'll receive. Consider how much fluency you'll gain from the program and whether you can learn Arabic from one program or if you'll need two or three to supplement others that are less complete.
  • Reputation. While many Arabic lesson platforms aren't listed with the Better Business Bureau, there are reviews on third-party sites, linguistics blogs, and mobile apps to consider. Check-in on the ratings for your chosen Arabic lesson provider to make sure you're getting a language source with a great reputation.

To make sure you have the best possible experience learning Arabic, Top Consumer Reviews has assessed and rated the top options for Arabic lessons. We hope our reviews help you achieve your desired level of fluency, whether your goal is travel, cultural understanding, or simply enjoyment of a new language. Enjoy your continuing education in the beautiful language of Arabic!

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