Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
Friday, May 20th
Chinese is particularly difficult for native speakers of English. One big reason is that we often don't have anyone that we can practice with! That's where italki comes in and saves the day. This platform has over 2,500 Chinese tutors who will work with you one-on-one to help you master the language, whether you're starting as a true beginner or you have some experience already.
Choose from community tutors and professional instructors
There are two types of teachers on italki: community tutors and professional instructors. The difference is what you'd expect: while they can all help you learn Chinese, individuals labeled as "professionals" have formal training in language teaching. Whichever type you prefer, you'll have lots of people to choose from as you browse their profiles.
Play the intros
We recommend that you play the intro videos of any that catch your interest: you'll be able to see a little bit of their personalities and determine how well you can understand their English (which is important for your learning!). There are a few filters you can use to narrow down the choices, like other languages they speak or their country of residence, but the most helpful filters are missing: ratings, completed lessons, or overall experience on the italki platform. In the meanwhile, you may want to click the little hearts to mark any favorite profiles, allowing you to go back after you're done browsing and choose the best one(s) for your learning goals.
Plenty of experience
Although you'll find tutors and teachers who are new to the platform or have only completed a few lessons, there are lots who have ample feedback and a well-established history. For example, we found a professional teacher who simply goes by the name "Rose" and who had over 8600 completed lessons at the time of our review. Watching her 7-minute intro video, we got a clear picture of her English fluency and even her philosophy on life! Clicking on her profile, prospective students can see where she lives, her educational background, and how much she charges for lessons (ranging from $18 for a trial lesson to $20+ for Conversational American English/Mandarin Chinese or $35+ for Business Chinese).
No-hassle scheduling based on where you live
Let's say you're ready to book a lesson with a great italki tutor. Simply click on his or her calendar and all available time slots will be shown in your time zone, which is detected according to the time on your computer or phone. In the case of Rose, we were able to book a lesson within a day, and there were lots of open time slots over the following seven days. If you have your heart set on a particular tutor or teacher but don't see any availability in their calendar, just click on "Contact Teacher" to see if they can fit you in another time.
Lots of five-star feedback
You'll have a hard time finding anyone with a bad thing to say - about italki or the instructors there. Almost every Chinese teacher has a perfect five-star rating, and you can read many reviews from students who describe their amazing experiences with the Chinese lessons they received.
Still not the right option for every Chinese learner
With so many positives about italki, would it surprise you if we said that it's not the best fit for every student? Think about it: if you're very timid or you get really embarrassed when you make mistakes, your first exposure to Chinese lessons might be too uncomfortable if it's a one-on-one video session! And, speaking of video, italki isn't your ideal way to learn Chinese if you don't have a quiet environment with a great internet connection: you can't work one-on-one with a tutor if you're sitting in a noisy cafe or using spotty public WiFi.
Best Chinese lessons for learning to speak fluently
That being said, italki is one of our all-time favorite resources for thorough language learning, especially for conversational fluency. After all, what good is it to learn Chinese on paper if you are totally tongue-tied the first time you try to speak it? The teachers and tutors at italki have an excellent track record for high-quality, approachable instruction, the prices are affordable, and you literally have thousands of options at your fingertips. While italki takes a less-than-conventional approach to Chinese lessons, it's one of the first places you should go if you want to learn the spoken language well.
If you're interested in the language, you're in good company: according to recent statistics, there are more than 25 million people worldwide learning Chinese as a second language, with over 200 million people outside of mainland China who speak it! A few decades ago, eager students had to find a college offering Chinese lessons in order to learn, but today Chinese can frequently be found in high schools, enrichment programs, and even dual language or immersion programs for elementary school children.
Not one of the lucky ones to have classes nearby? Don't worry! There are many different options for taking Chinese online now too. Whether you want traditional-style lessons with detailed grammar explanations, multiple choice quizzes, and lots of repetition with flash cards, or you prefer a more modern, game-like approach, you'll have no trouble finding something that fits your learning style and your available study time.
Of course, Chinese probably isn't going to come to you as easily as a Romance language like Spanish or French. Not only do you have a completely new writing system to comprehend - one that uses characters instead of letters, too - but the tonal aspect of Chinese is notoriously difficult for English-speakers to master. (For example, a single change in tone can make the difference between saying "to buy" or "to sell" , "flower" or "painting" , or "panda" and "chest hair" !) You'll want to choose Chinese lessons that help you learn what you need most - like travel phrases or everyday conversation - while teaching you the well-rounded basics too.
How can you tell which Chinese lessons are right for you? Here are several things to look for as you consider different programs:
To help you get the most out of your language studies, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best Chinese lessons available online today. We're confident that this information will help you pick a program that fits your unique learning style and fluency goals.
Select any 2 Chinese Lessons to compare them head to head
Lessons Wall Street Journal fails to learn from China's COVID-19 fight
As China is tightening COVID-19 measures to contain the ultra contagious Omicron variant, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has taken this moment, not to learn something meaningful from China's experience ...
Sat, 14 May 2022
South China Morning ...
Traditional Chinese ink paintings meet modern technology in ...
"The Endless Beauty of Ink", a new exhibition by Wong Chung-yu, features a mix of physical Chinese ink paintings and digital works created using a computer program of the Hong Kong artist's own design ...
Fri, 20 May 2022