Alternatives to Italki: Best English Learning Websites Like Italki

Online English
Last update: 8 January 2024

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction: The Rise of Digital Platforms in Language Learning and Italki
  2. Sites Similar to Italki: What are the Best Alternatives?
  3. Differences in Experience Among Apps and What to Look Out For When Choosing Sites?
  4. Conclusion

What are the similar websites that can be considered as alternatives to Italki? Before answering such a question, as a recent university graduate, I have summarized the effects of Italki on my life, its drawbacks, and its good points for you, dear readers, in this article. Let's take a look together!


1. Introduction: The Rise of Digital Platforms in Language Learning and Italki

With the proliferation of the internet, countless resources have emerged for us who are eager to learn a language. Now, someone who wants to learn a language can take a lesson in a virtual classroom with a teacher from the other side of the world or practice the language through an app. Many online English learning platforms also serve English learners worldwide. You have probably heard of many of them. Italki is one of these platforms.

I got acquainted with the platform while still in university last year and took lessons for a year. While the platform offers lessons in over 100 different languages, covering a wide range, it also has some critical shortcomings in my opinion. For students and those new to learning languages, these shortcomings can prevent the platform's full potential from being utilized. Therefore, I started wondering which of these shortcomings exist on which platforms in the industry and which ones should I have chosen. The general shortcomings of Italki that I personally observed and that many users mention online are:

Language Diversity vs Expertise: Although Italki's broad language range seems appealing at first glance, this diversity can sometimes overshadow quality. Especially in English, many users, including myself, have had trouble finding competent expert teachers. This prevents the student from receiving the quality of education they desire.

Lack of Professionalism: The platform allows people whose profession isn't teaching to give lessons. This can lead to fluctuating lesson quality, negatively affecting the student's learning process.

Inaccessible Customer Service: Many users complain about the difficulty in reaching Italki's customer service. This complicates the solution-finding process in potential problems, adversely affecting the user experience.

Irregular Teacher Access: There can be difficulties in finding the same teacher you've taken a lesson from on the platform and continuously taking lessons with that teacher.

Despite these shortcomings, I must say that Italki still holds a significant place among online language learning platforms. However, turning to alternative platforms to address these kinds of shortcomings means a more efficient learning process for us students and adults. So, which platforms don't have these shortcomings in Italki, and which ones are better? To find the answer, I read many user comments and researched many platforms.

2. Sites Similar to Italki: The Best Alternatives

You would agree that platforms like Italki and others are expensive, and the general reasons for this are that they provide long and labor-intensive services. Therefore, we users naturally want to be sure that we will genuinely receive professional and effective service when we pay this fee. While researching platforms where Italki's shortcomings do not exist, I also investigated the reliability of most platforms in the industry. I took trial or regular lessons from many of them. I followed the process, understood what was good and bad, and I can summarize them for you, dear readers, as follows:

1. Flalingo

Flalingo is one of the first successful English learning platforms in the field. Its AI-supported smart teacher selection algorithm works incredibly well in my opinion. While I struggled to find a teacher on Italki, Flalingo presented me with many selected teachers right from the start. Teachers are chosen through interviews and are professionals dedicated to teaching. At the same time, my education advisor regularly followed my English level and my journey with Flalingo and provided feedback when necessary. Unlike other platforms, there are no group lessons, but this is a plus for me as I understand better when the lesson is one-on-one.

Flalingo Pros Flalingo Cons
Modular Course System to Track Your Progress. Customer service contacting without GDPR consent.
Options for Professional English Teachers Whose Native Language is Turkish for Beginners. Some users experiencing technical issues.
24/7 Accessible Solution-Focused Customer Communication Center.
One-on-one online live English lessons from fully certified teachers.
24/7 Unlimited Access to Oxford University Press Materials.
Teachers Specialized in Teaching English to Children.

With all these features, I can say that Flalingo is one of the preferable English learning websites.

2. Open English

One of the popular platforms I've seen advertised frequently lately is Open English, which can be considered an alternative to Italki. One of the things I liked about the platform was its user-friendly interface. If you are new to language learning, Open English starts your training with the right materials, but over time, these became insufficient for me. Although their customer service wasn't as attentive as Flalingo, they tried to solve the problems I encountered and improve my Open English experience. Although the platform offers various discounts and promotions for new students, the inability to get exact pricing was a major drawback for me initially. Moreover, if you want a short-term subscription, the platform only offers 6 and 12-month options. Unfortunately, not every Open English teacher is a native speaker.

Open English Pros Open English Cons
Live English lessons every half hour. Inability to take lessons with the same teacher and inability to choose a teacher.
English material library with rich content. Customer service that is hard to reach after sales.
Virtual demo tours for platform presentations before purchasing at Open English. Despite taking a 1-year payment upfront, having only a 14-day penalty-free refund period.
- Storing credit card details and renewing the subscription without notification.

3. Cambly

The Another most popular English learning platform which is similar to Italki is Cambly. The platform offers students a live learning experience with one-on-one online video lessons and provides flexibility with 15 and 30-minute lesson options. Cambly allows students to take lessons in different periods like 2, 3, or 5 days a week, giving them the opportunity to adjust their learning process according to their own pace. Besides lessons, Cambly also offers students access to English teaching content, providing continuous practice opportunities.

However, despite these advantages, Cambly has some shortcomings. The platform allows people who are not in the teaching profession to give lessons. This situation leads to some users encountering non-professional teachers, which can affect their satisfaction. There are also user reviews that credit card information is automatically saved, subscriptions are renewed without notification, and there are difficulties in the refund process. It's important to consider these shortcomings and potential issues when evaluating the opportunities offered by Cambly.

Cambly Pros Cambly Cons
Option to take lessons for 15 and 30 minutes, in addition to taking lessons 2, 3, and 5 days a week. Despite having many teachers in the Cambly system, the inability to consistently take lessons from a preferred teacher.
Private video lessons from one-on-one online instructors. Individuals whose professional occupation is not teaching are giving lessons.
Opportunity to access Cambly English teaching content outside of lessons. Storing credit card details and renewing the subscription without notification, and difficulties in obtaining refunds.

4. Preply

Preply is another online English learning platform that can be considered an alternative to Italki. One-on-one lessons and a real-time learning experience are some of the features the platform relies on. You can access the platform from desktop, iOS, or Android.

However, these unique features of Preply can hide some shortcomings and potential problems for users. For instance, students buy a specific package (6, 12, 20, or 40 lessons) from a teacher. Within this package, they don't have the chance to switch from a teacher they are not satisfied with to another teacher. This can lead to students not being fully satisfied with the education they have invested in.

Another drawback is the lack of a lesson tracking system in Preply. This can make it difficult for students to track their lessons and progress.

In conclusion, Preply is a platform that offers a wide range of opportunities during the language learning process. However, when making a decision, we recommend considering the shortcomings and potential problems of the platform.

Preply Pros Preply Cons
Purchasing 6, 12, 20, or 40 lesson packages from a specific teacher. Teachers without certification giving lessons.
Preply system compatible with desktops, iOS, Android, and Mac computers. Insufficient content specifically prepared for adults.
Private video lessons from one-on-one online teachers. After purchasing a package, it's not possible to switch from an unsatisfactory teacher to another teacher.

3. Differences in Experience Between Apps and What to Consider When Choosing Sites?

We've discussed which platforms can be preferred instead of Italki and how they are similar. But what should we consider before making the final choice?

a. Lesson Format:

While some platforms focus on one-on-one lessons, others may offer group lessons or free discussion sessions. It is beneficial to choose the format that best suits your learning style.

b. Teacher Quality:

While some platforms require teachers to have certain certifications, others offer everyone the opportunity to teach. If you're looking for a professional teaching experience, check the educational background and qualifications of the teachers.

c. Pricing and Flexibility:

Each platform may offer different pricing and package options. When choosing a platform that suits your budget, you should also consider the flexibility of lesson hours and cancellation policies.

d. User Reviews:

Checking user reviews can be helpful to learn more about the platform. However, remember that not every review is objective.

e. Technological Infrastructure:

It is beneficial to choose a platform suitable for the devices you use. Pay attention to whether the platform works stably on desktop, mobile, and other devices.

f. Customer Service and Support:

When you encounter a problem, it is important whether the platform helps you quickly and effectively.

g. Additional Features:

Some platforms offer additional features to support your language learning process, such as additional material, tests, or learning communities. Platforms with such features can make your language learning process richer and more effective.

In conclusion, when choosing a language learning platform, you should make a decision not only based on price or popularity but also based on what is truly important to you. Good research will help you find the most suitable platform.

4. Conclusion

Throughout our review, we talked about the pros and cons of various platforms similar to Italki. In a general assessment, Flalingo stands out from other platforms in terms of user experience, teacher quality, and technological infrastructure. Of course, every platform has its strengths and weaknesses, but the balance and quality offered by Flalingo make it an option worth considering in your language learning process.

Lastly, no matter which platform you choose for your language learning process, what's important is to continue practicing regularly and turning your learning process into an enjoyable experience. We wish our dear readers success on this journey.

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