online chinese tutor

Top 5 Websites and Tips for Finding the Perfect Online Chinese Tutor

Before the 21st century, it was almost impossible to learn Chinese without living in China or miraculously stumbling upon a fluent speaker who offered to teach you everything they knew.

But luckily, the 21st century is here—which means finding a Chinese tutor online is easier than ever!

In this blog post, I share how to make the most of your lessons and five awesome websites for finding the perfect Chinese tutor online.


Best on a Budget: italkichinese tutor online

Price: $ – $$$

Available: Website | iPhone | Android

Summary: italki has a wide range of prices (starting at $4/hour and reaching $80/hour), with professionally qualified tutors and native-speaker community tutors.

One of the most popular language tutoring platforms, italki is one of the best places to find the perfect Chinese tutor online. They have over 500 Chinese tutors, each with different educational backgrounds and qualifications.

When searching for tutors on italki, you can filter the results by price range, availability, native speaker and more.

After clicking one, each tutor has an introductory video on their profile where they introduce themselves, explain how their lessons work and encourage you to book a lesson.

Finally, you can choose from two different types of tutors on italki—community tutors and professional teachers.

Community tutors are fluent/native speakers who have met all of italki’s strict standards but don’t have a background in education. Professional teachers, on the other hand, hold either certification or a higher degree in the education field.

For a full review of italki, check out our in-depth review post here.chinese tutor online

Best Native Speaker Tutoring: Mandarin Tutor

Price: $ – $$$

Available: Website

Summary: Mandarin Tutor hosts only Chinese teachers who deliver highly personalized 50-minute lessons via Skype and Zoom.

Unlike italki, Mandarin Tutor is a platform for finding Mandarin Chinese teachers only.

Before booking your first session, you can book a free 25-minute trial lesson with one of their tutors.

Another feature that sets Mandarin Tutor apart is that all their tutors are native speakers and have been professionally trained in teaching Chinese.

Whether booking a lesson for conversation practice, business preparation or even for your children, Mandarin Tutor allows you to create and customize your own course and lessons.

Each tutor has a specific rate, so how much you spend depends on who you book. But many tutors have affordable rates, with some even dipping to single digits for a 50-minute lesson.

prpely app logo Best Lesson Packages: Preply

Price: $ – $$$

Available: Website | iPhone | Android

Summary: Preply lets you choose from hundreds of Chinese tutors, take a trial lesson and then choose from four packages to purchase lesson hours.

Like italki, Preply isn’t specific to Mandarin Chinese—it offers a long list of languages and other course subjects.

However, there’s an abundance of Chinese tutors of all backgrounds and varying hourly rates, making it one of the most flexible and affordable tutor platforms.

I personally use Preply the most out of all these platforms because I like how the pricing system works.

After booking a trial lesson and getting to know your potential tutor, you choose from packages of either 6, 12, 20 or 40 lesson hours. The more hours you buy, the more of a discount you get.

I find that, unlike other platforms that use a pay-as-you-go structure, I’m more likely to commit to specific times every week to meet with my tutor and thus create a stronger connection with them.

chinese tutor onlineBest for Experienced Tutors: Verbling

Price: $ – $$$

Available: Website | iPhone | Android

Summary: Verbling connects you with over 40 Mandarin tutors with varying hourly rates, all professionally qualified.

Similar to italki and Preply, Verbling is a platform for learning languages through one-on-one lessons but isn’t specific to Mandarin Chinese. They feature over 50 languages and are home to over 7,500 teachers worldwide.

You can search for your ideal tutor based on price range, availability, languages they speak, where they’re from and much more.

Each tutor has their own hourly rate, but you can book a free trial with any tutor before booking a lesson.

You can also see other students’ reviews and ratings of each tutor as well as look at which skills they’re known for, such as “motivation,” “great with beginners,” “grammar expert” and many more.

chinese tutor onlineBest HSK Prep: Chinesehour

Price: Free trial lesson, then discuss pricing

Available: Website

Summary: Chinesehour specializes in structured course tutoring, where lessons follow a specific course flow (such as Standard Chinese, HSK Training, Spoken Chinese, Business Chinese, etc.).

You can easily check your progress in a specific course with their unique progress-checking system and even record your video lessons, which works perfectly for those who wish to review lessons later.

Like many of the other options, Chinesehour also offers a free trial lesson and hosts many different tutors. You can search for tutors based on their teaching style, signature course, qualifications and more.

Tips for Studying with a Chinese Tutor Online

You now know where to find your ideal online Chinese tutor. Now, let’s talk about some tips you can use during your lessons after you’ve found “the one!”

  • Take notes during the lesson. They don’t have to be fancy notes, but you should always keep a notebook or piece of paper with you during the lesson. Even if your teacher sends you the vocabulary or grammar points through a message or download, writing things down helps you learn better and faster.
  • Repeat after your tutor. Mimicking your tutor helps improve your pronunciation and allows them to correct you if you’re saying something wrong. Most tutors will ask you to repeat after them or ask you to make your own sentences, but even if they don’t, there’s nothing wrong with doing it anyway. You hired them to help you, after all!
  • Ask your tutor to correct your sentences. A grammar exercise I love to do after learning new sentence structures is creating my own sample sentences and then sending them to my tutor before our next lesson. At the beginning of the lesson, she already has her corrections and can explain them to me.
  • Write down your questions throughout the week. If you can’t message your tutor throughout the week, keep track of all the questions you’ve asked or struggle to find answers to. Then, during your next lesson, ask your tutor (and write down their response).
  • Keep practicing in between sessions. You’ll learn faster if you supplement your tutoring sessions with consistent, self-guided practice. Listen to native Chinese speakers throughout the week to keep you sharp for tutoring sessions. You can do this easily with an online immersion program like FluentU, which has tons of Chinese media clips, complete with interactive subtitles.

    FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

    You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

    P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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And there you have it! Five awesome websites for finding the perfect Chinese tutor online, plus life-saving tips for how to make the most out of your lessons (and money!).

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and book your first lesson!

And One More Thing...

If you want to continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU.

FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life.

FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.

FluentU's Learn Mode turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.

The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a 100% personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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