Hi! Let me start by introducing myself- I’m Melissa and I occasionally make content about italki on Youtube! I am both a community tutor and student on italki and I often see the same questions over and over again from other teachers and students. I decided to make a video breaking down all of the most frequently asked questions that I come across to hopefully help other people who love this platform just as much as I do!
Note the expressed FAQs represent my opinions as a Community Tutor and Student on italki!
First, let’s go through the questions that come from students on italki
How do I find a good teacher on italki?
The easiest way to find a teacher that fits your needs the best is to narrow your search, read the teacher’s profile, and watch their introduction video! Also, take advantage of your trial lessons because you won’t truly know if a teacher is a perfect fit until you are in a lesson with them! I didn’t like my lesson/the teacher I booked with, what do I do?
You have two options-
If you think the teacher might be a good fit but the lesson they planned for you wasn’t exactly what you were looking for you can send them a message letting them know what you were looking for and ask them if they can switch it up next time!
If you think the teacher just wasn’t the right fit you can always find another one. Sometimes it just isn’t the right match and that’s okay!
How do I get the most out of the lesson?
If you have a clear idea of your goals it can help immensely! Even if it’s a broad goal for example you are learning the language for business or travel that can help the teacher fit the lesson to your needs. It’s okay to not know your goals immediately but if you do it’s great! Other than that, make sure you are studying in between lessons and show up on time and ready to learn!
How quickly will I learn my target language?
That is completely up to you! It depends on how much time you are spending both in class and outside of class learning your target language. For example, if you are only taking a single 1 hour class per week and not studying in between classes it will take you a lot longer to learn your target language than someone who is studying or learning every day. There is no one size fits all answer for this one.
There was a problem with my lesson!
I often get asked specific questions about different problems with different teachers and my answer is always to reach out to italki support! I am a random internet person- I am unable to fix this problem for you!
Now it’s time for the teachers! Here are all of the most frequently asked questions I get from professional teachers, community tutors, and people applying to teach on italki.
Do I need a degree?
Not necessarily! It depends on what teacher type you are applying for. They list out all of the different requirements here.
Why didn’t my student book another lesson?
If your student didn’t book another lesson it could be for a million different reasons! I try not to sweat it or chase down students who don’t book again. I have heard of teachers reaching out to students and asking them but that isn’t something I would personally recommend as it can be awkward and possibly make the student feel bad for not booking another lesson. Focus on the students who are continuing to book with you.
How do I make lesson plans?
As an English tutor, there are tons of free resources online for lesson plans. I like to get creative though. Youtube videos, Ted Talks, and News Articles are all great things to plan lessons around. I’ve also been known to throw the occasional meme into lesson plans. Be creative and have fun with it!
How do I become a tutor on italki?
I made an entire video about this exact topic where I break down the entire application process. You can watch it here.
My application was denied!
Oh no! If they gave you a specific reason as to why your application was denied (like maybe an issue with your video or profile picture) you can always fix it and reapply! Sometimes they are at capacity for teachers in the language you are applying for though. If that is the case you can wait a few months until they are looking for teachers in that language again. Don’t lose hope!
How do taxes work/ do I have to pay taxes?
You are considered self-employed on italki so you have to follow the guidelines for your country! Every country is different and I have to spend too much time figuring out taxes for my own country so I’m sorry but I don’t have the energy to figure out the guidelines for yours as well!
How to increase a student’s confidence?
I love getting this question because one of my favorite things is seeing my students’ confidence grow over time! I like to let my students speak. Unless it is some tiny correction that won’t interrupt their flow, I save all of my notes until there is a natural break in the conversation so that they have the opportunity to express themselves. Corrections are a tool of empowerment and I try to be sensitive to each individual person’s needs. Some students need more positive feedback than others! I’d like to think that corrections+positive feedback+time= confidence.
How do I retain students?
This is an interesting one! Students will stay if they want to and students will leave if they want to. I like to let each student know what we will be working on next time at the end of each lesson that way they have something to look forward to! I also like setting both short term and long term goals with my students. Obviously, you can’t control if someone continues with you or not but letting them know what to expect in the future can at least help them inform their decision! I do have some students who keep in touch with me even when they aren’t taking lessons at that moment and in that case, I like to let them know if they decide to take another lesson they will get a discount on their first one back (but it’s always no-pressure)
What equipment do I need to teach?
I use the built-in webcam on my computer and my AirPods so I do not have the fanciest setup. As long as the audio and video quality is clear and your internet is reliable you should be okay. Audio is the most important thing though so if you want to upgrade anything- get a headset that has a microphone attached!
How much money can I make on italki?
italki is definitely not a get rich quick scheme and the amount you make completely depends on your experience, and how many hours you are willing to put in! I broke down everything related to money on italki in this video here but I can’t give you an exact number- sorry! I hope that I was able to answer some of your questions!
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have a question that I didn’t answer.
Melissa Fallin has a YouTube channel about language learning, working online, self-improvement and creativity.