Sepideh
Do you judge teachers on italki based on the number of their students and lessons? How do you judge teachers on italki? Do you consider the number of their students and lessons as the important factor to measure their experience (For example if they have more lessons and students will you consider this teacher as experienced and good one who others have been satisfied by her/him, chose her/him and continued with her/him)?
Apr 8, 2018 3:57 PM
Comments · 9

I consider the ratio of students to lessons. If a teacher has students come back for more than just 2-3 lessons and has some long-term students (30 to 50+ lessons, depending how long the teacher has been active), I see this as a great sign.

A higher number of students alone? Doesn't impress me, especially if the teacher sells cheap lessons. Besides, good looks or a charismatic personality in the intro video will attract many customers. That alone won't make them stay, however.

I am a little wary of teachers with very busy schedules. Some are busy because their price is low, others because they do their job very well. In both cases, there tends to be insufficient investment in the student because they are overwhelmed and losing one student isn't a big deal. I prefer to go for less busy teachers whose style, voice, and demeanor I like, and who know their subject deeply. 

April 9, 2018

I judge them first and foremost based on their video presentation. And ask myself the questions: "Do they have a structurized plan with what they're doing?" "How are they going to accomodate to my level and my needs."Have they really thought this through?" And to be honest, I have many times been wondering if the "teachers" are in reality just charging you for a simple phone call on Skype as a lot of them are "community teachers" and not professional teachers which has a lot to say. A real teacher would have some kind of structure and a bigger plan behind what he is doing. Experience you could say. I have read a lot of reviews saying they "had a good time" but is it really measured in how much fun you had talking to someone or is it measured by how much you actually learned?

Disclaimer: I have never paid for an online teacher here on Italki and probably won't in the nearest future. This is based on my personal observations.

April 8, 2018

The lessons/students ratio is a good indicator for me.

But I also view the introduction video. Is the sound quality ok? Because if it isn't, then why would a Skype call be any better? I care less about video quality. After all, I want to listen and talk. I often see videos where the audio is echoing (large empty rooms for instance) and pronunciation gets blurry/lost in the echo. I want good audio quality.

I also look at the way they present themselves. Some seem to be more occupied with showing off all the languages they can speak than to explain how they are going to help. For community tutors: I have no problem coming up with my own plan, so that's ok. I had some very bad experiences in the past with professional teachers. Not on iTalki btw. So I am a bit reluctant to even try. I am slowly getting over my aversion.

Even after that sift there are many left. Then it comes down to the overall feeling I have when I watch the video. One of my teachers had some board games stacked up on the counter behind her. Not the mainstream ones. And since one of my hobbies is board gaming, I just had to book a lesson :)

@Henrik Having a good time is not needed to learn a language, but it certainly helps to keep you motivated and it prevents you from tearing your hair out. Let's face it: learning a language has its ups and downs and can at times be terribly frustrating.

April 9, 2018

Thank you for bringing up this topic.

Personally, I don't base my choices on the reviews written by other students. I find that people on italki tend to be too affable when they rate and review their lessons. I've never seen a teacher with an average overall rating, such as a 3.5. Apparently everybody has super high averages, which is very unrealistic.

I think it's important to give honest feedback, in a polite way, but I don't believe students in general do this here.

So I base my decision on their video and also on their lessons per student ratio. 

For example, if someone has given 1000 lessons and has had 700 students, it points to the fact that not many people came back for a second lesson. 

Of course there is no "recipe" and it also depends on each individual. 



April 8, 2018

For me there are 3 important things:

1. Video presentation.

2. Lessons per student ratio.

3. Price.

April 9, 2018
Show more