I found my first Chinese teacher on Verbling about a year and a half ago. She was skilled, professional and helped me get past that very beginner stage. Overall, my experience was rather positive.
Now though, I’m not sure that Verbling would be my first choice. Let’s take a look at our options for finding a Chinese tutor.
1. A platform like italki or Verbling where you book classes directly from the teacher.
2. An online school like eChineseLearning or Hanbridge Mandarin that hires teachers.
3. Finding a local teacher from somewhere like Facebook, craigslist or an acquaintance.
Finding a local teacher is almost always the most expensive and least convenient. I found this to be true even living in Beijing. In many other places, it’ll be difficult to find a Chinese tutor near you. Offline classes do have their advantages though and I can understand why some people would prefer that.
Online schools are the best option for a lot of people but aren’t necessarily my favorite. They’re often times cheaper than finding a local teacher but it may require an upfront commitment to a certain number of classes or length of time studying. On the plus side, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a teacher with lots of experience. Often times these schools will provide a structured course around whichever topic you prefer.
For me personally, I prefer to use a platform like italki or Verbling. On both of these sites, you’ll book your lessons from the tutor directly. This gives a lot more independence and flexibility to both the student and the teacher. You’ll have more say in terms of price, schedule, and your preferences for a teacher. italki and Verbling are quite similar but they aren’t the same.
This article is going to discuss Verbling and then make comparisons to italki.