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.
You can get quite far on your Chinese learning journey making use of apps, textbooks, websites, podcasts and other resources. But eventually, you’re going to want or need help from a Native Chinese speaker – whether that’s a language exchange partner or a teacher.
I recently tried a free trial class with Hanbridge Mandarin and afterward discussed the platform and asked lots of questions about how everything works. In this review, I’m going to share my experience.
I’ve been taking classes from Chinese teachers since before I started this website. I found my first tutor on Verbling and worked with her for ten lessons. After that, I eventually switched over to using italki and have taken lots of classes with a bunch of different tutors on there (italki review). I’ve also taken a trial class at eChineseLearning and was able to learn a lot about how their platform works (eChineseLearning review).
Finding a Chinese tutor or language exchange partner is essential for learning Mandarin. You need conversation practice and feedback from a Native speaker. A skilled teacher can pinpoint your weak areas and significantly speed-up the learning process.
In this review, I’ll look at eChineseLearning. They’re one of the oldest and most well-known companies for 1-to-1 online Mandarin lessons. I took two hours of trial classes and researched other people’s experiences for writing this review.
I’ve used italki (read my review) rather extensively for help with my Chinese. While this isn’t meant to be a comparison article, there are places where I’ll be comparing my experience with the two services.