Preply Review // Just Another Italki… Or Something Different?

Preply Review // I Took Some Classes with Preply Tutors, But How Was It?

It’s time to dig deep into another language learning resource, and today the dish served is our Preply Review.

Having been contacted by the team at Preply I was offered the chance to take a number of lessons to see just how good Preply is.

With online learning more powerful than ever before competition is of course fierce and with other big names out there like italki, it’s difficult to know where to turn.

Hopefully that’s where we can help here!

We’ll dig deep into the Preply platform, compare it with it’s rivals and see who comes out on top.

So without further ado…

Preply Review – What is Preply

Preply Review – The Website

Preply Review – The Lessons

Preply Review – Things To Like

Preply Review – Things To Improve

Preply Review – Preply vs Italki

Preply Review – Should I Use Preply?

Preply Review – FAQ’s

Why not watch our in-depth and comprehensive video review on Preply

Preply Review // What Is Preply

Preply is an online educational platform that pairs students with private tutors remotely via online chat. It features a ranking algorithm that uses machine learning for classification and recommendation of tutors.

Taken from Wikipedia

Essentially it’s a platform where a student learning a language can browse and select a tutor based on price, experience, dialect and whatever other factors are important.

Preply also provides teachers with a place to sell their services and earn a genuine full time wage.

The platform was founded by Serge Lukianov, Dmytro Voloshyn, and Kirill Bigai in 2012 in the country of Ukraine.

Despite its growth and success the company is still on the small side with just over 300 employees. This makes their success all the more impressive.

Preply is remarkably similar to italki – another platform we have already reviewed.

Preply Review // The Website

The Preply website itself is clean and allows for a smooth user experience.

When searching for a tutor (as you can see below) filters are clearly arranged and allows the user to personalise their search.

When searching for a tutor I’d advise you take into account the following:

  • PRICE – a key factor for most students. You can study with tutors for as little as a couple of dollars an hour. A bargain!
  • TUTORS HOMETOWN – With most languages, accents and dialects can vary greatly so be sure to select a tutor who covers the dialect or accent you want
  • NATIVE SPEAKER – You’ll see not all tutors are native speakers. This is certainly no disrespect to those excellent teachers who tutor languages other than their native language but I always prefer genuine, native speakers myself. You can add this as a filter.
  • REVIEWS – Goes without saying really but the more reviews and more students, the better!

After setting your filters you can flick through the huge lists of tutors available.

I’d recommend refining the filters as much as possible or you’ll be looking for a very long time. Set a tight price range and don’t be afraid to be picky. It might end up leading you to the perfect tutor.

Selecting a tutor on Preply

You can see above even after playing with the filters myself I still have 758 tutors to choose from so you have a genuinely huge amount to look at here.

Plenty of choice and surely the perfect tutor is out there for everyone!

You’ll also see above you can book a trial lesson with each tutor. This is because the only other way to book classes is through a bulk purchase of hours, not the most flexible in truth.

However, each tutor does have a video where they can effectively sell themselves to you. I advise watching these so you can get a feel for accent etc.

Tutors page on Preply

Preply Review // The Lessons

Whereas on italki lessons can take place on Skype – Preply host all lessons on their platform. This is called Preply Space.

The classroom is easy to use although I had some problem opening up images in the chat window with my teacher – but I put that down to my computer rather than Preply.

The classroom allows for file sharing, interactive whiteboards and usage of an instant messaging chat box.

The design is tidy and clean, with white the predominant colour.

Preply Review // Things To Like

Preply in general is a very likeable online educational platform.

The user journey from landing on the website to the lesson itself is smooth and you aren’t bombarded with lots of options, adverts and distractions which can be the case on other websites.

A great feature of Preply is simply the sheer mass of tutors available. There are so many and because of that you can get some excellent prices.

I had a trial lesson for less than 4GBP. For an hour, that’s superb value, and one of the cheapest I’ve seen online anywhere.

Preply trial lessons are also an hour long rather than the 30 minutes you get with italki which provides better value for money and more chance to discover if the tutor is a good match.

All the tutors I dealt with seem genuine and impressive which is also of course very re-assuring.

However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that (as is the case with these sorts of platforms) you go into each lesson unsure of the quality and if they are right for you.

That can only be resolved by taking lessons with the teacher and seeing how the fit is for you. You might hit the jackpot straight away, or you might waste weeks trying to find the right tutor for you.

One place you can guarantee top class teachers is with LTL Flexi Classes

Preply Review // Things To Improve

Whilst Preply is a great platform, as with anything there are some shortcomings.

The main ones I discovered are:

  • Teachers are not paid for trial lessons
  • Preply takes a high commission per lesson
  • No option to buy singular lessons after a trial – only packages
  • No group classes

The first two points actually don’t effect the student, but the tutor. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact they are still quite important to mention.

Teachers Not Paid for Trials

Whilst this won’t have any impact on your costs as a student, it’s a shame Preply takes the full price of a trial lesson from the teacher.

Especially given the fact the next point also seems to spite the teacher…

High Commission

Teachers are actually charged up to 33% commission in their earlier days as a tutor on the platform.

This gives them little motivation when platforms like italki or Verbling are a little more forgiving with their rates.

The idea of Preply from the teachers perspective is, the more you teach, the lower the commission.

No Option for Singular Lessons

I found this quite frustrating.

Lessons must be booked in blocks. Whilst this might sound good for long term learners, it’s nice to have that flexibility.

Perhaps you have 2-3 tutors and you want to switch between them. Or maybe you want to “study on the go” and not commit to too many lessons at once.

Of course having a schedule with language learning is good, but not everyone can adhere to that.

I also find the fact you have to book in either 6, 12 or 20 hours quite clunky. It’d be better perhaps if you could choose any number of hours rather than the 3 they give you.

The bulk price discounts don’t excite me either. Jumping from 6 to 12 hours saves me a mere 1.40GBP in this example. Hardly a motivator.

AN ALTERNATIVE? With a system like Flexi Classes, you can book classes at your own free will. Perhaps you have time one week and want to book ten lessons, but the week after you have no time to study. No problem.

This is where Flexi Classes works like no other with 24/7 lessons running for anyone, anywhere in the world.

No Group Classes

As with italki and most other platforms, only individual classes are available.

Whilst this is fine for the more intermediate or advanced students, beginners are better learning in small groups from the start.

Learning in small groups allows students to go on the same journey and not feel too overawed.

Group classes online also prove excellent value for money, although admittedly Preply already offers top value.

Preply Review // Preply vs Italki

A Preply review wouldn’t be complete without a comprehensive comparison alongside its biggest competitor.

Shown below is a table of positives and negatives for each platform.

Positives

There is no doubt that both Preply and Italki are great, accessible and sound ways to learn a language – here are the favoured points of them both.

PreplyItalki
Huge number of tutorsHuge number of tutors
Lessons for barely a few dollarsCheaper trial lessons
Hour long trial lessonsCan book as many hours with a tutor as one wishes
Preply classroomEstablished name for language learning
Lots of languages availableLots of languages available

Constructive

With that said, we can all improve – and here’s what I think both can do better.

PreplyItalki
No group classesNo group classes
High commission charges for tutorsUnnecessary processing fees
Cannot purchase single classes

As you can see the differences are few and far between.

When asked the question should I use Preply or Italki – the results are probably exactly the same with minor differences the only way to pull them apart.

For me, the lack of group classes is a big shame for both. Although not easy to organise, this could make a huge difference for each platform and offer, especially beginner students, a great alternative.

FLEXI CLASSES – This is where Flexi Classes are a super option for language learning online. Group classes in Mandarin, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean that run 24/7.

Find out more here
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Preply Review // Should I Use Preply?

All things considered Preply is a really solid place to help improve your language skills.

With a huge number of languages available and very competitive prices, you can get yourself on the road to fluency within a matter of minutes.

Is it perfect? No, but then what is!

As with anything – I’d advise building a portfolio of programs and apps rather than just using one thing. This gives you a much stronger chance of success and stops you becoming bored of using the same thing.

For example with learning Mandarin I do the following:

This is my core – I then add and remove other apps and programs as I go.

I hope this Preply Review has proved useful for you – do drop us a comment below with your thoughts and feedback on Preply.

You can also sign up to Preply here if you like what you read.

Preply Review // FAQ’s

What is Preply?

Preply is an online educational platform that pairs students with private tutors remotely via online chat. It features a ranking algorithm that uses machine learning for classification and recommendation of tutors.Taken from Wikipedia

Essentially it’s a platform where a student learning a langauge can browse and select a tutor based on price, experience, dialect and whatever other factors are important.

Is Preply cheap?

You can find some really good priced tutors on Preply.

I studied with a Mandarin teacher for just 3.65GBP for an hour – excellent value.

Are there group classes on Preply?

No, only individual classes.

Are there many tutors available on Preply?

A great feature of Preply is simply the sheer mass of tutors available. There are so many and because of that you can get some excellent prices.

You can use the filters to narrow down your options with criteria like price, languages spoken and time available.

Do Preply charge tutors a commission?

Yes, in fact the percentage is quite high with up to 33% of the class fee taken by Preply.

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  • LTL Avatar Alexander Krasnov
    Alexander Krasnov , Student Advisor

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