Which English school should you choose? – Part 2

'Which English school should you choose?' and an image of a man in a blue shirt with a laptop and a notebook open on a desk

Are you looking for a new way to learn English? Learning English online has never been easier no matter what your preferred learning style.

But how to pick the right school for you? Keep reading to find our findings.

We divided the review into four main parts: Lessons and how you learn, Teachers, Cost and Final Thoughts. You can also see an overview of each platform’s features below.

Check out our previous post where we compare Cambly, Verbling and Intrepid English.

Please note that all the information in this blog post is based on publicly available information and our teachers’ personal experiences. It is accurate as of the time of posting. If you see an error, please let us know and we’ll amend it.

italkiIntrepid EnglishPreply
Lessons
Self-study courses
Community discussions
Lesson feedback ✕* **
Lessons are recorded
Structured learning **
Individual lessons
Group lessons
Other languages
Teachers
Experienced teachers only
Native teachers
Non-native teachers
Teacher training
Easy to switch teachers
Cost
Periodic subscription
Buy individual lessons
Buy lesson packages
Trial lesson
* It depends on your teacher and their teaching style.
**It depends on your teacher and also your subscription.

Lessons and how you learn

Before you jump into lessons, you should decide whether you’re simply looking for someone to chat to or whether you’d prefer a complete package with learning plans and self-study materials. And don’t forget to let your teacher know. It’s important to be happy with how you study, as well as what you study.

Learning with a teacher should only be one part of your learning journey. You should make sure you have time to revise your mistakes, review new vocabulary and study grammar. Then, you can spend time in lessons on speaking, asking questions, and receiving feedback.

LessonsitalkiIntrepid EnglishPreply
Self-study courses
Community discussions
Lesson feedback * **
Lessons are recorded
Structured learning **
Individual lessons
Group lessons
Other languages
* It depends on your teacher and their teaching style.
**It depends on your teacher and also your subscription.

italki

If you’re using the italki classroom, your teacher can write notes for you to review later. There are public discussions and forums available to students. Each tutor is independent and there is no connectivity between your lessons if you switch. It also depends on your teacher whether they give you feedback and in which way. You can study many different languages on italki.

Intrepid English

All Intrepid English students have access to a learning community to ask questions and interact with other students and teachers. There are weekly competitions, discussions and learning challenges to keep you practising. 

Learning is structured according to student goals, and all Intrepid English Academy students have access to a library of self-study courses, assessments and achievements. If you don’t see a course in the Academy that you like, your teachers will make individual lesson plans based on your needs. You can have group and private lessons and after each lesson, you receive written and audio feedback.

Preply

Preply is similar to italki and Verbling in that it is primarily a platform to connect students to teachers. Students can participate in public discussions or study with articles and videos. Some teachers offer group lessons in addition to individual classes. You can study many different languages on Preply.

Teachers

Your teacher is one of the most critical aspects of learning a language. It’s important to find one you get along with and who is ready to help you in the ways you need it. Not every five-star teacher is suitable for every student. Many platforms don’t offer any continuity between teachers and set standards beyond the entry interview or have high commission rates. This can all have an effect on how personalised your lessons will be.

TeachersitalkiIntrepid EnglishPreply
Experienced teachers only
Native teachers
Non-native teachers
Teacher training
Easy to switch teachers

italki

As mentioned before, italki is mainly a platform to connect teachers and students. There are over seven thousand professional and community English teachers listed on italki. italki does not provide training for their teachers, but they verify professional qualifications. When you purchase a lesson package from a teacher, you cannot easily transfer this package to another teacher. You either have to complete it or request a refund which has to be approved by your teacher.

Intrepid English

All teachers at Intrepid English have experience with teaching and are encouraged to continue improving their skills through training and specialisations. A smaller number of teachers are available at Intrepid English and there is a set standard regarding lessons, feedback and response times.

You can easily switch teachers if you want to change or even have lessons with multiple teachers. We’ll even find you a substitute teacher if your regular one goes on holiday. Struggling to pick a teacher? Use the chat box in the bottom right of this page to send us a message about your needs and we’ll recommend the most suitable teacher for you.

Preply

Teachers on Preply do not need any teaching certification, experience or specific language proficiency. Preply offers training through webinars to their teachers, but these are not mandatory. Just like on italki, lessons and lesson packages you purchase are specific to each teacher, and there is no easy way to transfer to a different teacher.

Cost

Of course, it’s important to consider how much you can spend on learning a language each month. Depending on your level and your needs you may have to compromise on teaching quality or how much you study. Don’t commit to a big contract without testing out the service first. Find the balance between quality and cost that suits you.

CostitalkiIntrepid EnglishPreply
Periodic subscription
Buy individual lessons
Buy lesson packages
Trial lesson

italki

Each teacher sets their lesson types, teaching methods and pay rates. italki sets the minimum and maximum rates for lessons and takes a 15% commission from the teacher’s listed price. This means you have to decide how much you’re willing to spend on each class and look for a teacher or community tutor within that range. You have to complete all package lessons within six months, or you may lose them. Teachers typically offer trial lessons at reduced rates on italki.

Intrepid English

At Intrepid English, you’re paying for access to the platform rather than individual teachers. This keeps the cost the same for you, no matter with which teacher or teachers you study. Intrepid English is run by teachers, which means all Intrepid teachers get a fair wage based on British industry rates.

You can pick a monthly membership that suits you and then arrange the lesson length and time with your teacher. You can change, pause or cancel your membership at any time and there are options for monthly and yearly memberships.

You can take a FREE trial lesson with any Intrepid English teacher. There is no need to sign up.

Preply

At Preply, teachers set their own rates, and Preply takes a commission from each lesson completed. The rates start at 33% and decrease with the number of hours they teach on Preply. After the trial lesson, you can pick from packages of 5, 10, 15 and 20 hours. You can also buy a monthly subscription based on how often you want to study.

Final Thoughts

There are many things you have to consider when choosing a learning platform. No matter where you decide to study I hope you can find a school that suits you and helps you reach your goals. If I can give you one piece of advice before you go, it would be, to be frank with your teachers and listen carefully to the advice they give you.

Are you looking for a bit more motivation to improve your English skills in 2022? Sign up for our Excel in English language learning challenge. It’s completely free, and we’ll keep you accountable to keep learning throughout the year.

You’ll get regular reminders, regular learning materials and challenges to test your skills. You can also earn certificates and points towards FREE private lessons with Intrepid English. Sign up now! All you need is an email address.

This content was written by Intrepid English Teacher and Founder, Lorraine.

Teacher and Founder of Intrepid English Lorraine

You can find out more about Lorraine on her Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.

Book a free trial lesson today to discuss this topic in more detail, and talk about your English learning goals with an experienced and friendly native English teacher.

If you have any questions, or you would like to request a topic for a future blog, you can contact us using the
chatbox, send us an email, or even drop us a message on any of our social media channels.

This content was recorded by Intrepid English Teacher Lida.

Lida

You can find out more about Lida on her Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.

Book a free trial lesson today to discuss this topic in more detail, and talk about your English learning goals with an experienced and friendly native English teacher.

If you have any questions, or you would like to request a topic for a future blog, you can contact us using the
chatbox, send us an email, or even drop us a message on any of our social media channels.

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