[English Tutor] 5 Best Websites to Find an Online English Tutor

 
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So, you want to learn English online, but where to start? With so many resources available on the internet finding a quality, trustworthy and reliable English tutor can be a daunting task. You’ll need to consider what type of English you want to learn (American or British for example), the level you are at and the teacher's credentials. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 websites for finding your perfect English tutor. So let's get to it!

The 5 Best Websites

1. MYU

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MYU is an old-school language website connecting foreign tutors with students for local 1-on-1 lessons. Their site is a classified style website where users can scroll through a list of tutor profiles and use a set of basic search filters to help narrow results. Tutors are located across Taiwan and at the time of this posting they have 589 of them currently active. Tutors on the site need not necessarily have certifications or long-term experience, some are just native speakers. MYU does, however, guarantee that all of their teachers are currently living in Taiwan and available during the time stated on their profiles.

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Click on a teacher profile to open up a detailed profile covering their personal information, credentials and teaching information. Some key information on this page are location, year’s of teaching experience, the level of student they are able to teach, and of course hourly pricing. Each tutor sets their own per hour rate which ranges from 500 NTD to 1500 NTD for most. Some tutors offer a trial or test run but that’s subjectively up to each individual tutor. You can also see that teachers general availability (morning/afternoon/evening) per day of the week to make sure they’ll fit your schedule.   

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MYU also has a very simple rating system where students can either give no rating, a silver star which means the tutor was good or a gold start which means the tutor was excellent. We found that most teachers had few ratings, though we speculate this has less to do with the tutors themselves and more to do with the rating system which doesn’t seem to be very popular.

To contact a tutor you will need to purchase points from MYU, these points will let you unlock the contact information for the tutors you chose. Since these points cost money we suggest you read the tutors full profile before you unlock their contact info. Points can’t be purchased individually, instead, you buy them in sets. For example, 8 points will set you back about $30USD, the more you buy the cheaper they get individually.   

Highlights:  

  • Established company for finding local tutors
  • Most tutors have string credentials
  • Pricing is flexible 

Price: 1000 - 1500 NT per hour

Our Rating: 

User Interface: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩

Profile Information: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

Ease to book/contact: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩

2. Tealit

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Tealit is one of Taiwan’s largest classified sites, you can get everything here from a new apartment to a bicycle and of course, an English tutor. Similar to MYU, Tealit is a simple classified site where you can scroll through a list of tutors and filter by basic search functions. However, unlike MYU, Tealit does not have a standard template for teachers to follow. Instead, each tutor creates their own listing, in which, they can include as much or as little information as they like. This can get a little messy but you should be able to easily spot the more popular tutors based on the quality of their listing.  

Most listings are relatively short, typically a paragraph or two with a quick explanation of the teacher’s past and credentials. The majority of their tutors are native English speakers from Canada and the US. There are, at the time of writing, 3150 listing although many of them are duplicate or incomplete postings.

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To contact a tutor, you’ll need to open up the details sections of their listing, from there you should be able to find their email and/or phone number. Sometimes it might also be hidden somewhere in their description or in a different part of the listing so be prepared to do a little searching. There won’t be any way for you to know about availability unless the tutor has written it in their listing, otherwise likely you’ll have to contact them first and then you can ask them about timing and availability.

Pricing is very subjective, we noticed that most listings did not include any pricing information explicitly or requested that customers contact them for pricing details. This likely means pricing is fairly negotiable which could work to your advantage but is far riskier. In terms of trials, that is also up to each individual tutor. We did find a few who stated they would offer the first lesson at some form of discounted rate.

Highlights:

  • Large selection of tutors to choose from

  • Lack of structures makes this platform a little riskier

  • Potential to negotiate a great deal but again this is risky

Price: varies

Our Rating:

User Interface: ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ 

Profile Information: ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ 

Ease to book/contact: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ 

3. AmazingTalker

Forgive our shameless self-advertising but we feel this list just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning AmazingTalker. Amazing Talker connects you with vetted, high-quality tutors from around the world and offers both direct tutoring as well as courses (if you want a bit more structure). Unlike the other sites on this list, AmazingTalker is purely online and they have crafted a great environment for e-learning. What we love most about AmazingTutor is their excellent user experience which makes everything from finding a tutor to scheduling lessons as easy as possible.

To begin, you can search for either a specific language or see popular courses and tutors. We really enjoyed their quick questionnaire which helps you identify the exact type of tutor you will need and then gives you suggestions specifically curated for you. All of their tutors are properly vetted and have both credentials and experience.

Most of the AmazingTalker tutors have been extensively rated from a variety of users. The AmazingTalker community is really engaged and so you will find a lot of personal messages and detailed comments on most instructors' profiles.

See an example of one of AmazingTalker's English tutors!

Each tutor's profile contains very extensive detail on their teaching style, qualifications, and types of lessons that they offer. They also have short introduction videos which are great for getting a feel for the tutor's personality.

Once you’ve decided on some tutors you can schedule trial lessons for a small fee, these are excellent for testing out an instructor and making sure you are happy with their teaching style. Once you’ve selected an instructor you can book your lessons online through the AmazingTalker booking system. You can book individual lessons, or you can book in bulk packages and receive a discount per lesson.

As mentioned previously, all AmazingTalker tutors are online based and so you’ll be using the built-in conferencing system on the website. They use the Zoom plugin which in our experience has been very reliable and easy to use.   

Highlights:

  • Online tutoring system with easy to use interface

  • All tutors are properly vetted and have experience and qualifications

  • Inexpensive trials and bundle pricing make this an affordable and convenient option

Price: 200 - 700 NT per hour

Our Rating:

User Interface: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Profile Information: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Ease to book/contact: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ 

Check out AmazingTalker's huge selection of top English tutors!

4. Upwork

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Upwork is one of the largest online freelance communities, you can find services for almost everything including finding an English tutor. Upwork, however, was not built specifically for tutoring so there is a lack of good teaching specific filters. You can filter based on pricing and experience (on Upwork, not teaching) which can still be useful but be prepared to spend a lot of time searching through freelancers to find the right one. There are also a few established companies which have started posting on the platform as well but primarily the site has individual freelancers. You can also post a job, which is more common, and let freelancers reach out to you with offers based on your unique needs. This can save you some time in searching but depending on the listing there might be a cost involved for creating a listing. Also, this can take significantly more time as you need to put time and effort into creating your listing.  

Whichever route you choose to use, all your communication will take place in Upwork’s built-in messenger system. Their messenger is simple (like an email inbox) and is available on mobile platforms as well so you can stay connected on the go. However, we found communication is one of the most time-consuming parts of Upwork. If you made your own listing then managing, interviewing and selecting a tutor requires significant effort as you will get offers from many people. If you message tutors directly be prepared to spend sometime before you find one who is available especially if they are more popular.

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Unlike sites like Tealit, Upwork has a rating system (their rating as a general freelancer) which you can use to research tutors. However, be careful as the rating is for all work that the freelancer has done on Upwork, not just the one you are currently looking at them for. We recommend you look at their reviews in a little more detail to double check they have specific tutoring experience.  

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In terms of how the lessons will take place that is really up to the individual freelancer. Typically, they will either have a system they prefer using such as Skype or they may ask you your preferred method. Occasionally, you may find a tutor who is local to you and you can meet them in person but most freelancers are geographically dispersed.  

Highlights:

  • Well established freelancing website, not necessarily built for tutoring

  • Can make a listing and have tutors send offers to you

  • A bit time consuming and will require effort and coordination to find a tutor

Price: 500 - 1100 NT per hour

Our Rating:

User Interface: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Profile Information: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ 

Ease to book/contact: ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ 

5. TaiwanLanguageTutor

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TaiwanLanguageTutor is a platform similar to MYU in that it offers a classified type system specifically for finding a tutor. However, unlike MYU, TaiwanLanguageTutor is more focused on finding an online tutor rather than an in-person one. While the company is based in Taiwan their tutors are located across the globe. It is not the largest service, at the time of writing this they had only 13 active English tutors. Most tutors seem fairly reputable, either having certifications or being native speakers. The site offers good filters to help you narrow down your search.  

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To learn more about a particular tutor you can click on their profile for a detailed view. There will be a short bio or introduction on the teacher and some background on their qualifications to help you determine if they are a good fit. There is also a detailed calendar to see if their availability will match your schedule. The tutor's rate (per hour) is also listed on the website, typically they will have different prices depending on if you want 1-on-1 or group tutoring as well as in-person or online tutoring.

If you want to contact a tutor on this site you will need to signup as a VIP member to unlock the tutor's contact details. The fee is monthly but there are multi-month discounts, we are unsure if this fee will auto-renew on your credit card so just take caution when signing-up about the length of the membership.      

Highlights:

  • Mix of in-person and online tutors

  • Tutors profiles are well written and provide substantial information

  • Small platform with limited selection

Price: 600 - 1200 NT per hour

Our Rating:

User Interface: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩

Profile Information: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩

Ease to book/contact: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩

What to Look for in a Tutor (5 Tips)

1. It’s more than a teacher, it’s a friend

You and your tutor are going to be spending a lot of time together, so you want to make sure you are compatible with one another. Maybe you want someone with a good sense of humor or someone who speaks your native language? Either way, finding the perfect tutor is so much more than just teaching ability. When searching for a tutor you’ll need a platform which lets you get a feel for the instructor's personality.

2. Credentials are everything

Making sure your tutor has the right background, experience and credentials are so important especially when you’re looking at online tutors. You are talking about spending your hard earned money here, so you don’t want to take a risk on a bad tutor. There are various certifications tutors can have which give you some piece of mind in terms of qualifications but more than that you should be looking at reviews and testimonials from people who have used their services. They’ll be the best indicator to determine if your prospective tutor is going to be a match for you.   

3. Compatible Teaching Style

Not everyone learns the same way, some people are more visual learners while others prefer to conversations, some people learn by rules other learn more from abstract ideas. The point is we are all unique and so you need to find a tutor who matches your learning style. It’s best to find a platform which lets you go over the tutor's course structure or even their teaching philosophy. Customer reviews are also a great place to get a feel for your potential tutor's teaching style.  

4. Quality of the Platform

Since you’re going to be learning online it’s important that you’re on a high-quality platform. Nothing’s worse than broken connections or grainy audio when you’re trying to learn a new language. Moreover, you’ll also want a platform that makes scheduling your sessions as easy as possible.

5. Price  

Last but certainly not least, the price is always going to be a consideration. We don’t want to suggest you shop by price only but you definitely want to get good value for money. Taking advantage of trials lets you take your tutor for a test run to make sure you are comfortable with your purchase.

Check out AmazingTalker to find your next online language tutor!