Affordable Video Tutoring Sessions?

Something I really want to do this summer is have semi-consistent video calls with a native Japanese tutor, entirely in Japanese. Currently I can barely hold a conversation, so this should be fun (at least for me. The potential pain for the person on the other end is why I’m looking for a paid tutor and not a language partner…lol). Some of you may recognize this approach as Benny Lewis’s approach – basically I wanna throw myself in the deep end and see what happens. My rationale is that I know I am more than capable of teaching myself grammar points via books, the Internet, and self-study, but I can’t teach myself immersive speaking skills. So.

Basically, I’m looking for any pointers on finding an affordable language tutor for the summer. Anyone know of any good sites for that? Because I’m a poor college student I’m looking for a price range between $10-20 an hour…obviously the more expensive it is, the less often I can do it, but I also want the person to be properly compensated for dealing with me.

However, I won’t be asking them for extreme grammar knowledge, since scholarly language is definitely not in my limited vocabulary, so the only skills they really need to possess are (a) native Japanese speaking skills, (b) patience, and (c.) probably a sense of humor. I guess some teaching skills would help? However, I really want these to be total immersive sessions, so I don’t want a teacher lapsing into English because they think it will be easier for me.

Has anyone gone this approach before? Any advice on where to find reasonably priced, good tutors who understand and use the immersion method? I’ll be doing this all on my laptop since my phone is awful, so sadly apps like Tandem aren’t really gonna work.


iTalki. You can find both community tutors (starting from $4/h) to actual teachers in that range. When I had lessons there, I had a qualified teacher for $15/h. Actual natives, mind you :slight_smile:


I found a wonderful tutor on, in the 20 an hour range (you can buy lessons in bulk to save $). She does total immersion lessons if I request or if my mind is feeling sharp enough! Good luck!

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I second jprspereira’s recommendation for iTalki. There are many Japanese tutors on the site with teaching qualifications that would provide exactly what you’re looking for. I’m sure you would be able to find one that has the patience and sense of humor you want as well, given the variety of them. And many offer a half-priced trial lesson where you can get to know them a little better and discuss your goals. That’ll really help you learn if you want to proceed with them, or would prefer to find someone else.


I’ve heard lots of good things about iTalki. If you have the time and inclination, it’s much better to meet the tutor in person than communicate through the internet because there’s a lot that goes missing when you don’t actually meet face-to-face.

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looks out the window at the wilderness of mountains that surrounds my home

that would be ideal, yes :cry:


Oh, I didn’t know that your comfy chair is surrounded by mountains.

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See now I’m spooked because I am in fact sitting in a very comfy chair right now but I don’t remember having mentioned that here :open_mouth:



I’ve been taking classes through italki since February. Having tried classes with ~5 different tutors I’ve picked one and went with her. It can get pretty expensive if you want regular classes with a good professional teacher but it seems like you’re looking for “casual tutoring” which is available from both professional and community tutors. It’s usually cheaper than pro lessons.

Although be prepared to go through quite a few teacher before you discover the one that fits your needs


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