Online tutoring and/or Online classes

I decided to throw some money at some online tutoring/classes, but when looking around the internet everything seems to be ads for THE BEST WAY and really I just want consistent quality.

I’m currently working on the N4 level for the JLPT in Dec- not particularly attached to a particular textbook or style of learning, strongest is likely vocab weakest is speaking with grammar somewhere in the middle. I understand way more than I can produce at the moment.

Anyone used online services? Which service would you recommend and why? What was the frequency? If you know, price points are helpful for me. I’m looking for at least an hour of instruction a week. I do not mind if its more group stream or one on one, but cheaper is better in terms of me being able to do it more frequently. Flexibility with times is also helpful, but not required.

Any suggestions?

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I’ve been using iTalki and it’s been working really well. You can do a couple of half hour taster lessons to help you settle on a tutor. Costs depend on the teacher and varies from around $10/hr to $40/hr. the cheaper tutor are more about conversation but there are a number of professional teachers there as well. I try to do a conversation session once a week, typically at the lower end of the cost scale.

I also found a local tutor and we meet once a week. This is a lot more structure around building grammar and comprehension. It’s $40 a time but it’s really working.


Either a really good teacher, or you meant ‘and may’ or something


I use italki as well and it was great when I was learning Korean and now with Japanese. There are a lot of community tutors and professional teachers of Japanese that you can choose from to the point it may become overwhelming. If you are a beginner I would suggest a professional teacher since they are more structured and they style your lessons to what you need. Some of the teachers are expensive for 60min lessons but some offer 30 or 45 min lessons for cheaper so you would have to just look. I know there is a professional teacher on there that is solely teaching how to prepare for the JPLT of all levels. if you’re a first timer on the site you get 3 trial chances. I have a teacher for speaking and teaches me grammar as we go along for 45 mins $15 a lesson. So it all depends. look for someone that offers what you want and you can message them to ask questions about their classes. Hope this helps.

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‘and may’ sounds about right. Sometime I feel like I spend more time correcting autocorrect than the time it saves

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Well, if no one else has any input, I’ll go with italki and see what happens :slight_smile:

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I’ve been taking classes through iTalki since Feb’19. Tried 5 or 6 different professional tutors until deciding on a single best one. Now I’m just having a pair of classes with this teacher each week.

And the point is, platform is one thing but there are many different people teaching on there. You may need to spend some time (and money) on unhelpful classes before you find a teacher whose style fits your needs.

Cafetalk is another option. It seems to be very Japanese centric.

Finding the tutor/teacher that you like and fit what you need is be the most important though, platform is generally secondary.

Online tutor will definitely be able to help with this aspect. You can’t product because you probably have no reason to produce in a meaningful way.

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How does that go usually? you follow some kind of topic schedule or something like that? How do you dela with your mistakes… you get homework?? :scream:

Probably when leaving Japan I’ll be starting with something like that, but I’m not very into following a textbook assisted by a japanese person, as is most of what I seen when looking for a candidate on Italki.

I hope I could find a tandem partner in my country too, but I’m guessing that could be much less reliable as a resource. :man_shrugging:

Most teachers I’ve looked at had “informal lessons”, which is basically just talking about whatever you’d like to. Some teachers even focus on keigo or casual speech, without offering any typical classroom lessons.

what about mistakes. how did the teachers dealt with those?
For tandem meetings nobody corrects nobody actually. Which is fine most of the time, neither of us are teachers and the idea is more about having a good time even considering the language difficulties that we bump into. Or at least that’s how I think about those meetings.

Really depends on the teacher. I’ve had some that correct you after every sentence and others that take notes while you’re talking with each other. I’m guessing there’s still others. How much they’re correcting you (i.e. just obvious mistakes, nuances, pronunciation, …) is something you can usually decide on with the teacher.

I’d just take a few trial lessons and see if any of the teachers work for you.

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I passed JLPT N5 with self taught knowledge supplemented by online courses. I am doing N4 in July.

The best program purchase I once had was BYKI by transparent language. It was a flashcard program with vocabulary and sentences. The Deluxe version gave you the ability to create your own lists. Thanks to all my Japanese friends and material I have, I have hundreds of JLPT lists in that program. Sadly the program has been discontinued in favour of online courses but I still have the older version of the program I can keep using with my lists.

The best web course I have found was Rocket Japanese. It has speech included and rates your speech and has advanced sentence structure. It is very useful and practical for travel to Japan. I would estimate that it could easily get you up to N3 however it does not teach Kanji which is its major flaw.

Also I am seeing a lot of reports of paying tutors. I do not do this so to speak, but I have found the web classifieds for Japanese people in my own country where they seek out friends and work. What I do is put adds on those sites for travel friends. I then meet up with Japanese people on the weekend and we exchange language. They will not do this unless there is a benefit for them. So what I usually do is offer free day tours where I will drive them to wildlife parks, vineyards and tourist sights. It saves them a phenomenal amount of money in travel and tourism expenses and it gives me access to native Japanese people to talk to in Japanese over a weekend.



web classifieds for Japanese people in my own country where they seek out friends and work. What I do is put adds on those sites for travel friends.

The tour thing is really neat! I also think it would be pretty fun if I could do something like that and take people around the city on the weekend.

I’m definitely not interested in BYKI or Rocket right now.

Yes the meet up and tours work because it gives you access to casual and regular Japanese talk.

Sadly BYKI is discontinued but it is beneficial for me as I have tailored it and changed my own program after years of having it to meet my needs so I have my own custom version opposed to the retail one.

I would imagine one could easily do the same with ANKI

Thank you, I had never heard of this. I’m signing up now to give them a shot.

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I’d recommend itaki or flamingo.

Just for follow-up I tried out italki and I like it. I’m doing a free skype chat exchange (for english/japanese 30 minutes of both) and paying for a weekly tutor. Its been a useful. It is a tad more expensive than I wanted (or the teacher I chose was) but I like her and its worked out well. It did take a week or two to get set up, because it doesn’t let you schedule with a tutor immediately, but the wait was worth it.

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I also use italki and I found my teacher after the first trial lesson. I have one lesson a week and I get homework, too. I have 1 hour lessons and it’s enough to cover conversation, homework checking (I usually have to read a text, write something short based on it and do some grammar exercises) and some on the go translations that I have to do (English to Japanese). My teacher makes notes in google docs writing down some new words/grammar points or things I don’t know. So after the lesson I have a document I can revise through the week.

I’m sure every teacher has their own methods but it’s definitely possible to find one that will suit well.

To sum up, I’m really happy I signed up as it helps me to learn things steadily and to practice conversation every week.


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