The 8 Best Online Chinese Tutoring Services in 2020

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Our Top Picks

If you’re interested in learning to speak Chinese, or if you’ve already studied it and want to continue learning, you might be interested in hiring an online Chinese tutor. Although there are many different languages spoken in China, the official language is Standard Chinese. That is based on Mandarin, which is the most widely spoken language in China. So, if you’re wanting to learn Chinese, you will probably be learning Mandarin.

There are many ways that you can approach the process of learning Chinese, but using an online tutor is convenient and effective. Whatever your level of Chinese is, there is a lot you can learn from an online Chinese tutor. Below we have compiled a list of the best online Chinese tutoring services, to help you improve your skill set.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Verbling



Verbling can connect you with a private online tutor to learn many different languages. For Chinese, the company offers both Mandarin and Cantonese. Its lessons take place via its integrated platform, where you can schedule your lessons and meet with the teacher, and it works on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Verbling also includes learning materials and language tools such as vocabulary review and collaborative text pads. You can either go through an existing course, or you can ask your tutor to customize the course for your needs. Verbling has an extensive list of Mandarin and Cantonese tutors, and you can select one based on their availability, background, experience, and of course their price.

The average cost for tutoring sessions is about $20 per hour, but you can find tutors for as low as $5 per hour or as high as $45 per hour. Besides reading about each tutor, you can also watch a short video of each of them introducing themselves and talking about their experience. Once you pick your tutor, you can book a trial lesson.

Best Budget: Preply



At Preply, there's something for everyone who is on a budget. While the company offers tutoring in 24 different languages, there are 1,000 tutors available if you're looking to work on your Chinese language skills.

You can search the long list of tutors and filter them based on their background, price per hour, availability, and specialties. You can also opt to only look at the profiles of native Chinese speakers, and you can read other ratings and reviews that they have received from previous students.

Since there are so many tutors and they are located all over the world, it is easy to find a tutor that is available whenever you need them. The price per hour for tutoring ranges between roughly $3 and $40, and all tutors offer a free trial lesson.

Preply has its own online platform called Preply Space, which includes video calling, text messaging, and the ability to download study materials. If you’re looking for a tutoring service with a lot of options, then Preply is a solid choice.

Best for Language Variety: Italki



Italki is a website that provides access to more than 10,000 tutors in almost any language. The company offers six Chinese dialects that you can choose from (Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, Shanghainese, and Taiwanese). For Mandarin Chinese, which is the most popular, Italki lists more than 800 available tutors.

The instructors provide one-on-one lessons via video chat, which can be customized based on the learner’s goals and interests. Since Italki has so many tutors around the world, you can probably find one that is available at a time that is convenient for you.

You can pay per tutoring session, so there is no need to sign up for a package or subscription, and since there are so many tutors, there is also a very wide range of prices. Some tutors have hourly rates as low as roughly $6, while others can charge up to around $80 per hour. You can search the list of tutors based on their background, experience, availability, price, and more. Plus, tutors all offer either a free or discounted trial lesson.

Best for Course Variety: ChineseHour



With a wide range of online tutoring services for all kinds of learners and purposes, ChineseHour has one-on-one tutoring and courses such as spoken Chinese, Business Chinese, Kids Chinese, Chinese Culture, Teenage Chinese, Tourist Chinese, and more.

The ChineseHour system involves selecting a tutor and continuing with that same personal tutor throughout your learning experience, since the service believes this leads to faster learning. In addition, ChineseHour offers a free testing system, a free online course, and a periodic learning report.

With several tutors listed on its website, you can select yours based on their qualifications, signature courses, and teaching styles. There are several different packages and memberships you can purchase, which include between roughly 40 and 60 sessions.

Depending on which course you want to follow, sessions can be around 25 minutes or 50 minutes long, and you could end up paying between roughly $16 and $25 per 50-minute session. But before you sign up, you can take a free trial lesson.

Best for Kids: PandaTree



PandaTree is an online language school that offers one-on-one lessons for children ages 2 to 17 in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. It has around four different types of Mandarin Chinese courses: Chinese for Preschoolers (for kids ages 2 to 6), Beginner Chinese (for kids ages 6 to 12), Intermediate Chinese (for kids ages 8 to 15), and Advanced Placement (for teens ages 15 to 17).

Since the lessons are one-on-one, the curriculum can be personalized to each student. The tutors all have native fluency and have experience working with children. You can read through the tutors’ profiles in order to select the best fit for your child. In addition to tutoring, PandaTree also offers a Kid Hub where you can access learning games, videos, stories, and vocabulary practice.

After each session, parents will receive an email with an update from the tutor in order to keep track of your child’s progress. And, you can watch a video recording of your child’s lesson. For children under 10, the service recommends 25-minute lessons, while for older kids they offer 50-minute sessions.

You can purchase one lesson at a time or you can buy a package of three, five, 10, 20, or 40 sessions. Depending on the package you buy, the price for a 25-minute session can be between roughly $19 and $25, and between around $34 and $45 for a 50-minute session. Finally, if you’re not satisfied with the session, PandaTree will provide you with a refund if you request it within seven days.

Best for Specialized Lessons: Mandarin Tutor

Mandarin Tutor

Mandarin Tutor

Mandarin Tutor, as the name implies, is a service that focuses on teaching only Mandarin Chinese. It offers one-on-one 50-minute lessons via Skype for both adults and children.

When you look at the tutors’ profiles, some will indicate that they specialize in children and teenagers. All the instructors are native speakers of Chinese, and they can customize the lessons based on your needs. For example, they can focus on business vocabulary or on helping you prepare for travel or for an exam. You can look through the list of tutors and select one based on their availability.

Also, you can purchase one lesson at a time, so you don’t have to commit to taking a certain number of lessons. The cost of the lessons is between about $10 and $18, but there are discounted prices if you buy a package of five, 10, or 20 lessons. If you want to try them out, Mandarin Tutor offers a 25-minute free trial.

Best Immersion-Based: TutorMing



TutorMing provides one-on-one, 45-minute lessons via Skype for learners of Chinese at any level of proficiency. The company calls its tutors certified-Chinese consultants who offer immersion-style classes. Its website lists 12 tutors who are all highly-trained, certified, and experienced.

TutorMing uses an algorithm called Dynamic Course Generation System (DCGS) to customize lessons and tutors based on your abilities, interests, and background. To sign up, you have to buy a subscription package of either three, six, 12, or 24 months. The price per lesson varies depending on what package you purchase, and whether you pay in installments or in a lump sum.

Depending on the subscription, your lessons can each cost between roughly $15 and $23. TutorMing also offers lessons for children. Kids’ lessons have similar costs, yet they are only 25 minutes long. Also, you can try a class for free before you commit.

Best for Structured Courses: My Chinese Tutor

My Chinese Tutor

My Chinese Tutor

With one-on-one, 30-minute Chinese lessons via Skype for children and adults, from beginners and travelers to experienced students and business professionals, My Chinese Tutor is a great pick. Its system is based on a structured learning program, and the company offers four different courses: Chinese for beginners, Survival Chinese course, Chinese lessons for students, and Business Chinese course.

My Chinese Tutor has a team of five experienced, Beijing-based native speakers. In order to sign up, you have to purchase a subscription, and the cost of the lessons varies depending on whether you buy a monthly or quarterly subscription, and how many lessons per month you want to take.

The different packages have up to 10, 20, 40, and 100 lessons per month. For example, My Chinese Tutor's most recommended package, which includes up to 20 lessons per month, costs about $130, so you end up paying roughly $13 per hour of lessons. My Chinese Tutor offers a free trial lesson, including temporary access to its online content platform, My Chinese Hub, which has lots of useful learning material.

How We Chose the Best Online Chinese Tutoring Services

In order to choose the best online Chinese tutoring services, we looked at a wide range of websites and analyzed aspects such as the type of services provided, the qualifications of the tutors, the online platforms used for providing tutoring, the price of services, as well as reviews and user ratings. Each one of the services we selected has unique features that make it stand out. We picked Verbling as best overall because of its technologically advanced online platform, the variety of tutors and price range, and other learning tools that are available.

PandaTree stands out as being a service that provides Chinese tutoring specifically for children ages 2 to 17. TutorMing is unique because it uses an immersion methodology, while ChineseHour is unique because it offers such a wide variety of courses and options.

If you’re looking for affordable tutors, Preply is a really great option, and if you want a variety of Chinese language options, Italki would be a great choice. Finally, we selected Mandarin Tutor because it has interesting specialized lessons for different purposes, while My Chinese Tutor stands out because of its well-structured courses.

What Are Online Chinese Tutoring Services?

Online Chinese tutoring services are used for finding and connecting with a Chinese tutor who can help you either start learning Chinese or improve on your current Chinese skills. They can meet via an online platform such as Zoom or Skype. Online Chinese tutoring services usually provide a list of tutors with profiles and descriptions, so you can select the one that best fits your needs.?

Who Should Use Online Chinese Tutoring Services?

Online Chinese tutoring services can be used by a wide variety of learners. They're useful for people who are starting to learn Chinese from scratch, but also for those who already have some knowledge of Chinese and want to improve their proficiency. Since tutoring sessions are one-on-one, the tutors can customize lessons based on the student’s needs and goals. Also, online Chinese tutoring services are a great option for learning or improving your Chinese without leaving the comfort of your home.

What Kind of Device Do I Need in Order to Use Online Chinese Tutoring Services?

In order to access Chinese online tutoring services, you need a device with a microphone and camera to be able to connect via video call with your tutor. There are a variety of online platforms used for this purpose, such as Skype and Zoom, and most can be accessed using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

How Much Do Online Chinese Tutoring Services Cost?

The cost for online Chinese tutoring services varies greatly and depends on the company providing the services and the quality and experience of the tutors. Some tutors charge as low as a few dollars per lesson, while others who are highly qualified and experienced might charge hundreds of dollars per lesson. The benefit of online tutoring services is that you can find a tutor for any budget.

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