Course Platforms / Preply
Preply was founded in Ukraine and their first step beyond Eastern Europe was, of course, Brazil. Proving that a good beach never hurt anyone, Preply soon conquered the rest of the world.
So we know the people like Preply and Preply likes the people. Below, we cover the most important question. Is Preply right for you?
Read our review to find out.
Preply focuses on live chat classes to help people learn languages.
Nowadays, you can learn a lot more than languages on their platform, think yoga or even guitar.
Preply operates a classic middle-man model like Uber or Airbnb. They do some checks on who can call themselves a tutor on the platform then they let the ratings and reviews take care of the rest.
The tutors say what they can teach. For example basic Spanish or Business English. The teaching style and syllabus they choose to use are entirely at the teacher's discretion. The only limitation is that is must be delivered through a video chat.
Who is Preply for
The most common way to receive a lesson is through Skype or Google Hangouts.
Preply handles all the money and operates on a pay as go model. The class price is set by how long your lesson lasts. The most common lesson time is an hour.
The prices range from $1 to $100+, you will probably want someone nearer the lower middle of that.
Teachers will also offer discounts if you bulk purchase lessons. For example 10 hours in one go.
You can get a reduced rate trial on a class so you can try before you settle with one tutor. Testing out multiple tutors on Preply is definitely a School Bell recommendation.
Test multiple tutors before settling on one. Assess how prepared they are and if their teaching style suits you.
Classes and courses
Finding a tutor on Preply is so simple you don't need a tutorial.
That being said... Here is a tutorial.
Currently, the platform is a lot less slick if you want to learn something other than a language. There is one big dropdown that you have to scroll through and there are so many, many options.
They aren't even alphabetised!
There are not a whole lot of filters but they are perfect for what you need. That is unless you want to filter by skill level, personal vs professional requirements, Certificated vs Non or a host of other things. Hint, hint Preply!
Also, do not let the "Tutor Speaks" filter confuse you, they all speak.
You will also speak during class.
It is the Preply way of defining what language the Tutor speaks. It is another confusing drop down.
According to Preply, they are over 35 variations of English. One of them being "Regents English Language Arts". So use the more advanced filters with caution.
Don't get distracted by all the options
My fun poking aside, finding a tutor is easy, it is quite fun to review the teachers and read their blurbs. You can very quickly get a shortlist of tutors to message and then the real fun, I mean learning, can begin.
Preply operates on a Pay As You Go model. You only pay for the classes you take. You can cancel at any time so it is risk-free.
Since learning a language takes the time you will find yourself thinking less and less about the platform as you and your tutor get in a regular routine. Then you are free to start worrying about the accents & conjugations.
How to take a course
Picking a tutor on Preply
1. Read through the bio, reviews and availability of the tutor's pages
2. The best thing to do is to create a shortlist of 5-10
3. Then send them all message with what you want to learn and a few questions about how they plan to teach you
4. Then schedule a trial class with your favourites
5. If you feel a connection dive in and start learning
Getting started with your tutor
If your first class goes well you can book in recurring classes or do them one by one. If you are not so sure then repeat the shortlist - trial lesson process.
Remember there are bound to be connection issues at the beginning. Even though we are in the 21st-century things still don't work.
At this stage watch how proactive your tutor is. Do they message you before the class to connect your accounts or wait until the class has begun? How prepared do they seem? Are they interested in you or just running through a pre-set script?
Do not keep going if you are not sure at first, there are plenty more fish in the sea.
The more rapport you have with your teacher the more likely you are to stick with it and before you know it you will be talking like a local. And maybe even living the Vida Loca.
Navigating the site
The platform is pretty slick.
It helps that it doesn't host videos, documents and student forums like some of the other platforms we have reviewed. It allows you to get straight to the task of finding a tutor for your new language.
Since Preply stuck to what it does best, the site is small and easy to navigate.
You select the language you want to learn, you review the teachers and pick the one you think will be a good fit for you.
Once you have your account setting your availability and coordinating with your tutor is very simple.
The billing and payments are straightforward, simple and transparent.
Once you have made your final checks it is time to take the plunge and sign up to a course.
Make sure you come back to check out our other hints and tips and let us know how you got on and what you learnt!