How Does Instant Tutoring work for Teachers?

If your personal schedule suddenly opens up or you have some have extra time before or after giving an online session, Instant Tutoring is a great way to take advantage of your free time and earn more money on italki!  Simply turn on your Instant Tutoring availability and students can immediately request to have a live lesson with you. Best of all, Instant Tutoring is completely flexible as you can teach whenever you want!

Instant Tutoring lessons are a way for students to get extra speaking practice. As a teacher, flexibility is important as each student’s language ability and learning goals will be different. Be ready to help as a speaking coach, answer language questions or even correct student essays. Instant Tutoring lessons should be student-directed since you won’t have any time to prepare in advance.

1.  Offer Instant Tutoring

Offering Instant Tutoring is similar to offering any other course or lesson (Informal Tutoring, Professional Lessons, Trial Lessons) on italki.  You need to first activate it and set the price.

This does NOT mean that you are making yourself available right now. It just means that you have set your prices and have the ability to offer instant tutoring.

Instant Tutoring is only available for Teachers who have experience teaching on the italki system.  If you are a new teacher who is unable to Offer Instant Tutoring, please read the following FAQ:

I'm a new teacher on italki. Why can’t I offer Instant Tutoring?

If you do not yet qualify for instant tutoring, you will have the option to apply.

See this FAQ on how to apply for instant tutoring abilities. 

If you do not need to apply first, then:

To set up your Instant Tutoring,

  • Click on Edit Profile> Teacher Settings> Courses/Services
  • Turn on the green check mark on the Instant Tutoring slider
  • Click the "Set Price" icon to set your price for your Instant Tutoring lessons.  Instant Tutoring lessons are 30 minutes long.



You only need to do this once. Whenever you log into the italki website, the Instant Tutoring feature will be activated until you decide to turn it off (Switch the Offer Instant Tutoring slider to the gray "x").

2. Test Your Instant Tutoring Notifications

When a student requests instant tutoring, there will be:

  • A notification sound
  • A desktop notification

Test to make sure that these are both working properly.

This is important for you to notice when a student wants to have a lesson. If you cannot hear the sound, check your computer volume settings. If you cannot get notifications, make sure that you have followed the steps to enable them.

3. Turn On your Instant Tutoring Availability

This is how you make yourself available for lessons right now.

After you know that your sound and notifications are working, and you are ready to give Instant Tutoring Lessons, next you need to Turn On your Instant Tutoring AvailabilityYou need to be online, paying attention to your computer, and ready to quickly accept Instant Tutoring Requests from students.

Click on the Instant Tutoring banner and then switch the "I'm available for Instant Tutoring" slider to ON.

This is what you look like to students:

Once you turn on your Instant Tutoring Availability, you will immediately appear in the Instant Tutoring list of teachers! Only turn this on when you are absolutely sure you want to start Instant Tutoring! 

Potential Students will now be able to request an Instant Tutoring session with you in real-time! 

It is important that you are nearby and paying attention so that you can quickly respond to real-time requests from students! 


(the button is grey-out is because you are not allow to book a instant tutoring lesson with yourself)

3. Respond Quickly to Instant Tutoring Requests 

When a student makes an Instant Tutoring request with you, Instant Tutoring Notifications will appear at the top of the italki website.  You'll also hear an Instant Tutoring Notification sound. These requests are live and made by students in real-time.

Once you see the notification, Click on "view session detail" to accept or decline the Instant Tutoring request. Please do this as quickly as possible.

You will be brought to the Confirmation page where you can Accept or Decline the Instant Tutoring request(s). Type your password to confirm.

Once the first student makes an Instant Tutoring request, you have 10 minutes to accept or decline the request.  You may receive Instant Tutoring requests from many different students. You can choose the student you would like to teach as you may prefer to teach a certain type of student. For example:

  • You may know one of the students and already have experience teaching him/her.
  • You may prefer to teach a student who speaks a certain language.
  • You may prefer to teach a student at a higher (or lower) language level.
  • You may have more experience teaching students from a certain country.

If you do not respond to these requests in the 10-minute period, you will receive an Instant Tutoring Timeout.  If you accumulate 2 Instant Tutoring Timeouts in a row, your Instant Tutoring privileges will be suspended. See Instant Tutoring Rules & Policies.

4. Have your online session via SKYPE or other VOIP software

After you accept your Instant Tutoring request, if there are pending Instant Tutoring requests from other students, they will automatically be declined.  

After confirming the Instant Tutoring request, the Instant Tutoring confirmation page will appear and the student’s SKYPE or other VOIP program ID will be listed.  Connect and have your session. Write a message to your student so they know that you will be there soon.

 Instant Tutoring session are 30 minutes long.  At the end of the 30 minute Instant Tutoring session, students have the option to request another “Follow-Up” session.  As long as you don’t have a scheduled session for the next 45 minutes, you’ll be able to approve a Follow-Up session.

5. Confirm the lesson and give feedback

After your lesson is completed, your student will have up to 2 hours to confirm the Instant Tutoring Session with you. The student must confirm the lesson within 2 hours in order to leave feedback.  After the student confirms the session and leaves you feedback, be sure to leave feedback for the student as well!

If the student forgets to confirm the Instant Tutoring session, the completed session will automatically confirm in 2 hours and the credits will be transferred to you.

6. How do I turn off instant tutoring?

Important: If you are not available for instant tutoring, please turn the instant tutoring off immediately.

Step 1: Please click the button to "turn off" your instant tutoring immediately before you close web browser or turn off your computer. Otherwise, the student may still able to request a lesson with you, and you won't able to response to it.

 Step 2: Please turn off the instant tutoring here in your course setting page:



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