What is the difference between a Professional Teacher and Community Tutor?

With italki you can find the best teachers to give you a personal online language lesson.

There are two types of teachers on italki: Professional Teachers and Community Tutors. 

BOTH Professional Teachers AND Community Tutors:

  • Are native or Advanced (C2) level in the language(s) they teach
  • Are expected to conform to italki's Teacher Policies and Code of Conduct
  • Are admitted only after submitting an online application which is personally reviewed by italki staff.


Professional Teachers


Professional Teachers are teaching professionals that have been trained in foreign language acquisition.  They have at least one of the qualifications below, as verified by italki staff:

  • Professional teaching experience in a school, university, or language instutute
  • University degree in education
  • Teaching certification (i.e. CELTA or TESOL) from an accredited institution

Professional Teachers can offer the following (see individual teacher profiles for details):

  1. Professional lesson.
    • Prepared lesson and course materials 
    • Structured lessons
    • Specialized classes
    • Recommendations for accomplishing your short- or long-term goals, including your continued language studies
    • Help with all aspects of a foreign language, including oral communication, grammar, pronunciation, writing and more.

  2. Informal tutoring or speaking practice.


If you are new to learning a language, we recommend learning from a professional teacher.  A professional teacher can provide you a structured learning plan and lead you through the learning process.


Find a Professional Teacher  >>


Community Tutors


Community Tutors are native speakers who can help you learn a language through informal tutoring or speaking practice. Community Tutors are not formally qualified teachers, but they are knowledgeable and passionate about helping others learn their language. Talking with a Community Tutor is a great way for intermediate or advanced students to get real conversation practice!


Community Tutors have the following qualifications:

  • patient, understanding and friendly, with a desire to help others
  • passionate about language learning

Community Tutors can offer the following:

  1. informal tutoring or speaking practice.
    • practice authentic and natural conversations about topics of your interest
    • help you with your "homework" or practice things you've learned from a professional teacher
    • answer questions about the language and culture
    • give advice for good sources of native content to study

 Many Community Tutors go above and beyond these basic expectations in order to help the students who come to them, but please keep in mind that Community Tutors are not expected to have prepared lessons or a teaching plan.  If you would prefer to work with a teacher who will provide you with more structured learning and materials, we suggest you browse professional teachers or ask for a recommendation.


Find a Community Tutor  >>


Apply to be a teacher

If you have a passion for teaching languages, and are interested in becoming an online teacher at italki, please apply!


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