What are the language proficiency requirements for teaching?
- Native proficiency
- Advanced (C2) proficiency
We require that teachers have native proficiency or the most advanced (C2) level in order to teach a target language. italki uses the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) for reporting language proficiency.
We do realize that many potential teachers who are not quite at this level may have much to offer to other language learners. However, we want to ensure that any student who wants to learn a language on italki (whether through professional lessons or informal conversation) can confidently find expert teachers with a thorough grasp of the target language. Therefore, at the present time, we must require teachers to be at a C2 level or native proficiency in order to offer a class in that language.
How is this shown on a teacher's profile?
- Each italki profile clearly shows the languages and level that a person speaks.
- Teachers may upload documents certifying their language proficiency
- Teachers speak in each of their native or advanced-(C2)-level languages in their introduction videos
Additions or updates to any of these require approval by italki staff.
italki teachers are presently required to demonstrate their language proficiency in C2 or native-level languages by speaking these languages in their introduction video (even if the teacher is not yet intending to offer a course in that language). The introduction video is an excellent way for students to verify a teacher’s ability, and for a teacher to show the student what a class might be like.
The italki team personally processes all teaching applications or modifications to a teacher’s profile according to this policy, and will monitor and evaluate all teachers to ensure that they are advanced (C2) or native in the language they wish to teach.
italki retains the rights to:
- Modify the language level(s) on teachers’ profiles if the reported language level is suspected of being inaccurate or misleading
- Remove a teacher from the teacher search in a particular language if a teacher’s language level is suspected of being below the necessary requirement to teach
- Deactivate teacher profiles which have false or misleading information about the teacher’s language proficiency level.
How do I demonstrate my language level on italki?
To demonstrate your native or advanced (C2) language level, both to italki staff and to potential students, we require that teachers:
- Speak in the language during your introduction video. Don’t just say a few words; say at least a short paragraph. It adds a lot of credibility to your profile. Students are looking to your video to understand what their language sessions with you will be like (and how they will speak after learning from you)!
- Upload any language proficiency certification you have earned to your italki profile. italki staff must approve this modification. Your certificate will not be published, but your profile will show that italki has verified your certification.
- Use the target language in your written introduction. Be sure to use proper spelling and grammar so that your profile will look professional.
- If you are an English teacher, take the Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT). You can display the results on your profile where students will easily see it.