Learning Mandarin can be a difficult venture. Not only does it require learning a unique alphabet specific to the language, it’s dependence on tonality can make it challenging for new Mandarin speakers. For this reason, many of the best online Mandarin tutoring services specialize in private, one-on-one tutoring. A private tutor can meet your learning needs with individualized attention, making these services a sure bet for any student in need of help navigating the Mandarin language.

How to Pick an Online Mandarin Tutoring Service

When picking an online Mandarin tutoring service, you should first consider your learning goals and what you would like to achieve in your language-learning experience. Many tutoring services offer the time and attention of a private tutor, with varying features to promote student success.

Learning Mandarin for work or travel might involve developing conversational skills and using a specific vocabulary. Consider a tutor who specializes in creating unique lesson plans that will foster your development in conversational Mandarin. On the other hand, learning Mandarin for a class or to prepare for a test might require the support of a tutor well-versed in certain materials — so be sure to keep an eye out for tutors who specialize in education or those who have an academic approach.

Regardless of your goals, learning Mandarin requires dedication in the form of a time commitment and regular weekly sessions. Many students report needing multiple sessions with a private tutor each week to gain proficiency.

Learning a new language for travel

Learning Mandarin for travel requires conversational skills that are best taught by a native speaker. Check out private tutoring services like Preply and Italki for a wide variety of tutors who can tailor their lesson plans and curriculum to your individual needs.

Learning Mandarin for work

With tutors that specialize in corporate Mandarin and Mandarin for business, AmazingTalker  has a wide selection of tutors with a range of availability to meet your scheduling needs. For those searching for individual tutoring at the enterprise level, consider Mandarin Tutor. They provide language-learning options for businesses at a larger scale.

Help with studying Mandarin for school

There are many Mandarin online tutoring services designed for students of all ages. For younger children, check out PandaTree for their age-appropriate learning materials that teach not only Mandarin but Chinese culture as well. For private tutoring and test prep, consider HeyTutor or Varsity Tutors for a structured curriculum backed by learning objectives.

 

How We Picked the Best Online Mandarin Tutoring Services

To pick the best online Mandarin tutoring services, we first narrowed our options by selecting services for their high-quality tutors and content. While some services encourage their tutors to design lesson plans specific to each individual student, others might use an educational blueprint informed by standard learning objects. Both options have their merits, so you’ll find both choices on this list.

We narrowed down our list further by carefully analyzing prices and the availability of a free trial. Here, you’ll find both budget-friendly options and options that require more of a financial investment. While not all of our picks offer a free trial, most offer free tutor replacement or a money back guarantee.

The 10 Best Online Mandarin Tutors

The following list includes a variety of private tutoring services at every price point, with options for children and adult learners. Whether you’re looking to learn Mandarin for travel, work or to prepare for a test, this list has a solution to meet your educational needs and learning goals.

Italki

  • Italki
  • Italki

Italki’s user interface is simple and easy to use. 

We love that you can find a teacher based on which region they are from or how long their lessons last.

With Mandarin being one of the most challenging languages to learn, many students find that it’s helpful to learn with the attention and guidance of a private tutor. There are many one-on-one private online tutoring options, but Italki stands out for their high-quality tutors and flexibility. Because their tutors are trained to design lesson plans around the needs of their students, individual learning goals are easier — and faster — to meet.

Students can easily browse for their ideal tutor using Italki’s user-friendly interface and toggle to view each tutor’s introduction, video and current schedule. They hire mostly native Mandarin speakers, which means you get the most authentic learning experience. From a Reddit forum in 2019 discussing the benefits of a beginner using Italki, user vigernere1 wrote, “As a beginner, it’s critical that you learn how to pronounce Mandarin initials/finals correctly. For this reason, feedback from a native speaker is important.”

Price $4-$80 per hour
Free trial Discounted 30-minute trial
Device  Any device
Format  Italki classroom or Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, WeChat
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Italki.

 

Mandarin Tutor

  • Mandarin Tutor
  • Mandarin Tutor

Who doesn’t appreciate a free trial? You can schedule a free 25-minute lesson before committing to regular tutoring.

While we find the tutor descriptions a bit bulky, we like that you can buy lessons in bulk at a discounted rate.

With their selection of professional teachers and native speakers, Mandarin Tutor has a variety of options for students seeking an online private tutor. They offer tutoring sessions to individuals, businesses and children, so their services are a versatile option that’s sure to fit any educational need.

Easily scroll through their list of tutors to view instructor bios, specialties and education history. Mandarin Tutor offers a completely free 25-minute trial lesson, so you can experience their teaching methods without making a financial commitment. Once you’re ready to commit, many tutors offer lesson packages at a discounted rate, making them an affordable option for long-term learning.

Price $8.45 – $25.92 per lesson: 1 lesson

$8.33 – $25.56 per lesson: 5 lessons

$8.16 – $25.03 per lesson: 10 lessons

$8 – $24.53 per lesson: 20 lessons

Free trial 25-minute trial lesson
Device  Any device
Format  Skype or Zoom
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Mandarin Tutor.

 

Preply

  • Preply
  • Preply

The search feature on Preply is a little confusing, but it’s not difficult to find a reasonably priced tutor to teach you Mandarin.

The Preply search results are easy to skim and understand. We also love that you can book trial lessons with most tutors.

With a focus on customer satisfaction, Preply is known for their free tutor replacement and exemplary Chinese tutors. Give any tutor a try with a 60-minute discounted trial lesson, and Preply will replace them for free until you’re 100% satisfied. The best part? They have over 1,000 Mandarin tutors actively teaching on their website, so you’re sure to find the right match for your learning goals — even if it takes a little extra work.

Be sure to make good use out of their search feature, where you filter for things like specialities, other languages the tutor speaks and whether you want to be shown non-native Mandarin speakers. You can book a free trial directly from the tutor’s profile or send them a message if you have a particular learning goal you would like to discuss before booking.

Price $18-$27 per hour: Prices for Chinese lessons by tutor nationality

$20: Average rate for private Chinese tutors

Free trial Discounted 60-minute trial lesson  
Device  Any device
Format  Preply video chat platform
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Preply.

 

AmazingTalker

  • AmazingTalker
  • AmazingTalker

The English on the website isn’t a perfect translation, but you can specifically find Mandarin tutors based on your learning goals (like travel).

Many of the tutors use a LOT of emojis in their description, which can be a bit distracting. While Amazing Talker doesn’t offer free trials, you can book your first lesson at a discounted price to try them out.

AmazingTalker is known for their detailed AI-filtering system that makes finding your ideal tutoring match easy. Simply select your learning goals and submit important details for booking (like the age of the student, availability and budget), and AmazingTalker will generate a short list of tutors that best suit your needs.

Users can also scroll through AmazingTalker’s general list of recommended tutors who fall under a specific specialty (like Chinese for travel or conversational Chinese). Book a trial lesson for a discounted rate or message the tutor directly from their homepage to discuss learning goals or teaching strategies.

Price $10-$30 per hour
Free trial Free trial lesson
Device  Any device
Format  Zoom
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about AmazingTalker.

 

HeyTutor

 

  • HeyTutor
  • HeyTutor

HeyTutor isn’t specifically for Mandarin tutoring, but you can find tutors based on the subject.

We don’t like that the search results don’t always show you tutors who specialize in Mandarin. For example, tutors can show up in the results if they can speak Mandarin, but not necessarily tutor it.

 

Specializing in academic tutoring for children and adults alike, HeyTutor is a great option for anyone seeking a private tutoring experience with the backbone of a structured curriculum. They align their teaching strategies and curricula with sound learning objectives, so you can be confident in their ability to help you or your child successfully learn Mandarin.

Use their search feature to find a tutor specializing in Mandarin or scroll through their list of tutors near your location. Be wary of this approach, though, as this method often gives tutors with the keyword anywhere in their bio. While they might be native Mandarin speakers, they could specialize in a different subject. With some careful research, you can find a high-quality tutor — just know that it might take more time than other services.

Price $25-$50 per hour
Free trial No free trial
Device  Any device
Format  Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about HeyTutor.

 

Thumbtack

  • Thumbtack
  • Thumbtack

Thumbtack is much easier to use than HeyTutor when it comes to the search function.

We love that each tutor has an individual feedback score on the Thumbtack search result page.

Thumbtack is a great online tutoring service if you are looking for a tutor who serves your local community. Rather than studying with a tutor across the world and possibly having to navigate scheduling issues, Thumbtack makes it easy by listing tutors near you without having to sacrifice the convenience of remote learning. Simply input your zip code, ideal lesson length, travel preference and the age of the student, and their search feature will generate a list of Mandarin tutors who best suit your needs.

One of Thumbtack’s best features is that they display student reviews directly on each tutor’s listing. Scroll through their homepage to read glowing testimonials from other students, and simply click on any listing to learn more about the tutor’s educational background and experience.

Price $20-$65 per hour
Free trial No free trial
Device  Any device
Format  Video
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Thumbtack.

 

Varsity Tutors

 

  • Varsity Tutors
  • Varsity Tutors

Varsity Tutors focuses on educational touring, so an adult needing to learn Mandarin for travel or work should look for another provider.

The Varsity Tutors search results page is a little lacking without pricing, reviews, or available times. 

Similar to HeyTutor, Varsity Tutors is a private tutoring service with a focus on academic and educational tutoring. They offer options for children and adults, and they specialize in Mandarin for school or assisting students with test prep. Although they don’t offer a free trial, they have an exceptionally high customer satisfaction rating of 4.9/5 stars — making their tutoring services a great option for those looking to make an investment in their Mandarin studies.

You can find Mandarin tutors local to your area by selecting your city from the drop-down menu — you can even specify a suburb if needed. By clicking on a tutor’s profile, you can view their education qualifications and the additional subjects they teach.

Price $50-$95 per hour
Free trial No free trial
Device  Any device
Format  Instructional videos and practice problems
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Varsity Tutors.

 

Wyzant

  • Varsity Tutors
  • Varsity Tutors

Wyzant can be quite lucrative if you find the right tutor. Wyzant does not approve lesson plans, though, so each tutor’s sessions can vary wildly.

 

Wyzant tutors are a bit pricier than tutors on other platforms, but we like the ability to see each tutor’s star rating in the results page.

Wyzant is unique among private tutoring services for its pay-as-you-go-pricing, meaning that there’s never a need to purchase a big package of lessons — you’ll always get exactly what you pay for. While this might detract from some built-in accountability factors that a financial investment usually brings, it certainly makes for a flexible learning experience.

To find your ideal tutor on Wyzant, simply search for Mandarin tutors and select your location preference. Many instructors have thousands of positive reviews of their tutoring abilities, making it easy for you to feel confident in your pick.

Price $35-$60 per hour
Free trial No free trial
Device  Any device
Format  Video platform app
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Wyzant.

 

ChineseHour

  • ChineseHour

Don’t let the bizarre homepage fool you, you can find a good tutor through ChineseHour’s platform. This is a great choice for folks looking to learn Mandarin for work.

Rather than offering hundreds of Mandarin tutors who students can scroll through at their leisure, ChineseHour provides their students with a “fixed” private tutor who is specific to their learning goals and educational needs. By assigning this tutor, ChineseHour guarantees the privacy of their students and maintains consistency of lessons. For those in search of accountability features, ChineseHour offers a progress checking system and an authentic reality course.

Price $25 per session: 50 minutes, 40 Premium Sessions include 5 Immersion Sessions

$20 per session: 50 minutes, 60 Preparation Sessions

$13 – $18 per session: 25-50 minutes, 60 Standard Sessions

$300: VIP membership

Free trial Offers free trial
Device  Any device
Format  Skype
Certificate of completion:  No
Knowledge level  Beginner to intermediate

Learn more about ChineseHour.

 

PandaTree

  • PandaTree
  • PandaTree

PandaTree specializes in Mandarin lessons for children. Adults will need to find a different provider.

We like that PandaTree’s pricing is consistent across tutors and that you can purchase multiple lessons at a discount.

The key to maintaining proficiency in Mandarin is to start at a young age. Luckily, PandaTree has one-on-one tutoring sessions geared for children ages 2-17, specifically designed to make learning Mandarin an enjoyable experience. Preschool students can enjoy programs with age-appropriate songs and cartoons, while older children will experience lively, engaging sessions to learn Mandarin alongside Chinese culture.

PandaTree offers many different pricing options designed to fit any student’s needs — including options for one-on-one lessons and group classes. They also provide special pricing for lessons focused on Advanced Placement Prep, and an option for Oral Proficiency Assessments.

Price $20 per lesson: Credit Packages

$16 per lesson: Monthly Subscriptions (4 Weeks), Weekly Camps

$10 per lesson: Small and private group lesson

$40 per lesson: Advanced Placement Prep

$45 per lesson: Oral Proficiency Assessment

Free trial No free trial
Device  Any device
Format  PandaTree Live video platform lesson and using learning modules, document writing, video clips, games, songs, poems, role plays, debates, impromptu speeches and more
Certificate of completion:  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about PandaTree.

 

Other Mandarin Tutoring Services to Consider

For those seeking a tutoring service that connects private tutoring with group classes and the convenience of an app, check out TutorMandarin.

Verbling is another option for private one-on-one tutoring sessions with a professional and certified tutor of your choice.

What to Expect When Using an Online Mandarin Tutoring Service

Since Mandarin can be a difficult language to learn, many online Mandarin tutoring services specialize in one-on-one tutoring with a private tutor of the student’s choice. Students can interact with their tutor through video conferencing software like Skype or Zoom. Some websites will opt for software specific to their site.

For tutoring services that offer a virtual classroom, students may interact with a virtual whiteboard or be asked to participate in file sharing for classwork or homework.

Sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis, and are often in 50- to 60-minute time slots. Since Mandarin tutors live all over the world, pay close attention to their time zones when requesting to book a class.

What you need to learn mandarin using an online tutor

Since the majority of Mandarin tutoring services take place in private sessions over video chat, having a high-speed internet connection is necessary for the best experience. Many services can hold sessions on any device, although some specifically recommend a laptop or desktop computer.

Learning Mandarin will take a substantial time commitment, with many language-learners reporting a longer than average timeline when compared to learning other languages. Most students need regular weekly sessions with a private tutor to meet their learning goals.

Free vs. Paid Online Mandarin Tutors: What’s the Difference?

Learning Mandarin is a unique challenge in that many students claim it works best with the assistance of a paid private tutor. A private tutor can correct pronunciation and writing mistakes on the spot, while a free service is usually less responsive to your individual needs — meaning that errors can go on longer without being corrected.

However, free tutoring services can still be useful as study tools, especially when they’re used in conjunction with a lesson plan designed by a tutor.

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