A couple of years ago, my colleague Kate Hardin wrote an article about choosing a TOEFL tutor. In the article, she included a short list of online TOEFL tutors. All of Kate’s recommendations are good. But the field of online tutoring grows bigger and bigger every year. So in addition to Kate’s recommendations (which you should check out in the original post), I’m going to give you a list of new TOEFL tutoring services that have emerged in the last few years.
iTalki is an interesting combination of social network and tutoring services. The site is a social network for people who want to do language exchanges for find a language conversation partner—and this can be done between iTalki members for free. There are also paid professional tutors on iTallki who specialize in TOEFL prep. You may be able to find a conversation partner who can help you boost your English skills for the TOEFL. But for serious TOEFL assistance, it’s best to hire one of the professional tutors on the site.
Although iTalk screens all of its professional tutors carefully, it’s important to understand that iTalki is not a TOEFL specialty site. So while there are a lot of excellent TOEFL tutors on this site, some tutors will know more about the exam than others. Prices vary a lot too—you’ll find TOEFL tutoring ranging anywhere form 10USD an hour to 40USD and above.
Chegg Tutoring operates on the “social network” model similar to that of iTalki, although Chegg focuses on general academic tutoring rather than language learning. Unlike iTalki, Chegg’s prices are fixed. Chegg bills its students by the minute rather than the hour, and students can subscribe or pay as they go. Chegg lists its plan details here.
Chegg doesn’t screen its tutors as carefully as iTalki does, and there have been some student complaints of underqualified tutors. So you’ll have to choose a TOEFL tutor carefully if you go through this platform.
The biggest advantages of getting a tutor through Chegg or wide selection and convenience. There are many tutors to choose from, and a number of very skilled and well-qualified TOEFL tutors are available if you look carefully. At any given time, tutors are logged into the website and available through the instant message system within the site. You can instantly contact any online tutor. Many of them will agree to an on-the-spot lesson. Moreover, logging in and contacting tutors is completely free—you don’t have to pay until a lesson begins.
Myngle is the final social-network style language learning platform we’ll look at. Myngle markets its English instruction as business English, but it does offer a lot of TOEFL content for ESL students as well. Myngle even has online TOEFL courses overseen by individual tutors who specialize in the exam.
Although Myngle started out with a social networking model comparable to iTalki or InstaEDU, in recent years Myngle has downplayed their “social network” aspects. These days, the site treats its teachers like employees rather than social network participants. Myngle carefully checks teachers’ resumes and credentials before hiring them, and sets pricing for its teachers. Lessons need to be purchased in bundles of at least 10 at a time. You can see Myngle’s pricing schemes here.