Preply is a language learning platform that connects you to language tutors based on your needs and schedule. It’s highly user oriented: you choose your language (from 35 on offer), your teacher, how many lessons you take and whether to learn 1-1 or in groups. You pay for lessons in blocks of hours and can connect with other learners via the community.
Best for: Anyone wanting to receive live, individual one to one tuition. Whether this is to learn a brand new language or improve on existing skills. Also, those not wanting to commit to an annual subscription who want to learn on-the-go and by their own schedule.
Cost: Prices vary depending on the tutor. Average hourly rates are around $15-$20. That said, you can filter tutors according to your budget. There are discounted trial lessons to help you find the right one. Once you settle on someone to take lessons with, you take out a monthly subscription in which you commit to a certain number of hours per week.
Overall: Preply develops your vocabulary and fluency by connecting you with tutors 1-1. By doing this, you can speed up your learning and get on track with a personalized program. With over 32,000 high-quality teachers, Preply stands out by allowing you to select from a huge pool and filter lessons by availability. Do remember to cancel auto renew if you decide you don’t want any more lessons
Tutors are available to teach 35 languages.
English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Dutch, Ukrainian, Hindi, Hebrew, Greek, Czech, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hungarian, Urdu, Thai, Serbian, Latin, Punjabi, Persian (Farsi), Romanian, Tagalog, Danish, Bengali, Sign and Indonesian.
Preply was launched in 2015 as an online marketplace where learners pay fees to teachers for live online individual or group lessons.
It now has 32k+ teachers of over 200 nationalities who offer personal tuition in 35+ languages. You select the language you want to learn, the level you want to learn at and the teacher that best suits your needs. Discounted trial lessons help you land on the best tutor and once you have made your choice, you pay for monthly blocks of hours (minimum 4) rather than committing to an annual subscription fee.
Placement tests will identify your current proficiency. Levels are based on the Common European Framework and tutors will aim to progress you through these levels.
One of Preply’s selling points is that it’s designed around you. You’re in full control of what and when you learn and can trial different tutors to find your fit.
You simply go to Preply.com, click on ‘Get Started’, choose the language you are hoping to learn and click continue.
You’ll be asked a series of questions about your goals, current level, tutor type (eg native speaker or from a particular country where the language is spoken), when you want your first lesson, the type of lesson you’re looking for and your budget.
Following this you open a free account using your email address, Google or Facebook, and then choose from the filtered tutors who best match your requirements.
You’ll see their star rating, numbers of existing students and lessons and their proficiency in your own native language (which is essential to ensure good communication between you). Plus, you can sort the results by popularity, top picks and pricing
You can then take up to 3 discounted trial lessons, usually around 50m long. You use this time to discuss your level and focus areas and sample a tutor’s teaching style.
Once you find someone you’d like to have lessons with, you commit to a monthly subscription of a number of hours per week (between 1 and 5). You can distribute these hours in whatever way you and your tutor agree upon (eg 1 a week, or two every other week, etc).
On Preply, lessons vary according to your current level, your tutor and how far along you are with them.
The Preply classroom is similar to Zoom/Skype but is a built-in feature of Preply’s desktop and app versions. So, you don’t need to download any software.
Within the Preply classroom, you’ll find a note and chat section, interactive whiteboard*, and homework tab. These help to structure your learning and encourage engagement. Tutors can send attachments and lesson plans, which appear in their own area. This means your learning is easily accessible wherever you are.
*Interactive whiteboard not available on the mobile app.
After 2 hours on Preply, I improved my basic German skills by:
Preply’s pricing structure is complex and one of the things I don’t like about the platform. It’s also not that transparent on the website and I had to dig around amongst their articles to find out exactly how it works.
So here goes...
Tutors set their own hourly rates so costs vary. An average price would be between $15-25 per hour. But you can filter teachers by your own budget to find someone in your price bracket.
You take discounted trial lessons to help you find the right teacher. Then if you decide to go ahead with a tutor, you commit to a 28 day subscription of between 1-5 hours per week. You can distribute these hours across the 28 day period as you and your tutor decide.
So if your tutor charges $20 per hour and you commit to one lesson per week your subscription cost per 28 days would be $80:
1 hour per week over 28 days is four hours in total - $20 x 4=$80
The more hours you subscribe to, the greater the discount to the hourly rate.
But here’s the catch. Every 28 days , your card will be charged automatically for the next 28 days. And some unused hours may be written off.
So firstly, you MUST remember to cancel your subscription if you decide you want to stop lessons.
Secondly, you MUST use your hours carefully to avoid unused time being written off. Because if you have unused hours at your billing date, the number of hours for one week will roll over to the next month. Everything else will be written off.
Preply does not offer a free version.
There isn’t a free trial for Preply. However, you can get discounted trial lessons with tutors you have not worked with before.
The trial fees are generally very reasonable for someone’s knowledge and time. And paying them can actually be a motivational factor in language-learning. If people pay for their lessons, they’re more likely to value them and engage more deeply with lesson content.
If you’re dissatisfied with your lesson, you can request a full refund or get a free replacement.
If you decide to switch tutors and have purchased several hours worth of lessons, you can transfer the hours you've bought using the ‘Transfer hours’ feature. You can also request a refund of your unused hours.
You can pause your subscription if you are unable to attend lessons for a period of time but you MUST remember to cancel it if you decide you want lessons to end.
To review Preply, I spent 2 hours practicing German as an A1 (beginner) student. I took 2 lessons with different teachers to get a feel for what the platform was like. I had some basic knowledge of German and know that the grammar is hard, so I was keen to see how tutors tackled this aspect.
Also, I wanted to see if Preply was more for beginners or advanced learners. Unlike with italki, I was surprised by how much more relaxed they were about conversing in my target language. They had no expectations for me to speak only in German and were more focused on what they could do to help me succeed.
One handy feature of Preply is you can select tutors by their proficiency with your own native language. This makes it easier to ask complex questions and identify differences and similarities in syntax, grammar and phonics between your native language and theirs.
From the lessons, I’ve grasped a better understanding of grammar rules, as well as pronunciation and vocalic sounds. When reading or speaking 1-1, it’s a lot easier to receive instant feedback and correct your errors as opposed to learning on a pre-set platform.
Tutors were eager to lay down the basic building blocks of the language to make sure I had everything covered. This was definitely more useful than learning vocabulary in isolation.
Live tutoring from personal tutors is a major benefit of Preply. You get up to date teaching, real time feedback and the teacher can quickly adapt to your specific needs. Your strengths and weaknesses can be instantly identified and addressed to best encourage fast learning,
When it comes to learning languages native speakers will always make the best teachers. This is because they can provide you with idioms, nuances and cultural tips that help you avoid social gaffs and change your speaking of a language from passable to perfect.
A nice feature of Preply is that you can choose teachers who are native speakers or who come from a country which speaks the target language. So if you want to learn Spanish for travel to a South American country, or German for travel to Switzerland, Preply can help you with this.
You can also connect to native speakers via the community where you can ask and answer questions.
In addition to choosing from a range of tutors, you can also design your learning flexibly around your lifestyle. Compared to other types of language-learning, like podcasts or textbooks, Preply is more immersive, more carefully tailored to your own needs and fast-tracks the learning process by catering to you individually.
Though you can join group lessons, Preply specializes in offering personal 1-1 tuition. When you select a tutor they’ll assess your current skill level and prepare a specially-made lesson plan just for you. Because you learn virtually and 1-1, this also means you get real time feedback, as opposed to learning in isolation.
One of the advantages of Preply over other competitors is the scope of languages (35+) and teachers (32k) to choose from.
Live tuition means you’ll be getting a more personal and realistic language-learning experience, compared to textbooks or automated online programmes. And whilst there is a strong emphasis on speaking and listening, tutors are mindful of the building blocks of their language and will ensure you get instruction in grammar, reading and writing.
Where possible, your tutor will use the language you are learning as much as possible, with the aim of this happening 100% of the time as you progress.
This exposes you to the language in a more immersive way where it becomes more familiar quicker. to help you get fluent fast.
Preply allows you to search for tutors by availability so you can structure learning around your personal lifestyle and schedule. It’s also helpful for finding lessons or tutors quickly and easily when you have a busy timetable.
Preply’s placement test is based on Common European Framework (CEFR) levels and helps to provide a more structured approach to learning than similar platforms like italki.
Although Preply has a lot of great deals and discounts, there’s no free trial.
That being said, trial lessons are offered at a discounted rate and you can search according to your own budget. So, unlike other platforms that have fixed fees or annual subscription costs, Preply allows you to find a tutor within your price range.
I had a problem viewing resources being sent to me by my tutor during the lesson.
According to her this was a routine issue. It can easily be resolved by both the tutor and student refreshing their screens. But it did interrupt the flow of the lesson. Preply are constantly updating their platform and software so this may not be an issue in the future as glitches are ironed out.
Paying for the trial lessons was simple. But I did not find it easy to work out exactly how the pricing system for Preply works if you decide to commit to lessons with a tutor.
Eventually, I found an explanation in an article buried in their blog.
I feel they need to be more transparent about this. Particularly as they automatically renew your subscription every 28 days and you can have unused hours written off.
To see what I mean, check out ‘Preply cost’ above.
Preply’s learning style would engage anyone who’s:
Interested in learning a language for educational reasons or as a hobby
Compared to similar platforms like italki, Preply seems more suitable for beginners. Tutors don’t initially insist on speaking entirely in the target language. And you can ensure that your tutor is proficient in your own language to aid good communication.
With classes for kids as well as businesses, Preply really has something for everyone and doesn’t expect a foundational level of knowledge.
The tutor-contact feature means you and your teacher can discuss your skill level and lesson aims outside of lesson time. This way, Preply ensures you’re fully equipped for your lesson even before it begins.
Preply offers a number of features that make it an ideal choice for students who want to learn a language. These include:
Live lessons allow you to interact with the tutor and have your individual queries addressed immediately. Preply tutors will be able to adapt their teaching to the different needs of learners as they arise.
Compared to italki, I felt tutors were more flexible on Preply and more willing to adapt to your learning style and needs. There was less insistence on speaking solely in the target language and that is better if you are a total beginner.
You can select a tutor that is a native speaker in your target language. This will not only mean you hear correct pronunciation but will naturally pick up colloquialisms, idioms, nuances, cultural insights and grammar.
One thing I liked a lot about Preply is that you could also select a tutor who was proficient in your own native language. For absolute beginners this is great because it ensures good communication and allows you to express your needs confidently.
You can also interact with native speakers via the free Preply community.
The best way to learn a language is by immersing yourself in it. Preply provides the opportunity for you to do this through live teaching. Either 1-1 or in small group sizes. Plus the teacher will be maximizing opportunities for you to hear, speak (and therefore think) in your target language.
Preply’s system means that you can pick and choose lessons based on your availability and avoid committing to an annual subscription or rigid programmes that don’t work around your lifestyle.
Overall, this means you get more value for your buck, as you get to frame your language-learning around your personal schedule, rather than catering to a fixed timetable.
This means language learning is accessible to you both at home and on-the-go
You can use the community to ask questions and receive answers from other learners or speakers of your target language. The blog provides opportunities to read articles devoted to your chosen language (plus revision tips!)
Our evaluation system uses a range of criteria known to make language learning effective.
Since Preply provides one to one or small group live tuition your learning experience can be entirely negotiated by you. This means you can ensure all aspects of language learning are covered, feedback is instantaneous and any issues can be dealt with the instant they arise. Inevitably, there will be a stronger emphasis on speaking and listening and as you will be working with a native speaker you will gain a strong sense of sound rhythm, intonation and nuances in speech.
Preply gives the learner a high degree of control over their learning. If you take the effort to find a tutor that suits your style, Preply provides a highly indivdualized and enjoyable experience. The platform was slightly glitchy when resources were being shared with me and this did interrupt the flow of the lesson a little. Plus you can lose unused hours if you are not careful.
Preply has some stand out features such as the ability to connect to native speakers for live 1-1 tuition and to personalize your learning experience. It also offers a wide range of language choices.
The costs for Preply vary by tutor. If you find a tutor who suits your needs and budget then it is likely you will feel that the platform offers good value for money. Be careful to use the hours you book to avoid having unused time written off.
Apple Store 4.8 /5 based on 4.8+ reviews
My aim here is to write the best and most balanced Preply review, so here are some reviews I have found on the site and on forums such as Reddit:
“I managed to find good tutors. But the classroom keeps crashing, even with good connection, so my tutors use Zoom many times.” -- Comment from Reddit
I too noticed the technical difficulties using Preply. That said, Preply offers Zoom/Skype as alternative platforms after connecting with your tutor.
“I love their ‘classroom set up’, it saves your notes, your homework, quizzes if you take them [...], everything. It’s SO nice to be able to go back by date and have all your info there. The support team is very helpful and responsive. I rarely have issues but when I do they clear it up right away. If you don’t like your tutor, it’s super easy to change tutors.” -- Comment from Reddit
Personally, I found the tutors on Preply a lot more responsive and helpful than, say, italki. Each tutor contacted me prior to the lesson to establish a class plan and were keen to determine the best program to create.
There are lots of options online when it comes to learning a new language. Each of them comes with their own pros and cons. So, I’ll keep this short with a brief comparison of Preply against three other leading online language learning providers:
In short, it depends on your learning style.
If you’ve used other app-based programs like Babbel or DuoLingo and found them not to be very helpful, Preply is an outstanding resource for getting individual, live, personalized learning.
Also, if you have a busy timetable and can’t commit to fixed days, you can search tutors by availability and speed up the booking process.
I hit on two excellent tutors and found that after a couple of hours I greatly improved my vocabulary and pronunciation. Plus my understanding of German grammar (which I remember from my school days as terrifying) improved massively. If only it had been taught the Preply way when I was at school!
Getting instant feedback reassured me that I was on the right track, unlike on pre-set apps. Although some see it as complementary to other learning, I think 1-1 tutoring is an invaluable method. And Preply matches you with tutors who are advanced or proficient in your own native language so you can easily express your questions, needs and learning style preferences.
With trial lessons available at reduced prices and a range of tutors to try out, there’s little to lose and a lot to gain with Preply. So, if you’re looking for a learning plan that suits your skills and lifestyle, I think Preply is definitely worth considering.
Just make sure you understand its pricing structure, use up all your hours and cancel your subscription when you decide to stop!
Why not browse the tutors and book a trial lesson?
Yes. Preply is effective and good value for money. It has some stand out features like live 1-1 lessons from native speaker. It’s ideal if you want a more immersive approach to language learning and do not want to commit to a subscription or fixed timetable.
With Preply you purchase a 28 day subscription in which you commit to a certain number of hours. The more hours you buy, the greater the discount. Fees vary from tutor to tutor. Discounted trial lessons to give you a flavour of the platform can be as low as $15.
You take 1-1 or small group classes over Preply’s own version of Zoom. When you first start your tutor will discuss your needs and learning preferences and design a program of study to suit you.
35+ languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Dutch, Ukrainian, Hindi, Hebrew, Greek, Czech, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hungarian, Urdu, Thai, Serbian, Latin, Punjabi, Persian (Farsi), Romanian, Tagalog, Danish, Bengali, Sign and Indonesian.
Preply offers full refunds for any lessons you are dissatisfied with. If you decide to stay with Preply but wish to change tutor, Preply will transfer any hours paid for to your new tutor.
There isn’t a free version of Preply though you can buy heavily discounted trial lessons for as little as $15 and can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied.