Verbling vs italki vs Colingo: Pricing, Variety & Features Compared
You really can learn just about anything that you want to learn online these days. Here are a few options for learning languages, with a focus on which service does which aspect of the training the best.
Verbling focuses specifically on online courses and training for learning a language. You learn the language from a native speaker. Signing up for the service is free, and you can connect with either one on one tutoring or group classes for learning a language through the two-way video chat option. This is available 24/7 due to Verbling’s teachers which exist throughout the world.
- Native Language Teachers-The focus for foreign language speaking these days is often on sounding as natural as possible, and Verbling helps you achieve this by hooking you up with a natural speaker.
- Private Tutors for a Variety of Languages-The languages available for private tutoring include Russian, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and English. There’s a “private tutors” area on the bottom right corner of the tutors page which shows you which tutors are available and what their rates are. Once you get to their page, you can see how many hours they’ve taught, where they are from, and other info about them.
- Learn in Live Classes-Currently this appears limited to Spanish or English on Verbling, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if it eventually expanded to many other languages as well.
- Class Preview-You can even get a preview for a class if you click on the link on the main page about classes and then hit the blue “Preview a Class” button. This does require you to sign in through Facebook, however.
The iTalki site has been featured on TechCrunch, Mashable, the Guardian and even the South China Post. It’s also a site focused on helping you learn languages. There’s a lot of emphasis on speed on the site.
- Easy Quick Signup-There’s no need to hunt around for the signup options with a Facebook or email sign up button right on the main page.
- Enormous Language List-There’s a language for every letter of the alphabet on iTalki if you want a private tutor. There’s even one for sign language.
- Breadth of Info About Tutors-When you search for tutors on the site, such as when you click on the tutor languages at the bottom, for example, you’ll get a lot of info for each tutor. Their languages are listed, including how fluent they are in each with a score out of 5 bars. A full 5-bar score means native, 4 means upper intermediate, and so on. Each listing also has the teachers ratings for quality out of 5, including how many sessions they have done.
Colingo focuses on learning to speak English specifically. It’s designed to help you acquire or increase your English language ability. The site is currently inactive, so you may have to wait to use it until it comes back into being active again. There’s an email link you can use to contact them under where it says “contact us” after hitting the link at the bottom of the page.
- Sign Up for Mailing List-If you fill out your email on the main page, you can subscribe to the mailing list and get information related specifically to anything upcoming on Colingo, which could be useful since the site appears to be in a transitional phase.
- Conversation Focused Learning-The focus on the site is learning through having conversations. This is actually their whole philosophy. So, it’s basically an alternative to the usual approach which is going through speech and grammar exercises with a private tutor instead.
- Contact Through Multiple Means-You can contact the team through email, Facebook, or Twitter using the appropriate buttons available at the bottom of the page.
Head to Head
Pricing varies per tutor, which a trial session of 30 minutes costing $6 for some tutors, for example. This often rises later to $15 - $20 per hour. Tickets cost $3 to join for classes. They are free to watch if you reserve them ahead of time. Subscriptions on the site start at $19 per month for 10 classes, or $45 per month for joining unlimited classes.
The iTalki service makes it so tutors can offer free 10 or 30-minute sessions. The focus is on individual tutors, so pricing is definitely going to vary. It’s common to see about 15 USD per hour for a Vietnamese teacher, for example.
A 40-minute conversation on Colingo is going to cost $15. This will be with a native speaker and the SpeakAssist method. Or you can pay for $70 per month as a subscription which includes 2 conversations per week, totaling 240 minutes. This also comes with premium support.
Variety and Features
Online training variety through Verbling is limited to learning new languages only. This means that if you want to learn something else that isn’t a language, then you should really look elsewhere if possible. The service has 24/7 tutor availability as a feature, however, so it’s a god bet if a language is what you want to learn. Movement throughout the site is fairly intuitive, since you can just click on “about tutoring” or “about classes” to get information about either topic.
The iTalki service lets you choose from dozens of languages, giving you considerably more in terms of language variety than a site like Verbling, for example. This includes esoteric versions like “Tamazight.” It’s important to note that there may not always be a tutor available even if the language is clickable on the site though. It just depends on when you click.
Colingo is definitely limited when it comes to variety since it only allows you to get help with English. It’s also limited with features since it’s transitional at the moment, and when it was active it appeared to focus largely on single English conversations and not much else. If learning English better is all you want, then this service could be worth sticking around for.