Instant Tutoring

If your schedule suddenly opens up or have some have extra time before or after giving an online session, Instant Tutoring is a great way take advantage of your free time to earn more money on italki!  Simply turn on your Instant Tutoring availability and students can immediately request and have a live lesson with you. Best of all, instant tutoring is completely flexible as you can teach whenever you want!

Instant Tutoring sessions are a way for students to get extra speaking practice.  As a teacher, flexibility is important as each student’s language ability and learning goals will be different. Be ready to help as a speaking coach, answer language questions or even correct student essays.   Instant Tutoring sessions should be student-directed since you won’t have any time to prepare in advance.

1.  Offer Instant Tutoring

Instant Tutoring is a feature that you must first activate to offer.  To activate this feature click on Edit Profile> Teacher Settings> Switch on “YES” on the Offer Instant Tutoring Slider and set your price for your Instant Tutoring sessions.   Note that Instant Tutoring sessions are 30 minutes long.

Once you activate the Instant Tutoring feature, you won’t need to activate it again.  Whenever you log into the italki website, the Instant Tutoring feature will be activated until you decide to turn it off (Switch the Offer Instant Tutoring slider to NO).


Instant Tutoring is only available for Teachers who have experience teaching on the italki system.  If you are a new teacher who is unable to Offer Instant Tutoring, please read the following FAQ:

I’m a new teacher on italki. Why can’t I offer Instant Tutoring?

2. Turn On your Instant Tutoring Availability

When you are ready to give Instant Tutoring Sessions, you need to Turn On your Instant Tutoring Availability.  You need to be online and ready to quickly accept Instant Tutoring Requests from students.

Click on the Instant Tutoring Tab and then switch the “I’m available for Instant Tutoring” slider to YES.


Once you turn on your Instant Tutoring Availability, you will immediately appear in the Instant Tutoring list of teachers! Only turn this on when you are absolutely sure you want to start Instant Tutoring!


Potential Students will now be able to request an Instant Tutoring session with you in real-time!

It is important that you are nearby where you can quickly respond to real time requests from students!


3. Respond Quickly to Instant Tutoring Requests

When a student makes an Instant Tutoring request with you, an Instant Tutoring Notifications will appear at the top of the italki website.  You’ll also hear an Instant Tutoring Notification sound.  These requests are made in real-time. Click on Session Details to accept or decline the Instant Tutoring Requests.

Students making Instant Tutoring Requests in Real-Time


After clicking on Session Details you will be brought to the Confirmation page where you can Accept or Decline the Instant Tutoring request(s).


Once the first student makes an Instant Tutoring request, you have 10 minutes to accept or decline the request.  You may receive Instant Tutoring requests from many different students.  You can choose the student you would like to teach as you may prefer to teach a certain type of student. For example:

  • You may know one of the students and already have experience teaching him/her.
  • You may prefer to teach a student who speaks a certain language.
  • You may prefer to teach a student at a higher (or lower) language level.
  • You may have more experience teaching students from a certain country.

You can only receive a maximum 5 Instant Tutoring requests in the 10-minute Instant Tutoring Request period.

You must accept one of these students within the 10-minute Instant Tutoring Request period. 

If you do not respond to these requests in the 10-minute period, you will receive an Instant Tutoring Timeout.  If you accumulate 2 Instant Tutoring Timeouts in a row, your Instant Tutoring privileges will be suspended. See Instant Tutoring Rules & Policies


 4. Have your online session via SKYPE or other VOIP software!

After you accept your Instant Tutoring request, if there are pending Instant Tutoring requests from other students, they will automatically be declined.

After confirming the Instant Tutoring request, the Instant Tutoring confirmation page will appear and the student’s SKYPE or other VOIP program ID will be listed.  Connect and have your session.


Instant Tutoring session are 30 minutes long.  At the end of the 30 minute Instant Tutoring session, students have the option to request another “Follow-Up” session.  As long as you don’t have a scheduled session for the next 45 minutes, you’ll be able to approve a Follow-Up session.

5. Confirm your session and give feedback.

After your session is completed, your student will have up to 2 hours to confirm the Instant Tutoring Session with you.  After the student confirms the session and leaves you feedback, be sure to leave feedback for the student as well!
If the student forgets to confirm the Instant Tutoring session, the completed session will automatically auto confirm in 2 hours.

For more information about Instant Tutoring click on the Instant Tutoring FAQs for teachers.