Preply vs Cambly: Pros & Cons – Students’ Edition

Cambly vs Preply, comparing the two language tutoring sites from the tutors' perspective
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For people seeking to learn English, there have never been so many options as now! With such variety, though, it can get confusing as to which platforms are better suited for each individual student. I mean, we’ve all got our own unique styles and comfort zones, right? This post will take a look at two platforms that I have tutored on.

I’ll give my opinion on what I feel the advantages and disadvantages are for English learners on either of the two. Feel free to let me know what you think below or to share what your experiences have been like learning on these sites. So, let’s talk about some of the similarities, pros, and cons of Preply and Cambly for students.

Read also: Preply vs Cambly, Tutors’ Edition

Check for yourselfCambly InfoPreply

All the Same

Despite some differences, Preply and Cambly actually have a lot of similarities for students, and they offer much of the same things. Both of these are online language learning platforms where students can decide the times and days of their own lessons. These platforms allow for students to attend lessons on practically any device with a camera, from laptops to cellphones to tablets and more.

They also allow for students to choose which tutors they wish to talk with, providing a profile and video by each tutor. The two platforms have learning materials that can be used during the lessons as well. Monitors are on watch for both platforms to make sure the lessons go smoothly and safely. Now, on to the specifics.

Preply, pros & cons

the Preply tutoring company logo, comparing it with pros and cons
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Advantages

  • they make it easy to pay for lessons and set up recurring / weekly lessons with the same tutors
  • if the student doesn’t enjoy their first lesson, they can do a lesson with another tutor free of extra charge until they find a good fit
  • the interface looks nice and the platform is fairly easy to use
  • they have features like a whiteboard, lesson topics, and an easy chat section to navigate
  • students can arrange to do automatic lesson confirmation so they don’t have to worry about this after lessons
  • it’s designed mostly for students that want to stick with the same tutors for longer and do longer lessons
  • they aren’t so picky about doing lessons off of the Preply platform, as long as the lesson is confirmed on Preply, this allows for more freedom to do the lesson where you’re comfortable
  • they check with students to confirm before extending their payment plans
  • students can learn other languages besides English

Disadvantages

  • sometimes the platform can be a little slow, this especially happens during updates
  • there is no free trial lesson and all lessons are paid for in advance
  • students aren’t required to do 1 hour lessons but most do, some students have a hard time keeping up with this weekly schedule, it’s a bigger commitment
  • most students do lessons on a laptop in a more formal setting, this could feel limiting to some students
  • because tutors set their own rates, sometimes lessons may be too pricey for certain students

Cambly, pros & cons

the Cambly English tutoring company logo
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Advantages

  • students usually do the lessons on a cellphone, so they have the freedom to be almost anywhere and practice English
  • lessons are normally shorter, although students can pay for extended lesson times if they wish
    • it is usually a laidback atmosphere which can be very relaxing for students, low pressure
  • students have the freedom to talk to a different tutor each session or make planned lessons with the same tutor
  • students are allowed a free-trial lesson and sometimes promotions for multiple free lessons
  • a great place for YouTubers and influencers to interact with English speakers for entertainment and educational purposes
  • students can feel safe that the lessons are closely monitored, more so than Preply in my experience
  • tutors go through a quick training before starting, this is to better understand other world cultures and behaviors, and it helps them to be more receptive of students’ specific customs
  • you don’t have to schedule lessons, just log in and find someone to talk with
  • I sense that tutors come from a wider array of backgrounds on Cambly, there’s also a fair amount that aren’t native English speakers but still speak English very well

Disadvantages

  • many students like to share contact info, but Cambly strictly prohibits this, this is a downside if you are one of those students
  • students can do the lesson from anywhere, but some locations might make video connection worse
  • because the atmosphere can be more relaxed, some students might not reap the full benefits of a fully focused lesson, this can provide a false sense of improvement for some students who would benefit better from sitting and focusing on English practice, which is totally possible on Cambly

So, there …?

Well, you can see I tried to stay optimistic and focus on the good side of things. The lists are overwhelmingly positive for both platforms, which surprised even me. For students looking to do lessons on either Preply or Cambly, I would suggest just thinking about the kind of lessons you want. Do you want to just practice conversational English or do you want to have a bit more structure and order in your lessons? Or do you want both or something different altogether?

Both of these platforms are excellent tools to use for practicing English and to get some cultural exchange. In the end, though, my experience tells me to encourage all the students out there to use it as one of your many language learning tools, and not as a cure-all. Just using an online platform probably isn’t going to make you fluent, although it’s one great way to help you get there!

Language learning is best done when there is a variety of methods and materials used so the brain can get in contact with the language from different angles, using different experiences. Students that seek a more casual approach to learning might prefer Cambly, while students who seek to put in more focus might prefer Preply. Either way, both platforms allow for casual and serious language learning, just with their own twist. The important thing is how they are used by the students. You can do it! I trust in you. I hope I could make the differences, similarities, pros, and cons of Preply and Cambly a bit clearer for you. Thanks for reading, and we’ll tune in next time. Peace.

3 Resources for Quick Language Improvement

a girl looking at something on her laptop lying on the bed, related to finding resources online for language improvement

I know you’re busy! Quickly, here are two online resources that you might use to help in your language learning process. Both options are free to use!

Logo for Learn Languages with Netflix, a language learning resource
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Learn Languages with Netflix

This option is great for those that already have a Netflix account and want to get an extra kick out of their language practice. It’s a great tool for watching content on Netflix using two subtitles; one in your source language and the other in your target language. You can follow the link below or search for “learn languages with Netflix” on your browser and download the plugin.

After that, it will be available at the top of your browser to use when you watch Netflix on your laptop or desktop. They even have a catalog for specific languages to see what the best-rated shows and movies are in English or any of the other available languages. You can click on words in the subtitles to see their translations and definitions. It’s free to use, so why not add it to your Netflix routine?

Download it here

Logo for Notion website/app
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Notion

It is an excellent app/website for taking notes. This might not sound too exciting, but it’s an excellent resource for organizing lists, tables, and charts for learning new vocabulary and grammar. Notion is also great for organizing your other resources, having them all in one spot. I’m using it to create posts right now, actually.

You can use it to practice writing in English, do translations, and perform any other creative written project your mind can think up. Notion is a priceless tool (literally) that can be used to keep yourself super organized while learning a new language. Check out the link to learn how it works!

Go to Notion

Journaly

Journaly is a newer platform that was built with language learning in mind. Members can write blog posts about any subject their heart desires in the language they are learning. Other members that speak your target language can correct any mistakes and give suggestions.

The great part is you can return the favor, offering corrections on other members’ posts if they’re learning a language you know. The community there is pretty nice and helpful, so don’t hesitate to practice your writing there!

Go to Journaly

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Read more: other Helpful Resources

Thank you for coming! Go and check these sites out. I’m sure they’ll help you in your language learning as they’ve helped me. Do you know of any other great resources for language improvement?

Other Random Channels for Listening

YouTube Channels for Inspiration, Curiosity or a Simple Laugh

Better Than Yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpExuV8qJMfCaSQNL1YG6bQ

  • Great daily tips for living a better life and being a better person

Today I Found Out: https://www.youtube.com/c/Todayifoundout-official

  • Lots of random and unique topics or facts that are always interesting to learn about

Geography Now: https://www.youtube.com/user/GeographyNow

  • Channel about all the countries in the world. He’s not done yet but the videos are funny and use lots of pop culture references

PBS Eons: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzR-rom72PHN9Zg7RML9EbA

  • Channel about prehistoric stuff, outer space, and general geeky science topics. The speakers are very pleasant people

Joel & Lia: https://www.youtube.com/user/joelandlia

  • Two British buddies who like to compare the UK to the U.S.

Masaman: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1vVNQN-TCy8d3Mb_Owr2Kw

  • A guy who likes to explain history and misconceptions about history or race/ethnicity. Might be interesting to you

Drew Binsky: https://www.youtube.com/c/drewbinsky

  • A world traveler who goes to some of the most unusual and intriguing countries on the planet. He’s also very positive

LangFocus: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNhX3WQEkraW3VHPyup8jkQ

  • Everything about languages, from English to the Khoisan languages of Africa. He’s got it all

Russell Brand: https://www.youtube.com/user/russellbrand

  • Insightful channel focused on current issues, meditation, better thinking and mental wellness. Includes many podcasts and interviews long and short

JRE Clips: https://www.youtube.com/user/russellbrand

  • The Jeff Rogan Experience. Mostly interviews by Joe Rogan with leading professionals in all kinds of fields. Sometimes inspirational and other times just plain entertaining

iWriterly: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKeBsBrWDtIBrnrCkxHo5MQ

  • A channel focused on becoming a better fiction writer, if you’d like to do that

After School: https://www.youtube.com/c/AfterSkool

  • Interesting interviews turned into colorful drawings and artwork to help create a clearer picture of the subject matter

thejuicemedia: https://www.youtube.com/user/thejuicemedia

  • Short and hilarious parody ads that critique the government, including some podcasts. Centered on Australian concerns

TED-Ed: https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDEducation

  • Short videos that explain diverse and interesting topics in English

TED: https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector

  • Live talks and speeches about important topics from around the world in English and many other languages

TED Talks: https://www.ted.com/talks

  • TED also has their own website, of course

Bilingue Blogs: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa57CLZlqhFtn1m-e-tWhpg

  • His channel is geared more toward Spanish learners, but he uses mostly English. You can be inspired by his near-perfect Spanish skills despite being an American with no Hispanic background

Anne Grady Group: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8shqCISYnwLzf650HBwcA

  • Uplifting channel for feeling good and self growth

The School of Life: https://www.youtube.com/user/schooloflifechannel

  • Cool channel about personal growth, reflection, and other helpful life topics

BBC News: https://www.youtube.com/user/bbcnews

  • World news channel in English

Learn on YouTube

Here is a list of 20 YouTube channels that you can use to help you in your language learning process. Some of these are for beginners, intermediate, Portuguese-speaking learners. Check these channels, and comment below if you know anymore great English channels!

Channels for Learning English on YouTube

Channel Robin MacPherson: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLifeOfRob

  • Explains mostly how to learn languages from a polyglot viewpoint. His videos are very laidback and relaxing to watch.

Tim Explica: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGxIAAnrhkCy6H2DRz-t6Qw

  • An American who loves to visit Brazil and teach Brazilians about English and American culture, and vice-versa. He also has a Spanish-centered channel somewhere.

Cambly (Brasil): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFmw9hQKH5l2lNwyfvaDIXg

  • Has weekly live and recorded English lessons geared toward Brazilian learners. They have a regular channel for general English students, and they probably have a channel for other specific languages.

Speak English with Vanessa: https://www.youtube.com/user/theteachervanessa

  • A great teacher with an easy accent and interesting interactive lessons.

Go Natural English: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9Pbt3q-ihROg1lmmmQdU2w

  • A channel for learning natural English expression.

The English Coach: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-g0gSStENkYPXFRsKrlvyA

  • Another good channel to practice your English skills.

Learn English with TV Shows: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKgpamMlm872zkGDcBJHYDg

  • Practice English watching popular TV shows, series, interviews and even movies. Now they have music and books as well!

mmmEnglish: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrRiVfHqBIIvSgKmgnSY66g

  • A super encouraging and helpful channel from an Australian point of view. The teacher is very nice and speaks in an easy manner.

Learn English with Papa Teach Me: https://www.youtube.com/user/papateachme

  • A funny and entertaining channel about English from a cool British guy. He often gets people from his life involved or does little cartoons as well.

SmallAdvantages: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCskEPRzGlsYHs_a5SJyCXag

  • A highly informative channel about English from an American that loves Brazil, partially in Portuguese. He loves teaching curiosities about the language.

Rachel’s English: https://www.youtube.com/user/rachelsenglish

  • An awesome teacher who focuses on better pronunciation and achieving fluency.

Accent’s Way English with Hadar: https://www.youtube.com/user/accentsway

  • Another great teacher for accents and a great inspiration since she is not a native speaker but has a nearly perfect American accent.

Canguro English: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr2TgqpOrU3kUTkVy5XoLow

  • An insightful, funny and thoughtful channel from a cool British guy who really cares about you getting better with English. No false promises or gimmicks here.

Learn English with Bob the Canadian: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZJJTxA36ZPNTJ1WFIByaeA

  • A quirky Canadian guy that teaches English by presenting real situations rather than telling about it.

Easy Languages: https://www.youtube.com/user/magauchsein

  • A great tool for reading custom-made subtitles and watching native speakers in action on the streets.

Simple English Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/vickihollettvideo

  • These are short and silly videos to aid in English understanding.

Lost in the Pond: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqabPJa-N6ORAlO5yMBtWXg

  • An Englishman now living in the U.S. with his American wife. He compares lots of accent and regional differences.

Steve Kaufmann: https://www.youtube.com/user/lingosteve

  • A channel about learning languages from one of the most renowned language learning experts.

Luca Lampariello: https://www.youtube.com/user/poliglotta80

  • An Italian guy with a great English accent who loves to teach about learning languages proficiently and becoming a polyglot.

Speak English with Tiffani: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGLGVRO_9qDc8VDGGMTcUiQ

  • Lastly we have this wonderful channel. Tiffani is a super enthusiastic and optimistic teacher. She has lots of experience teaching and always has a smile (and a couple of excited shouts) in her lessons. She gives great tips for learning languages, helpful ideas for you to think in English, and often finishes her lessons with a personal life story.

Have Fun Reading

Interesting blogs and articles about English (mostly)

Places to take free online classes, Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/where-to-take-classes-online

  • An article about some places to find free online classes for many different subjects

Fluent U: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/english/

  • A blog with lots of helpful tips for English, learning languages in general and some cultural points

English Live: https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/

  • Blog with tons of helpful articles about English-speaking culture, society, and those confusing aspects of the language

Only in Your State: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/

  • Cool site that has quirky information about the things only found in specific U.S. states

*Reading is a great way to improve your listening and speaking skills too. The important thing is to find subjects that interest you. Happy reading!

Working That English Muscle

Websites for practicing your skills

My English Pages: https://www.myenglishpages.com/

  • Practice general language skills, including some exercises and a blog.

Learn English British Council: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/

  • Blogs and interactive exercises to help with all parts of English learning for any level. The focus is more on British English.

Open Culture: http://www.openculture.com/freelanguagelessons

  • Find online courses, audiobooks, and even movies in English and many other languages.

Espresso English: https://www.espressoenglish.net/

  • Bite-sized lessons about English topics, including short videos and a blog.

English Club: https://www.englishclub.com/

  • General English practice, including some varied exercises, a forum and a writing space.

English Super Site: https://englishsupersite.com/

  • General English practice, especially good for understanding confusing words and terms. It has lots of little quizzes to test your knowledge too.

Perfect English Grammar: https://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/

  • So many grammar exercises and explanations.

English-At-Home: https://www.english-at-home.com/

  • Has great tips about language points and skills, including some courses and guided practice.

EC English: https://www.ecenglish.com/en

  • Online English courses and practice, including some live courses and finding in-person destination courses.

K12 Reader: https://www.k12reader.com/

  • Assistance in reading skills with lots of reading exercises and worksheets, especially for young learners.

Engoo: https://engoo.com/app/materials/en

  • A wide array of practice, including current news articles, pronunciation, describing pictures, and lots of helpful conversation practice. They even have test prep.

Englisch-Hilfen: https://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/

  • There are lots of exercises and games to help with grammar and vocabulary, including printable worksheets. I know they sound German, but trust me, they teach English.

English in 10 Minutes: https://englishin10minutes.com/

  • Here you can practice English by listening to quick podcasts with transcripts included, or do worksheets and learn about the importance of listening skills. The podcasts stories come from around the world and are pretty interesting.

Ludwig.guru: https://ludwig.guru/

  • This website is like a super dictionary. Besides giving you a simple definition, you can find translations, see the words in context, compare the word you are looking for to other words, and even see how popular the word is in daily speech. Ludwig is a great tool for being certain what word you want to use in English.

ELLLO: https://www.elllo.org/

  • A big library of video and audio lessons where you can practice listening skills and test your English knowledge. The audios come from different countries and accents too, so it’s a great place to get familiar with a variety of English speeches. Check it out!

Do you know of any other sources that are great for English learning or practice? Tell me down below! And let me know how these websites have worked for you.

4 Websites to Practice Reading English like a Native

Are you learning English and wondered where you can practice your reading skills? Here are a few suggestions of free, paid, and limited sites where you can find interesting content. Of course, almost any webpage in English is great for reading practice. Comment with any suggestions you have and share them with the community!

Read more: other tips at Helpful Resources

Free sites

Quora
Quora logo 2015, quora is a website for questions and answers and great for English students
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Quora is a great community information hub. Choose topics that interest you and read about them. Answer questions if you know them, and get any questions answered. There are tons of areas dedicated just to English and languages if you want to stick with that. There are also different languages available, so you can join the version of Quora in your native language if you like. I’m on there in Portuguese and Spanish too.

The Guardian
The Guardian 15 January 2018, magazine online that can help English students with reading practice
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This is an online magazine for reading about the news. They actually cover lots of interesting topics, so stay up to date on a variety of topics from science to urban planning to languages and more. It’s also a British site, so you can work out your British English reading skills.

Paid or limited sites

Medium
Logo for Medium.com, website where readers can practice English
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Medium is another community site where experts on a variety of subjects share their advice and experiences. Choose from a number of interesting topics to customize your profile. Subjects range from science to languages, sports to politics, and even sexual experiences. If you think you’re an expert, it’s free to post your own articles too. They are also available for writing in several different languages. To read they have a free plan that is limited to just a few articles a month, but it’s worth taking advantage of!

Esquire
Esquire Magazine January 2013 cover
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Esquire is a traditional and popular news magazine. Online, you can catch up on world news and current events. They also have tons of content great for practicing reading skills in your free time. They also are paid and have very limited free access. Geared as a men’s magazine, they share lots of lifestyle content as well.