6 Options For Students That Want to Study Chinese Online

Online Chinese lessons are offered on many platforms. Here are some popular resources where you can find these lessons:

  1. italki
  2. Edx
  3. Coursera
  4. Rocket Languages
  5. Rosetta Stone
  6. Skillshare

Course options may vary depending on your budget, learning style and goals. You can explore different platforms and take advantage of free trial options to choose the one that best suits your needs.


iTalki is a popular online platform that connects language learners with language teachers for one-on-one language lessons. If you are considering using iTalki to study Chinese, here are some pros and cons to help you make an informed decision:


  • italki allows you to schedule lessons at your convenience. This flexibility is beneficial for those with busy schedules or varying time zones.
  • There are many qualified Chinese teachers on italki, giving you the ability to choose a teacher that matches your learning style and preferences.
  • Lessons can be tailored to your specific needs and goals. Whether you want to focus on conversation, grammar, writing, or any other aspect of the language, you can find a teacher who specializes in that area.
  • Compared to in-person language lessons, italki lessons can be more affordable. You have the option to choose teachers with different price ranges, making it suitable for various budgets.
  • You can take lessons from the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need for commuting to a physical location.
  • Many teachers offer trial lessons at a reduced rate or even for free. This allows you to test different teachers before committing to regular lessons.
  • Some teachers provide additional learning materials or resources to supplement your lessons, enhancing your overall learning experience.
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  • The quality of teaching can vary among different teachers. It might take some time to find a teacher whose teaching style aligns with your preferences.
  • While italki primarily focuses on professional teachers, some users may opt for language exchange. However, the effectiveness of language exchange can vary, and finding a reliable language exchange partner might take time.
  • Some users may find the payment process or currency exchange rates challenging, depending on their location.


Studying Chinese on edX, or any online platform, comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here are some general advantages and disadvantages you might encounter when using edX to study Chinese:


  • Online courses on edX offer flexibility in terms of when and where you study. You can learn at your own pace, fitting the lessons into your schedule.
  • edX provides a wide range of courses on the Chinese language, including beginner to advanced levels, business Chinese, and cultural aspects. This allows you to choose a course that aligns with your specific goals and interests.
  • Courses on edX are often developed in collaboration with prestigious universities and institutions. This ensures that the content is well-researched and structured.
  • Many edX courses incorporate multimedia elements, quizzes, and interactive exercises to keep the learning experience engaging and effective.
  • Some courses include discussion forums or communities where you can interact with fellow learners, ask questions, and get support.
  • While some courses on edX are free, even the paid ones are often more affordable than traditional classroom-based language courses.
edX Many Geos


  • Learning a language online might lack the immersive environment that comes with living in a Chinese-speaking community. Immersion is crucial for mastering pronunciation and understanding cultural nuances.
  • While some courses may have automated feedback for exercises, they may not provide the same level of personalized feedback as a live teacher would.
  • While edX certifications can be valuable, they may not carry the same weight as a degree from a brick-and-mortar institution. The recognition of the certification may vary depending on the employer or institution.


Coursera offers a variety of online courses for learning Chinese, ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Here are some pros and cons of using Coursera to study Chinese:


  • Coursera allows you to learn at your own pace, giving you the flexibility to study Chinese at a time that suits your schedule.
  • Many Chinese language courses on Coursera are well-structured, providing a clear learning path from beginner to advanced levels.
  • Coursera offers a wide range of Chinese courses, including those focused on speaking, listening, reading, and writing. You can choose courses that align with your specific language learning goals.
  • Courses on Coursera are often developed and taught by qualified instructors and language experts, ensuring a high level of instruction.
  • Many courses on Coursera incorporate multimedia resources, such as videos, quizzes, and interactive exercises, which can enhance the learning experience.
  • Some courses offer discussion forums or community features where you can interact with other learners, ask questions, and get support.
  • Coursera has a mobile app, allowing you to access your Chinese language courses on the go, which can be convenient for busy learners.
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  • Online courses on Coursera may lack the direct interaction with teachers that you would get in a traditional classroom setting. This can be a disadvantage for learners who benefit from real-time feedback and personalized instruction.
  • As with any online learning platform, success on Coursera depends on your ability to stay disciplined and motivated, as there are no set class times or in-person accountability.
  • While some courses include speaking and listening components, the overall language practice may be less immersive compared to learning in a Chinese-speaking environment or with a native speaker.
  • While Coursera offers free courses, some specializations or more advanced courses may come with a cost. The fees can add up if you choose to enroll in multiple courses or pursue a certificate.
  • While some courses offer personalized feedback, the level of personalization may not match that of one-on-one lessons with a tutor.

Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages is an online language learning platform that offers courses in various languages, including Chinese. Here are some pros and cons of using Rocket Languages to study Chinese:


  • Rocket Languages provides a structured learning path with lessons that cover various aspects of the Chinese language, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • The platform includes interactive lessons with a focus on practical language use. This can be beneficial for learners who want to apply their language skills in real-life situations.
  • Rocket Languages places a strong emphasis on audio learning, allowing users to practice pronunciation and listening comprehension skills.
  • Some courses integrate cultural aspects, helping learners understand not only the language but also the cultural context in which it is used.
  • Once you purchase a Rocket Languages course, you often get lifetime access to the materials, allowing you to revisit and review the content at any time.
  • The platform is accessible on mobile devices, providing flexibility for learners to study on the go.
  • Rocket Languages typically includes features that allow learners to track their progress and identify areas that need improvement.
Learn Chinese


  • Similar to other self-paced online language learning platforms, Rocket Languages may lack the level of interaction that some learners prefer, especially compared to in-person classes or one-on-one tutoring.
  • Success with Rocket Languages, as with any self-paced program, requires a high level of self-discipline and motivation. Learners must actively engage with the materials to make progress.
  • The quality of Rocket Languages courses can vary between languages, and some users may find certain courses more effective than others.
  • While Rocket Languages provides practical language use scenarios, the overall real-life practice might be less immersive compared to learning in a Chinese-speaking environment or through interactive conversations with native speakers.
  • Some learners may find that Rocket Languages focuses more on formal Mandarin, which may not fully capture the diversity of Chinese dialects and regional variations.
  • While Rocket Languages often offers competitive pricing, some users might find the cost to be a consideration, especially if they are on a tight budget.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is a language learning platform that uses immersive methods to teach languages, including Chinese. Here are some pros and cons of using Rosetta Stone to study Chinese:


  • Rosetta Stone employs an immersive approach, teaching Chinese through images, audio, and text without relying on translation. This method is designed to mimic the way we learn our first language.
  • The platform often includes speech recognition technology to help learners practice and improve their pronunciation.
  • Rosetta Stone provides a structured curriculum, guiding learners through a series of lessons that cover various language skills such as speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • The combination of visual and auditory learning can be beneficial for learners who respond well to a multimedia approach.
  • Rosetta Stone can be accessed on various devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones, providing flexibility for learners to study on the go.
  • Once you purchase a Rosetta Stone course, you often get lifetime access to the materials, allowing you to revisit and review the content at any time.


  • Rosetta Stone tends to focus on immersion rather than explicit grammar explanations. Some learners may find it challenging to understand the underlying grammar rules without additional explanations.
  • While the platform teaches the language, it may not provide as much cultural context as other courses or resources. Understanding cultural nuances is an essential aspect of language learning.
  • Some learners may find the repetitive nature of Rosetta Stone exercises monotonous. The platform relies heavily on repetition to reinforce language patterns.
  • The interactive elements in Rosetta Stone are computer-based, and the platform may lack the interactive, real-time communication that some learners prefer.
  • Rosetta Stone is often recommended for beginners and lower-intermediate learners. Advanced learners may find the content less challenging and may need to supplement their studies with additional resources.
  • The cost of Rosetta Stone courses can be relatively high compared to other language learning options. Some learners may find it more expensive, especially if they are on a budget.
  • While Rosetta Stone covers a range of language skills, it may not be as customizable for learners with specific goals, such as business language proficiency or specialized vocabulary.


Learning Chinese on Skillshare can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Skillshare offers a variety of classes, including Mandarin Chinese courses, taught by different instructors. This can provide a diverse range of teaching styles and approaches to suit various learning preferences.
  • Skillshare operates on a subscription model, where you pay a monthly or yearly fee for access to all classes. This can be cost-effective compared to traditional language classes or private tutoring.
  • You can learn at your own pace and schedule, allowing flexibility in your learning journey. This is especially beneficial for individuals with busy schedules or irregular free time.
  • Skillshare has a community aspect where you can interact with other learners and instructors. This can provide a supportive environment for asking questions, sharing experiences, and getting feedback.
  • Skillshare offers not only language courses but also classes on various other skills. This can be useful if you’re interested in expanding your knowledge in other areas while learning Chinese.


  • The quality of courses can vary, as anyone can create and upload content. Some courses may be more professionally structured and effective than others.
  • Skillshare classes may not cover as much depth as dedicated language learning platforms or in-person classes. The focus might be more on basics and conversational skills rather than comprehensive language proficiency.
  • Skillshare classes are pre-recorded, so there’s limited interaction with the instructor. If you need personalized feedback or have specific questions, this may not be the ideal platform.
  • Skillshare covers a wide range of topics, and the language classes may not be as comprehensive or specialized as those on dedicated language learning platforms.

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