These are the best Arabic tutors on italki, the ones we used to learn to speak Egyptian Arabic.
When starting to learn Egyptian Arabic, we had to go through a number of Arabic tutors on italki until we found the best ones. We chose italki, by the way, because it’s easy to change tutors, and you can keep using the same tutor as you travel around Egypt. If you’d like to sign up, use this link and get $10 credit when you pay for your first lessons.
Get $10 italki tutor credit
Sign up to italki (for free) with this link and get $10 credit the first time you add credits to your account.
How much Arabic did we learn with these tutors? We got to a middle conversational level. You can watch videos of us speaking below, and a discussion of what it took to get there here.
What our teachers all had in common
We have a few basic requirements of our tutors, whether in Arabic, Swahili, or whatever other language we’re learning.
All our teachers that we recommend are
- Good at listening and adapting to style. The teachers would encourage and push us just a little further out of our comfort zones. They gave us material in which we were interested, and didn’t force-feed us textbooks or arbitrary vocabulary.
- Easy to talk to. We don’t recommend tutors that it’s hard to have a conversation with no matter how good a teacher they are.
- Not too expensive. Their rates have gone up since we used them, and deservedly so! We generally pay between US$5-8/hour, and choose 45-minute lessons if we can.
- Good note-takers. All our tutors took notes of words and phrases we had to learn, and reviewed them with us and even tested us on the material periodically.
- A mixture of men and women, secular and religious. It’s really important to have a spread of types of people in your teachers. It gives you diverse vocabulary and types of expression, as well as a diverse understanding of local culture.
- Not creepy/weird with women. This is important if you’re female and learning Arabic. Some teachers just make women feel uncomfortable. The male ones below pass that test and are very easy to talk to if you’re a woman.
You can read more about it here in our article on how to get more out of italki tutors.
On top of all of the above, after two months of speaking to these people almost every day, they truly felt like they were our friends!
Amr is a software engineer with a real passion for the world and different cultures. I enjoyed talking to him because it was just easy to be on the same page as him. He was always patient and encouraging. We were never short of conversation topics.
With Amr I learned a lot of everyday colloquial expressions, that he could not only teach, but explain quite well.
I liked talking to Eman because she’s a worldly, very intelligent and knowledgable person who’s also an observant Muslim. I learned to appreciate a different perspective on things.
Apart from that, Eman’s knowledge of Arabic is vast. She was confident in how things are said in Modern Standard Arabic and in Egyptian Arabic as well. On top of that, her English was truly excellent.
Part of our mission in going to Egypt was to learn a bit about a different culture and people, and knowing people like Eman helped us to see the world a little through the eyes of someone who’s a lot like us, but with a different religious and cultural background.
Alaa was one of my favourite teachers just because she was so much fun to talk to!
She explained things clearly and took detailed notes, providing words in Arabic script of romanisation, plus a meaning. In subsequent classes she’d refer back to the notes and do mini spot tests to make sure we were learning (keeping us on our toes).
Mohamed was Jo’s favourite teacher. Mohamed is very good for students learning from a basic level. He’s encouraging, and does lots of drills with you, helping you become good at basic grammar. He’ll work with you until you’re comfortable speaking Arabic, an overall quite difficult language!
There are plenty of teachers on italki. We went through quite a few, choosing to not continue with 2/3 of the teachers we went through.
While you can learn something from any teacher, it’s important to find a teacher you really want to continue with long-term. It can mean such a huge difference in your progress.
If you have another teacher you’d like to recommend (after having worked with them for at least five lessons), we always welcome suggestions! Send us a link to the teacher plus why you think they’re excellent and we’ll consider it.