Frequently asked questions about PandaTree's tutoring service.
We're really picky about the tutors we hire, and we think you'll be impressed with them. You can read the profile of each tutor and choose the tutor you think your child will like best.
Yes! You can change tutors at any time. We encourage your child to try different tutors over time. Getting comfortable having conversations with lots of different people is great preparation for real life. Since all our PandaTree tutors go through our rigorous testing we think you'll like any tutor you choose.
Younger kids generally prefer 25 minute sessions. Older kids often prefer a 50 minute sessions so they can get deeper into a discussion. If you are uncertain, start with a 25 minute sessions.
Yes. We'll send you an email reminder 2 days before and 20 minutes in advance of your child's session. You can also add your cell phone number to your profile to receive text alerts 20 minutes before your child's session starts.
We know things come up. That's why you can cancel or reschedule a session up to 24 hours in advance with no charge. A credit for the cancelled session will be returned to your account. Within 24 hours regular fees will apply since your tutor will have reserved that time for your child.
At PandaTree we want our customers to be happy! If you are unsatisfied with your child's PandaTree session for any reason, let us know within 7 days of their session, or before their next session (whichever is sooner), and we'll give you a full refund. Email us at email@example.com.
While rare, occasionally a tutor has to cancel a session. We'll let you know immediately and offer you the choice of:
Yes, unused session credits are refundable and don’t expire. If you want to request a refund email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Refund Request” in your email title.
If unused credits are refunded, the amount of the refund will reflect what the price would have been for the actual number of sessions used. For example, if a parent bought a bundle of 3 sessions but only used 2 sessions, the refund amount would be the amount the parent paid less what the price would have been for purchasing just 2 sessions. See the Terms of Servicefor more details.
Every PandaTree session is different and tailored to the interests and ability of your child. Often the session will start with the tutor and child catching up about what's going on in their lives. Next the tutor and child might play a quick game to review new words from the last session. The tutor will then introduce a topic of interest to your child, and share photos, short videos, or other materials to look at and talk about together. A few minutes before the end of the session your tutor will wrap up and review new words.
Since our sessions are one-on-one, our tutors will tailor the topics to the interests of your child. Let your child's tutor know about favorite areas to explore. Here are just a few examples of our content modules:
Talk! Our focus is on practicing conversations skills. To keep things interesting you can expect our tutors to mix up the format:
After a session, the video recording of your child's session will be available in your parent hub for viewing for 7 days. You can also click through to your child's hub to see the list of new words they've been learning.
No. We know many of our students are already studying a foreign language in a school or after school. We're all about giving kids a chance to practice using the language in a way that really stokes their appetite to learn more. If it's grammar drills you're after, there are other better services for you. If you want to help your child gain lifelong language speaking skills, you're in the right place.
All our content has been licensed by PandaTree or developed exclusively for PandaTree, and has been reviewed by language experts. It is designed to spark an interesting discussion. Our content includes photo galleries, short video clips, games, songs, poems, skits/plays and more.
Sure, if they need help. However, what we do best is help build conversation skills, and we're not an "answer service".
If you've found PandaTree, you probably already understand all the amazing benefits to children from learning a foreign language. Studies show learning a foreign language while young can grow brain power, improve career prospects and even increase compassion.
No. There's lots of compelling research that shows it improves it. Learning a second (or third, or forth) language doesn't make kids confused, it makes them smarter.
As early as possible! There are some great play-based programs out there for kids under five. We find that five or older is a good age to start with PandaTree because by then, kids usually have some computer skills and slightly longer attention spans. If you think your child younger than five is ready for PandaTree, reach out to us and we can talk.
We're parents too, and we take child safety really seriously. Here's what we do:
We think pandas are cute.
We would love to hear from you. Just email us at email@example.com or call us toll-free at 1-844-26PANDA (1-844-267-2632).
Our session prices are:
We also offer discounts when you buy credits for multiple sessions. See our prices. Credits don’t expire and can be shared amongst your immediate family.
You can pay for a PandaTree at the time you reserve a session for your child. Payment holds your time slot. Sessions can be canceled or rescheduled up to 24 hours in advance with no charge. Or, to take advantage of discounts you can buy credits for multiple sessions in advance and then use the credits as needed to book sessions. You can schedule sessions up to 12 weeks in advance.
We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.
We hire tutors who have a mastery of their language, a love of helping kids and a friendly and engaging personality. While we hire from a variety of educational backgrounds, many of our tutors are working on their masters degrees, often in education. Some are already foreign language teachers. They're people you'd want to hang out with and talk to.
For privacy and security purposes, all communication between the tutor and parent or child happens through the PandaTree platform. At the time of booking a session you can message your tutor by clicking on the "Send Note to Tutor" link. Email addresses and last names will be kept private.
At PandaTree we're picky about the tutors we hire. Our tutors go through three to five interview rounds with PandaTree, including several practice tutoring sessions with real children. Our tutors are evaluated by managers with expertise in the tutor's language and in children's education. Finally, we check by email or by phone two references that the tutor has provided.
PandaTree is great for shy children. It gives them a chance to practice speaking in a private, comfortable setting with a supportive and encouraging tutor. Our tutors are great at putting the focus on a fun and interesting discussion to make your child feel comfortable. For some children it can take a few sessions for them to warm up and at first they may do more listening than speaking. This is natural, and there is still lots of learning going on as your child absorbs what the tutor is saying.
Many of our tutors are very experienced at working with children who are just starting to learn a new language. They'll tailor the PandaTree content and their teaching style to a new learner. Expect to see things like:
We understand, tweens and teens aren't little kids anymore! Many of our tutors are very experienced working with older children, and will tailor the content and conversation level to your child's maturing interests. Expect to see things like:
We think the PandaTree experience will feel pretty different to your child than most other foreign language learning experiences. Our tutors are experts at engaging children's interests with topics they care about. Whether your child has a passion for cats or the best World Cup soccer moments, we've found most kids become motivated to express their point of view when its something they care about.
Our tutors can cover several shorter topics and use a range of games, pictures, and short videos to keep your child engaged. Let your tutor know ahead of time if your child would prefer more frequent topic changes. Your child will be surprised how quickly 25 minutes can fly by.
We believe being able to have a real conversation with real people is the reason most of us learn a foreign language. Achieving fluency requires building new neural pathways, and that requires practice thinking and speaking.
It doesn't hurt that we make the conversations fun and interesting for kids, which increases their engagement and motivation to learn. Through conversations your child can learn new things about topics they're interested in, and even hone their conversation skills.
There's lots of good websites that offer curriculum and games to help learn a language, and if your child likes them, that's great. For some children, it's easy to lose interest after a while especially if there isn't another human being involved. And there is nothing like having a real person gently and immediately correct your grammar or pronunciation to accelerate learning.
We think languages classes are great, especially with an inspiring teacher. We find that many children (including our own) can use some extra speaking practice outside of the classroom. PandaTree can bolster your child's performance in class by improving their language proficiency and their confidence in speaking.
By connecting our tutors and students face-to-face we make the PandaTree experience as close to in-person as possible. However, with our easy to use site you get several advantages:
Having conversations is the most natural way to learn a language. It's how babies learn! Just as parents do, our tutors will naturally add new words into the mix, and gently correct grammar and pronunciation. And every time your child practices speaking they're strengthening the neural pathways in their brain necessary for thinking-speaking fluency.
After every session, you'll receive an email from PandaTree letting you know the topics your child discussed and the new words your child learned during the session. You and your child will be able track progress as the word list grows. And a video recording of your child's session will be archived for 7 days, so you're welcome to watch it if you like.
No. We want your tutor to be your child's trusted, fun conversation partner, rather than evaluator. (There's nothing that clams up a child faster than thinking they are always being judged.)
Coming soon, for parents who are interested, we'll offer access to standardized human-judged tests that will allow you to monitor your child's fluency progress.
For PandaTree sessions you'll need a computer or a tablet with a high-speed Internet connection. While PandaTree sessions can also happen on a smart phone in a pinch, the small screen makes it harder for your child to see the tutor and the content the tutor is sharing. It's also best if the child can have the session in a quiet room without distractions. Unfortunately Chromebooks do not support PandaTree just yet.
Yes. We'll send you instructions to download Zoom™ , the platform we use for video conferencing. It takes under a minute to set it up.
If you use Parental Controls, please add PandaTree.com to your list of trusted sites so your child can log into his or her account to start their session.
We know Internet connections aren't perfect. If the video call drops or freezes, usually it will start up again by itself and the session continues. If a session is severely impacted by technology issues let us know. If you're not happy with a session we will refund your money.
We want our customers to be happy! If you’re not 100% satisfied with your child’s session, let us know within 7 days for a full refund.