American University visits the italki offices!

November 11th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in event - (0 Comments)

Today we had some overseas guests from American University’s International Business Program who visited our offices here in Shanghai!

We just started a new Instagram account so if you want to check out what life is like behind the scenes at italki, please subscribe to our Instagram account at http://instagram.com/italki or just do a search on Instagram for italki

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Congratulations, winners of the italki October challenge!

challenge_logo201409This event was record-breaking in italki history, with the highest number of participants ever!

This was a short and intense challenge, where we asked you if you could have 12 hours of language learning in the space of just one month. A huge number of you have taken up the challenge.

In all, over 53% of the participants have completed the October challenge.

Of the total number of participants, 2.6% were professional teachers, and 9.6% were community tutors.

How did the language education professionals match up?

You’d be surprised to know that more community tutors have completed the challenge than professional teachers did! Whereas the professional teachers had a rate of 50% (right around the overall average completion percentage of 53%), the community tutors have completed the challenge at the rate of 58%! Congratulations! That is impressive.

The challenge included people from countries all over the world, learning languages like Cebuano, Afrikaans, Catalan, Hebrew, Polish, and dozens of others. Many languages had only a handful dedicated students, and often these language groups had a challenge completion rate of 100%.

The most popular languages studied in the October challenge:

  1. English: 23.24% of the participants took most of their sessions to learn English
  2. Spanish:    16.70%
  3. French:        7.85%
  4. Chinese:      7.04%
  5. Russian:      5.43%
  6. Japanese:    4.73%
  7. German:       4,33%
  8. Italian:          4.23%
  9. Korean:         2.52%
  10. Portuguese:  2.52%

We have also learned how important social encouragement is in any difficult undertaking:

Posting a Public Video Pledge Really Helps!

Andy-Video

Of those who have posted a public video pledge, 83%  completed the challenge. We had a lot of challengers who made one here and here and here as well.

Even if some didn’t quite make it, a huge 93% have completed at least 6 hours of language instruction during the month of October.

 

Congratulations, everyone!

We are still finalizing results, and will be sending out an e-mail to the winners soon.

In the meantime, should you have any issues, questions, or concerns – please write to us: support@italki.com

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Andy is our new UX Designer and recently joined the italki team in September.  One of the first things he did was join the italki October Language Challenge as he really needs to improve his Chinese as you can tell from his Public Video Pledge.  He’s graciously offered to blog about his experiences and how he is going to conquer the Challenge!  Take it away Andy…

andy 3

Yeah! I Made it!!!

I’m so happy i was finally able to focus an entire month on learning chinese, i really needed it!
I always thought that chinese is way to difficult but it only requires some time and dedication.

Looking back at it, it wasn’t even so hard. 12 hours per month, or 3 hours per week are something really easy to achieve.

The main lesson that i learnt is that i also needed to account time to review the lesson by myself in order to be really efficient with the time i spend with the teacher. This improves the result by a lot, but it also requires more time than i thought.

Developing a routine was also useful to achieve the goal.

A routine that was working for me, was to wake up earlier and get a class before going to work. Additionally, i was alternating teacher’s lessons days with personal review days. This also helps you optimize the cost of your learning, at the end of the month i practiced around 20-24 in total, but only 12 of those hours were with a teacher.

Overall, it feels great now!

I can finally start to have some short conversations with my chinese friends in chinese, but i still have a long time to go before been able to properly hold a more serious discussion.
Fortunately, there will be a new language challenge soon! ;) (I have inside information!)

Happy learning!
Andrea

P.S. Check out my AFTER challenge video below!

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Challenge Completed!

October 30th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in Language Challenge | Motivation - (1 Comments)

We just found this on Instagram! Happy to hear all from all the people who are finishing the Challenge!

About the @italki October Language Challenge… 14 hours and 30 minutes. #italkichallenge #french #learninglanguages

A photo posted by Tanise Carvalho (@tanisecarvalho) on

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I’m almost done! Only 2 lesson to go!

ANDY FINALE 2Planning and scheduling the sessions in advance definitely works. In the last 7 days i took 3 classes and i have 2 more planned for the rest of the week. This should make me complete the challenge by friday 24, almost a week in advance!

During the last 10 lessons i mostly worked on vocabulary and sentence structures. I think i will dedicate next week, the last of the challenge, to improve the pronunciation of what i learned, especially fixing the tones! If you ever tried to learn Chinese you will know that this is a tonal language and that the meaning of the same syllable change according to the “tone” of it.

 

This is a major issue for me, and many other westerners with me, as Romance languages are not tonal and this implies learning a whole new way of understanding and pronounce sounds.chinesetones3

Next week i will also record the final video to show you guys my improvements on the language. It will be halloween! Will you guys record a scary message?
Maybe i will ;)

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