Author Archives: ross

How a Film Director Learns Arabic on italki

July 4th, 2013 | Posted by ross in tips - (0 Comments)

We love to hear how our italki users are overcoming the challenges of learning languages, and Nicole Ballivian has quite a story to share with us.

Read on to learn about Nicole and her language learning experiences.

Nicole in Hebron

Nicole and an actor in Hebron

(more…)

From time to time I feel a great temptation to share my own learning and teaching experiences with other people. The way we learn something is critically important to the final outcome.

How do we learn languages? Normally, we memorize some basic words and phrases, then we learn some grammar rules and try to compose phrases using wrong words and making predictable mistakes since the interference from the native language is so strong. Why is it that after years of studies many still fail speaking fluently? Do they fail because they are stupid and lazy? Definitely not. At the very beginning of our lives we learnt our native languages perfectly well, so we are capable of learning languages. Probably, the way we acquire a new language is not the most efficient. Most likely, it is quite inefficient. We didn’t learn the native language as a sum of vocabulary and grammar rules. We never thought about the grammar at all, and yet we succeeded.

baby-photoPhoto source: Nina (more…)

Language learning social network launches iPhone app to connect 1 million language partners around the world through text and voice chat

SHANGHAI, China – January 29, 2013 – italki, the leading social network for language learning, has launched the first iPhone app to connect language learners around the world through text, voice, and images. The “italki Messenger” allows language learners to text message, voice chat, and share images with the over 1 million language learners currently using italki.

“Chatting with a language partner is one of the most popular activities on the italki website.  Extending this to a mobile app is a great way to help our users stay connected and learn a language,” said co-founder, Kevin Chen. “Users can now practice their written and spoken language, anytime and anywhere.  No other app connects you instantly with other language learners.”

italki’s iPhone app allows language learners to text message, voice message, and share pictures.  After creating an account, a user can search for new language partners by language or country.  Over 200 countries and over 100 languages are represented on italki, which gives users the opportunity to start practicing any language immediately.

“We are delighted with the launch of italki’s iPhone app,” said William Bao Bean, an investor in italki. “We expect italki will continue to innovate on both mobile and web.”

To download italki’s free iPhone app (“italki Messenger”), click here.

About italki

italki is an online language learning community that brings students and teachers together for paid and free language learning.  Since launching in 2007, the italki community has grown to over 1 million members from over 200 countries and has been featured in top international press such as Techcrunch, Mashable, The Independent, and The Guardian.

Visit http://www.italki.com for more information.

Press Contact:
Ross Cranwell
Marketing Director
italki.com
ross@italki.com

To cater to our growing user base in China, we are looking to recruit a Chinese Online Marketing Assistant.

We are really excited about the growth of italki in China, and around the world, so if you are Chinese, love languages and online marketing, make sure to drop us your resume so we can consider you for our team!

Introduction to the role:

We are seeking a Chinese speaker strong in marketing and communications, who can drive traffic and increase sales in China. We are a fast-growing tech startup looking for an individual who wants to be part of an exciting, yet friendly working environment. The position is based in Shanghai, China. Candidates from other locations need not apply.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: 

Managing social networking channels – Weibo
Copywriting for newsletters, website, PR, advertising
Co-ordination and implementation of email campaigns
Quality control of Chinese version of website
Assisting in other general marketing initiatives

Minimum Requirements: 

Native Mandarin speaker
2+ years online marketing experience
Outgoing and proactive personality
Very strong Chinese communication skills
Experience with Chinese social network platforms
Good organizational and planning skills
Fluent in English (speaking, reading)
A sharp mind with the ability to grasp concepts quickly and problem solve

Preferred Qualifications: 

Experience in social media marketing
Interested in technology, language learning
Experience living overseas or working with foreigners
Translation skills, experience with English translation
Degree in marketing or communications

Work Environment:

Salary is based on experience and education
5-day work week
Allowance for free online language lessons
Great opportunities for growth
Annual Performance Review

For interested parties, please email your resume to ross at italki.com.

A New Learning Challenge for 2013!

January 6th, 2013 | Posted by ross in announcement | promotion - (0 Comments)

Hey language learners, make 2013 the year you learn a foreign language!
Don’t let this be another year of slow progress. No matter what level or language, we know you can make real progress at italki. In order to help you, we’re offering:

italki Language Challenge January 2013 in cooperation with OpenLanguage

ITALKI’S JANUARY 2013 LANGUAGE CHALLENGE

in partnership with OPENLANGUAGE

Take 10 sessions with an italki teacher in January

and receive 3 months of free language lessons from OpenLanguage.

If you are serious about learning a language, this is a fantastic opportunity to get live one-on-one lessons AND access to great language learning podcasts, PDFs, and study tools. After taking the language challenge, you will definitely make progress towards becoming fluent in 2013!

How hard is this to do?

Last November, we ran our first italki Language Challenge. Almost 80 students pledged to take 8 lessons in 2 weeks, and more than 60 students completed the challenge. That’s roughly 80% of the students who pledged who received the prize. The bottom line is that it’s all up to you!

Did it help people learn a language?

Don’t take our word for it. Here is what one student, Grant Macandrew, says:

“I have been taking weekly lessons for over a year and had already planned a trip to a language school in China in December. I had been considering several lessons a week in order to prepare for the class and this [the italki November Language Challenge] motivated me to do just that. The pressure of being ready for class plus the extra hours I spent with tutors has increased my Mandarin learning and I feel more confident in being ready for the upcoming classes. I will consider 2 to 3 lessons per week in the future with italki.”

If you are serious about learning a language, go to the January 2013 Language Challenge page. Take the pledge and learn a language this year!


Sign up for the January 2013 Language Challenge!


More about OpenLanguage:

We are delighted to be working with Openlanguage to provide this amazing prize for italki students who complete the Language Challenge. OpenLanguage is designed for busy people, and allows students to learn a new language on their computer, tablet, smartphone, or even smart TV. OpenLanguage offers lessons in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Italian.