On Monday, January 18th, the italki website will be undergoing maintenance approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes (From UTC 00:40 to UTC 06:00).

We apologize for the inconvenience, and want you to know that this interruption is necessary to implement several important changes to our data infrastructure. As we make changes to make our site function better and faster (as well as making it prettier and more user-friendly) we are also improving the infrastructure behind the site.

After this change, you can look forward to the following enhancements to the site:

  1. Our database infrastructure will be improved, meaning faster and more reliable performance from the site.
  2. Future maintenance and changes to the database infrastructure will not interrupt your access to the site.
  3. Overall, the system will be more resilient, meaning the site will be significantly less likely to experience interruptions.

Our data will now be housed in two separate places, allowing us to continually improve the performance of the site and service without interrupting your ability to schedule sessions and access your data. This will translate into faster implementation of the changes and improvements to the site, and should make your italki experience faster and easier.

We are constantly trying to improve the system, and there are loads of cool new things coming italki that will make your learning easier and more fun (at least from the technical side, as we haven’t discovered technology to download vocabulary and speaking practice directly into your brain… yet).

Thank you for bearing with us, and if you have any concerns or questions during this maintenance period, our support staff are standing by to help. Please use this form to create a service request, or write to our support staff directly: support@italki.com.

 

We finished the 2015 October italki Language Challenge! 6 hours of italki lessons in October!

Even though this was only 6 hours, completing the Challenge was definitely hard!  A few of us at italki took the Challenge and here are our results!

Marketa learning Chinese Completed!
Roman learning Japanese Completed!

We just did some calculations and found out that a whopping 94% of Challengers who submitted a Public Video Pledge for the October Challenge actually completed the Challenge!

In italki tradition, we’re awarding 50ITC as bonus for an after video.  Below is Marketa’s AFTER Video for Chinese!

Marketa’s AFTER Video for Chinese

Join us by making your very own AFTER video!

If you won the Challenge, here’s your chance to show off your Challenge achievements in a video. Not only that, but we’ll be rewarding you with an additional 50 ITC! 

Here are some ideas of what you can include in your video:

Show off your improvement in the language you were learning

  • Introduce yourself and tell us what language(s) you were learning for the Challenge
  • Tell us about your italki teacher(s). What did you like about them?
  • What did you learn about learning a new language after completing the Challenge?
  • Do you have any advice for people who are thinking of taking the Challenge in the future?

Label the video: “(italki username) completed the italki Language Challenge October 2015!”

Write a Notebook Entry “I completed the italki Language Challenge October 2015″ and paste the YouTube/Youku URL.

Send the link to your notebook entry to support(at)italki.com and we will send you a 50 ITC voucher straight away!

And we leave you with some last words from Marketa:

“October has come to an end and so has the italki Language Challenge. It is the first event of this kind that I have ever attempted, but I already know it will not be the last one. The Challenge helped me realise that having set a clear goal and telling both my friends and colleagues about it made Chinese learning more fun, and helped me speed up my progress. I simply could not fail with this many people supporting me and asking about my improvement!

I cannot tell how much my spoken Chinese has actually improved, but the feedback I received was positive and inspiring. The main reason I signed up for the challenge was to become a more confident speaker and that, I believe, worked out well.”

Congrats to everyone and see you at the next Challenge!

 

So… in the spirit of giving, we’re offering this bonus again to help you complete the Challenge!

If you’ve signed up for the italki Language Challenge October 2015 , we’re giving away even more ITC to motivate you to succeed!  Do you really want to complete the challenge?  Use peer pressure (in a good way) to help yourself achieve your language learning goal! Life Hacks research has shown that if you put yourself up to something by doing it in public, you follow through because others are watching. Things that you put on the Web have a better chance of getting done!

BONUS 50ITC! Upload your Language Challenge Public Video Pledge

Make a Public Video Pledge by uploading a video to YouTube or Youku before you begin your first session (or your first few sessions).

What should you say in your Public Video Pledge?

Youtube video:


Youku video:

(more…)

 We finished the 2015 June Language Challenge! 12 hours of italki lessons in June! (well some of us did)

italkersEven though this was only 12 hours, completing the Challenge was definitely hard!  A few of us at italki took the Challenge and here are our results!

Tracy learning Esperanto (in Chinese) Completed!
Ivan learning Chinese Completed!
Javi learning Chinese Completed!
Andrey learning Chinese Did not Complete the Challenge!

Andrey wanted to clarify that “My Chinese Teacher went on vacation halfway through the Challenge and I really didn’t want to get another one.  If I did, I’m sure I would have completed the Challenge!”

Excuses aside, it’s hard and that’s why it’s called a Challenge!  We just did some calculations and found out that a whopping 91% of Challengers who submitted a Public Video Pledge for the June Challenge actually completed the Challenge!

In italki tradition, we’re awarding 50ITC as bonus for an after video.  Below is Tracy’s AFTER Video for Esperanto.  She started with zero Esperanto ability!

Tracy’s AFTER Video for Esperanto


Join us by making your very own AFTER video!

If you won the Challenge and previously sent into to us your Before video, here’s your chance to show off your Challenge achievements in a video. Not only that, but we’ll be rewarding you with an additional 50 ITC! 

Here are some ideas of what you can include in your video:

Show off your improvement in the language you were learning

  • Introduce yourself and tell us what language(s) you were learning for the Challenge
  • Tell us about your italki teacher(s). What did you like about them?
  • What did you learn about learning a new language after completing the Challenge?
  • Do you have any advice for people who are thinking of taking the Challenge in the future?

Label the video: “(italki username) completed the 2015 italki June Language Challenge!”

Write a Notebook Entry “I completed the 2015 italki June Language Challenge” and paste the YouTube/Youku URL.

Send the link to your notebook entry to support(at)italki.com and we will send you a 50 ITC voucher straight away!

And we leave you with some last words from Tracy:

“So, even though I took the language challenge to learn Esperanto, I actually ended up learning a lot about time management and good study habits.  
Specifically, I sometimes have trouble scheduling things in advance because I worry about what other things might happen that I’ll need to adjust to, but once I actually booked the classes and got them on my calendar, it was actually sort of a relief to know for sure what my schedule would be like.  Even if you’re really busy, just book the classes in advance. Yes, I gave some things up to finish my classes, but it’s all about priorities.

I also learned some things about watching which study habits were easy or difficult for me to maintain.  It’s important to practice every day, but I would recommend choosing a “passive” thing to practice every day – for example writing out sentences or reading something.  Not because passive practice is better than active practice, but because you’re probably more likely to actually do it!

And I never would have WANTED to finish it without my awesome italki teachers.  It’s a great feeling to WANT to review your material so you can have another great conversation soon!”

Congrats to everyone and see you at the next Challenge!

 

Congratulations to all who participated in the 2015 June Language Challenge! It’s over now and we’re busy calculating the winners and losers. Final announcements will be made on July 7th as any sessions taken on June 30th need 7 days to auto-confirm if you haven’t confirmed sessions manually. We’ll also be depositing the 300ITC reward for completing the Challenge on July 7th as well!

5 of our italki staff also participated in the Challenge and they are busy compiling a great after video about how they felt balancing work, life and language learning to finish the challenge. Each of them wrote updates about their experiences taking the Challenge and if you haven’t read them, direct links are below:

Ivan’s Update
Tracy’s Update
Javi’s Update
Andrey’s Update

Note: William is missing because he’s back home visiting family and friends in Indonesia!