[This blog post originally appeared as a blog post on Koko the Polyglot's website.  Reposted with permission.]

It will be a week from tomorrow since the iTalki Language Challenge began (and if you still want to participate, remember you have until the 31st to sign up!)  After taking 4 sessions (2 don’t count because I started them before the challenge began.), I can already notice a difference in my ability to speak Japanese!

Now I’ve been learning Japanese (seriously) on my own since 2008 but one of the things I struggled with the most was actually speaking the language.  It seemed like when I was always hitting a plateau, especially when it came to speaking. I was going through a labyrinth trying to experiment with different language methods until I could finally find something that would be sufficient to work with.

So what has this challenge taught me so far?

Consistency Is Absolutely Vital

(X marks the spot!)

One of things that held me back from making progress in Japanese was not dedicating enough time to improve BOTH my active (speaking and writing) and passive (reading and listening) learning skills.  In the past, I would either focus on active only or passive only not realising that you would need both to truly make a breakthrough in the target language. (more…)

Our friend and supporter, Benny the Irish Polyglot, has recently taken up learning Japanese. Here’s a fun little video that he put together which also features our italki Japanese teacher Yuri. (more…)

Check out the following music video created by our italki member Brian Kwong and his friends from the +1 Challenge (who are all italki members).  This happy little video also features many of our italki Japanese Teachers including Noriko, Mayumi, Hanoko, Hiroshi, and Yuri who are singing, dancing, and doing all sorts of goofy things while signing a fun little Japanese tune.

It just goes to show you that…

Learning Language is more fun with friends! : )

The other great thing about this video is that it shows what can be done when like-minded people are able to connect with one another to make language learning fun!  This is exactly the reason why we built italki – to make human connections between language learners and language teachers.  We wanted to say thanks again to Brian and his friends from the +1 Challenge and our Japanese teachers who helped create this fun little video.

You just need to watch it for yourself.  It will definitely put a smile on your face.

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What is an italki session like?

November 11th, 2013 | Posted by Jim in Learning Japanese | teachers - (0 Comments)

Want to check out what a real lesson on italki is like! Watch this Japanese lesson with our italki member Brian Kwong and italki teacher, Noriko, as part of the #add1challenge that Brian and others are doing.

Click here to check out Noriko’s teacher profile.

At italki, we love to support language projects, and our friend, Brian Kwong, is running a fantastic language challenge, called the +1 Challenge!

As part of the +1 Challenge, one of the cool things he is doing is a Youtube video, which needs the help of our beloved Japanese teachers on italki, check out the message from Brian [in English and Japanese]:

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