Teachers, if you’d like to participate in offering Spring Packages as we mentioned in this post, there are a few things you need to do.

1st: Set up packages on your profile.  You can create a new course linked with packages or transfer your 1-on-1 tutoring to a package offering.

2nd: Make sure the package consists of 10 sessions, 1 hour each.  Just for this Spring Packages, we’re trying to keep everything consistent.  Your other packages can be whatever combination you want.

3rd: Set the package price at around 20% discount off your per session price.  It doesn’t have to be exact, but it should be enough of a discount to make the package more appealing than per session booking.

4th: When that’s all set up, send an email to teacherhelp [at] italki.com, requesting to be included in the Spring Packages page.  If we approve your request, you’ll be added to the list of teachers offering packages.

And that’s it.  Please join us in giving students more choices of language learning packages.

Last month we launched Packages, multiple sessions booked together with one teacher.  As with any new feature, some people are a bit unsure how make good use of it, so we asked a few teachers to help us show off their best package offerings.  So far eight teachers have agreed to help.  (If you’re a teacher and would like to participate, please read this post.)

All of the offerings from these eight teachers are packages of 10 lessons, 1 hour per lesson, covering a certain course the teacher has agreed to teach.  These 10 lessons can be scheduled at the convenience of the teacher and student, 1 per week or even 1 per day!  Various topics include Japanese Conversation, British Current Affairs, and French Culture.  To book any of the packages with the teacher, first make sure you have enough ITC in your account for the whole package, and then just choose your favorite topic and favorite teacher.  The teachers listed on that page are all eager to help you learn their languages!

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Teaching Japanese on italki: Annie

January 18th, 2010 | Posted by Toffler in marketplace | members - (0 Comments)

In previous posts, we introduced active italki students, Simon and Ken.  In this Q&A, you’ll learn a little bit more about teaching online as we introduce italki teacher, Annie from Japan.  Annie is one of our top teachers. She has experience teaching at a cram school, including teaching English to Japanese children. [Original in English, edited.]

When did you start teaching on italki?
I started last May.

Why did you choose to teach online and why italki?
Teaching online doesn’t cost me at a thing: No commuting expense, no telephone charges when using Skype, no special clothing expenses, no cosmetics, and the work time is short . (#^.^#) Moreover, I can teach when I‘m free at home.  The teaching system in italki is very simple and easy for me.

What efforts did you use to find students on italki? Or did the students find you?
Nothing special.

Did you teach offline before you started teaching online?
Yes, but when teaching Japanese offline that was just teaching friends for free.

What tools do you use to teach online?
Besides Skype, depending on the students, we also use various Japanese materials.  If they need me to provide the Japanese sources, I send them the text.  However, if they want to use their own textbooks, they send it to me instead.

Are there any special skills needed to teach online?
For me to teach, I need strong English skills to make myself or the language very clearly understood.  English communication is very important unless the student already has a high level of Japanese.

Overall, what do you think about teaching on italki? Any last words?
italki is a nice system at least for me.  If really pressed, I’d have to say the money withdrawal system is a little difficult for me to use. That’s all.

If you’d like to share your italki story on our blog, please contact us!

Learning Chinese on italki: Ken

December 28th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in marketplace | members - (0 Comments)

Here is another story of an italki member learning a foreign language with a teacher online.  Ken is from Osaka, Japan and spends a lot of time traveling for work, therefore he needs a flexible arrangement for learning Chinese.

[Translated from Japanese, original is below.] I joined italki almost 2 years ago. I started online lessons at the beginning of this year.

In Japan the fee of the language lesson is extremely expensive, and it is easy to forget everything if you have only one lesson a week, so I chose italki where I can learn everyday with local teachers.  I initially did the trial lesson with several teachers. Now I study with only one teacher. [I chose this teacher because] she is very kind when she teaches and she also generously spares her time, even very early in the morning.

[I started learning Chinese because] I wanted to talk more with my Chinese friends.  I feel that I progress day by day. Taking lessons everyday makes it easier to review the contents of the previous lesson and remember things more clearly.

[As for learning online,] recently, Skype has been working well, so there’s no such a big problem if you use it with video. I’m kind of an idle fellow, so it offers better condition to study continuously rather than to study by myself.  I’m hoping italki will continue to make a user friendly system,  and I expect them to succeed!

Original Japanese

italkiへの参加は2年ほど前に登録させていただいたと記憶しております。オンラインレッスンは今年に入ってから始めました。

日本ではとても授業料が高く、一週間に一度のレッスンではすぐに忘れてしまうため、現地の方と毎日勉強ができるこちらを選びました。何人かトライアルしました。
いまは一人の先生に教わっています。とても親切に教えて下さる上に、早朝であっても時間を割いて下さるからです。

中国の知人ともっと会話をしたかったため。日々少しずつ進歩しています。毎日授業を受けることで復習が容易で、記憶にしっかりととどめることができます。

最近のSkypeの状況はとてもいいので、カメラを使用しながらで あればさほど問題はないかと思います。怠け者の私でも、自習をするよりも毎日勉強する環境作りに役立ちます。これからも使いやすいシステム作りをがんばって下さい。期待しております。

If you’d like to share your italki story on our blog, please contact us!

Over the last few months, we’ve taken in feedback from both students and teachers about how the Language Teachers and Language Courses work. We’re now releasing a set of changes, based on your feedback, to make the system easier and more useful. In the next two blog posts we’ll tell you what you need to know about these changes.

New Scheduling System
We have made a number of changes to the scheduling system with the goal of making it easier for students and teachers to match up.

Scheduling

When requesting a session, students are required to select an available time from the teacher's calendar.

Teachers now set a schedule which shows when they are available. When students try to book a session with the teacher, they must choose from those times. This helps avoid the situation where students schedule a lesson for a time when the teacher is asleep. Therefore, it is critical that teachers update their calendars with all possible available times. If a teacher has no available times, students will not be able to request a lesson with them.

In addition, students must request sessions at least 24 hours in advance. This gives teachers enough time to respond and prepare for a lesson.

Teachers will allow be able to set “vacation times”, or dates when they know they will not be able to teach classes. (We will be sending a message to your inbox with a full list of changes.)

Language Courses
We have also made some initial changes to the way Language Courses are handled. Eventually, we hope Language Courses will give teachers a way of showing off specific classes or skills that they can teach. Likewise, we hope it is a way for students to find a specific teacher or structured teaching plan that fits their goals. Notably, if a student wants help on test preparation, translation, or business vocabulary, this would be the place for students to browse.

We are still making many improvements, and we are definitely interested in hearing your suggestions about how to improve Language Courses, the scheduling system, or anything else about the website. Please feel free to send us ideas through our feedback form or via email at (feedback at italki dot com).