If you don’t know who Kirsten Winkler is, you really should. She is a professional language teacher who has become an expert in the field of online language education. Between her blog and her E-Teachers Academy and conferences, I think there are few people who understand the evolving space of online language education as well as she does. You could say Kirsten is the equivalent of techcrunch for online language learning.


One of her main projects is called Edukwest, and she has been interviewing a lot of inspiring people in the online language learning space. She asked to interview us at italki, and we gladly took the opportunity.

Here’s the direct page to the interview
http://www.edukwest.com/kevin-chen-of-italki-com/

And here’s that interview embedded (you’ll need a proxy to view it if you’re in China):

We covered a lot of topics in the interview, and one thing we hope that is clear is that it is an exciting time to be a startup in this area. The technology and the market is evolving very quickly, and we’re only just seeing the start of these new and potentially world-changing ideas. I believe everyone shares this core belief that technology can play a critical role in improving the old way of language learning. The impressive thing about Kirsten is that she has actually met and interviewed a lot of these people!

Again, if you want to know all the latest news, as well as engage in the latest debates about online language education, read Kirsten’s blog or follow her on twitter (@kirstenwinkler). And of course, you can also get involved and influence the shape of things to come just by commenting on a blog or sending emails!

Have you ever traveled to a country and wished that you had some local friends to help show you around and deal with the language? We’re experimenting with this idea for the China Travel 2.0 tour.

China Travel 2.0 is bringing a number of travel editors for a two-week trip through China in early June. Their trip will look at the changes China is undergoing and how technology plays a role in that, with a specific emphasis on technology’s affect on travel. When traveling internationally knowing another language is incredibly useful,  so when we were asked to help them learn Chinese, we were ready and willing!

While Shanghai and Beijing are relatively foreigner friendly, a little bit of travel Chinese can go a long way for enhancing the experience. Imagine not being able to express thanks (xiexie, 谢谢) or say that you don’t want to purchase that tourist trinket (don’t want, buyao, 不要). Specifically, italki is helping the travelers find Chinese teachers through our Language Marketplace. We’re also helping the travelers find friends in each of the cities they are visiting, so they can get a local perspective on the best things to experience.

When the tour returns to Shanghai, we’ll get our chance to meet the travelers: Craig, Linda, Donna, Julie, Janelle, Marina, and the team at Trip Films. We’ll be curious to hear all about their experience in China, and we hope they learn some Chinese along the way!

italki around the Web

April 19th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in media - (3 Comments)

If you’re looking to connect with italki in places you already hang out around the web, you can view our social network profiles on these sites:

italki on Twitter – Follow Us!  http://Twitter.com/italki

italki Facebook Page – Become a Fan!

italki Facebook Application – Ask questions and connect to italki from Facebook!

italki Flickr Pictures – View pictures of the italki team and events

youtube italki videos on YouTube – Watch italki’s tutorial and funny videos!

myspace italki on MySpace

And in Chinese

italki videos on Tudou

youkuitalki videos on Youku

italki on Fanfou – Follow us on the Chinese Twitter

Since the official launch of our language marketplace, we’ve had hundreds of students and teachers join and transact classes on italki.  We’ve also gotten some press coverage as well.  We wanted to write this post to say thanks to all of the people who wrote about us, and to also show our users what the media has been saying.

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CNET Asia:  italki.com brings language teaching to market

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Venturebeat:  italki launches marketplace for language tutors

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Startupmeme:  italki: Your Language school on the web

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wwwhat’snew.com:   italki – Gana dinero como profesor de idiomas en Internet  (and in Portuguese)

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E-Learning Queen: Interview with Kevin Chen, italki (language learning): Innovators in E-Learning Series

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Kirsten Winkler:  italki officially launches its Language Tutoring Marketplace

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It’s always great to see online education get more attention in the media.  As you can guess, we are big believers in the potential for how the internet can change education, and especially in language learning.  And just imagine, we’re only at the start.

The italki team