Jan vanderAa is learning Cantonese on italki. After only 2 months of studying he’s having basic conversations! His little language learning tip is: (more…)
We’re delighted to let everyone know that the first italki created book has been published!
Italki Moderator/member Jura has published A Wolf at our Door based on her Notebook entries on italki. Jura has been with italki since 2008 and serves as one of our Community Moderators. A Wolf at our Door chronicles the survival feat of a Lithuanian great-aunt and her two daughters when abruptly exiled to Siberia in World War II for 37 years.
Jura’s book actually started off as a single italki Notebook entry in which she just posed a simple question to the italki community:
“My aunt in Lithuania left me her memoirs about her life in Siberia when she and her family were deported there by the Russians during World War 2. Is it worth my while translating her memoirs into English? What do people think?” http://www.italki.com/entry/140381
When you create a community that spans the world, you’ll end up hearing lots of stories. What starts with strangers learning from each other, can ultimately lead to many unexpected experiences.
We recently received an email from Aadel, a mother who homeschools her children and is currently based in Korea. She writes a popular homeschooling blog called These Temporary Tents. Her daughter Raven actually learns Korean on italki. Aadel actually wrote about her and her daughter’s experiences learning Korean on italki on her blog. If you haven’t read it yet, you can read it here.
She sent the following email to us:
“It was awesome to get to meet Raven and I’s italki tutor, Miss Jee Young, in person! We met in Itaewon (Seoul, South Korea) and had dinner and coffee afterwards.”
She even sent us a photo
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.