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!

Learning English on italki: Simon

December 14th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in members - (0 Comments)

Over the next few blog posts, we’ll profile a few members, both students and teachers who’ve had success learning or teaching online.

The first is Simon, a mechanical engineer from Yancheng, China who is learning English.  Simon is a good example of someone who realized that taking lessons online was one of the best ways to learn a language.  Below is what Simon had to say about learning on italki.

Simon

Simon

[Translated from Chinese] I’ve been a member of italki for more than one year, but I only started using the paid online teaching service in May of this year.  I’ve had great luck in finding a very good teacher. She is a British national living in Brazil working as a professional English teacher.  Her professional ability, accent, and price, these three aspects, are in my opinion, ideal.  But more importantly, everyday she is happy, outgoing, and very open-minded toward all variety of topics–in my opinion, these things are even more important than teaching skills.  Of course, within the class, we also try to adjust to each other’s style and develop methods to help me understand the language and the culture behind it.  Overall, I’ve been enjoying my time learning with her.

From my perspective, the benefits of learning online are one-on-one lessons, saving money on each class, and saving time on each class.  In addition, it is very easy to find someone [online] who is a native speaker of the language and communicate with them.  One very small drawback is that communication is not just the language, over the internet you only get voice or video communication, which lacks the richness of face-to-face meetings.

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

Our second Chatfest here in Shanghai was a success with people from at least 5 different countries joining us to practice languages and meet new people.  This time with a smaller group of people, there was more opportunity to get to know each other better and ample opportunities to speak foreign languages!  While Chinese and English were still the most popular, we also had people speaking or practicing Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, and Italian.

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If you’re an italki member, and you think you’d like to organize a meetup in your city, please contact Toffler (at) italki (dot) com or visit the italki Member Events Group.  As always, let us know what you think — and keep on sharing languages and cultures!

The italki.com team

Shanghai Chatfest 2

November 9th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in event | members - (4 Comments)

To all italki Shanghai members, we’re organizing Chatfest 2 for everyone to come out and meet each other face-to-face. This is our second language exchange meetup in Shanghai.  This will be another great opportunity to:

Meet some of the people you chat with
Find new language partners
Meet the italki team
Learn about different cultures, and
Indulge yourself with a Dunkin’ Donut!

We’ll have activities to help you mix and mingle and meet new people. Speakers and students of all language welcome!

We look forward to meeting all of you at Dunkin’ Donuts!

Date: Wednesday, November 18th
Time: 7- 9 pm
Location: Dunkin’ Donuts – ShiMen Yi Lu 239, near Weihai Lu 石门一路239,近威海路
Metro Line 2: Nanjing Xi Lu

(If you’re interested in holding a similar event in your city, please leave a comment below or contact us!)

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About 2 weeks ago we announced a sweepstakes in which we’d give away 20 1-month SpeakENG packages to italki members.  We had a lot of great entries to the contest, you can check them out here: Chinese speakers, speakers of other languages.  After receiving so many amusing and interesting entries, we had a difficult time narrowing down the list, but we did manage to choose 20 winners.

Congratulations to these members who’ve won a 1-month subscription to the SpeakENG course.

Eucilene     Brazil
Amanda     Brazil
Yingshine     China
Lucinda     China
Tony Feng     China
Lucky     China
Ahmed Elrazki     Egypt
Hery     Indonesia
Joy     China/Japan
Hamahamacchi     Japan
Queen Bees     Lebanon
CINTHYA     Peru
Ugly     Russia
Firuz     Tajikistan
Nao     Japan/USA
Sharanya India
Ozan Turkey
Sarah Iraq
Hasan Bangladesh

Winners should claim their prize by the 28th of September and then will have one month to use it.  Good luck to all the winners!  We have high hopes for your improved English ability and we look forward to hearing from you after you use this package.

For those of you who didn’t win, you can still buy the SpeakENG Online Course for either 1 year or 1 month.  Don’t forget the special introductory price of $16 for the 1-year course will be ending September 30.  So make sure you take advantage of the reduced rate and buy before the end of the month!