italki Language Challenge January 2013 in cooperation with OpenLanguage

In January, our 2nd italki Language Challenge took place, with participants from all over the world, learning languages from Russian to Arabic.  They all had a common purpose in taking the Challenge - to motivate themselves to improve their foreign language skills.  And, it looks like it worked! Read on to find out how it helped our students.

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Teacher of the Week #1: Amy

January 28th, 2013 | Posted by Samuel Bleakly in members | teachers - (3 Comments)

Welcome to our first Teacher of the Week spotlight on the italki blog.

This feature of the blog is designed to highlight teachers that are doing a particularly good job of promoting themselves and the italki community as a whole.

This week’s featured teacher is Amy, http://www.italki.com/teacher/T009486285.htm

Amy teaches Korean, and is also a preschool English teacher.

Here is Amy’s introduction video: 

Amy has taught 115 sessions, and currently has 29 students with a feedback rating of 4.9.

So for those of you wanting to learn what gangam style is actually talking about, book a lesson with Amy today.

 

*Teachers are selected based on activity, cleanliness of profile, and student satisfaction.  If you would like to nominate yourself or another teacher, email me at  sam@italki.com

 

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Hello Italki!

As the new online Community Manager, my mission is to provide high quality, person-to- person service for teachers and students alike.

If you have a problem, I’ll take care of it.  Think of me as your personal concierge.

I am originally from Parsons, Kansas, a town of less than 20,000 people. I grew up in Milwaukee WI, and have spent the last 6 years living in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C. and most recently Shanghai.

While studying advertising at Columbia College Chicago, I worked as a fundraiser for charity and have a vested interest in making the world a better place.

I like to run, play video games, and recently developed an interest in Standup Comedy.

My role at italki is online Community Manager. I am a personal contact point for all students and teachers who use the site and I’m very approachable. If you have any questions or comments, or if you have a problem of any kind, you can reach me by visiting my profile at  http://www.italki.com/T007352073.htm 

I look forward to knowing each and every one of you.

-Sam Bleakly

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!