How to use italki

April 20th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement | feature | Motivation - (0 Comments)

icebergproject_logoIf you are learning Italian, you’ve probably read Cher Hale’s blog – The Iceberg Project.  It’s a great resource for learning Italian (and actually any language for that matter as the learning tips and advice is applicable  all).   Cher actually wrote a great How-To guide to get the most out of italki that started with her blog post How to Learn to Speak Italian Without Ever Being in Italy (or why you should hug people with big ideas for language learning)

If you’ve ever wondering if you’re really getting the most out of italki, look no further as Cher went on to write about the six main ways to use italki and provided individual blog posts with step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

We were so impressed that we just had to share these posts with everyone in the italki community.

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Patineuse (left) at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics acting as a volunteer translator.

I completed the 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge. The challenge was to take 20 lessons in 6 weeks.  I actually finished the Challenge in a record 10 days!  The Challenge was great for me because I was going to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and it was the perfect opportunity to improve my Japanese, French and English.  I wanted to improve these languages to at a level where I could help out as a volunteer translator.

I want to thank my favorite teachers JapaneseTutor, Jéròme, Altini and Lloyd. It was not only my Challenge, but also theirs as well :) (more…)

We wanted to thank everyone who participated in the 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge.  Our Marketing and Customer Experience Manager, Lexie  finished the challenge and posted her Challenge Video Review.    We asked other winners of the Language Challenge to share their final Challenge experiences by video as well and received a lot.  Here are the top 5 videos that we received!

LindsayDoesLanguages from the United Kingdom
20 Lessons in 6 weeks Learning German COMPLETED!

The was by far one of the most creative and entertaining videos we received as Lindsay (who is also an avid language learning enthusiast and blogger) really conquers learning German in just 6 short weeks!

LindsayDoesLanguages’ BEFORE the Language Challenge Video
Lindsay actually posted a Public Video Pledge when she began the Challenge.

LindsayDoesLanguages’ AFTER the Language Challenge Video

Lindsay also blogs about her experiences with the Language Challenge on her own blog.  Read it here.  We just wanted to share this little exerpt from her:

“I definitely feel more confident speaking German and other than the odd case issue or separable verb stumbling me, I think I’m alright.  Although I still make mistakes (most of which I noticed post-production and kicked myself for!) it’s still a level I’m proud of and a nice solid base to begin to move on to my next personal language challenge…a little bit of Dutch!”

John from the United States
20 Lessons in 6 weeks Learning Portuguese COMPLETED!

John is learning Portuguese because he is going to the World Cup in Brazil!  He pretty much started with ZERO Portuguese ability.  You be the judge of whether he improved or not.  His improvement is absolutely amazing and inspiring!  

(more…)

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I did it!  I finished the Challenge! 20 hours of French in 6 weeks!

It wasn’t easy!  But I did it!  After my very last lesson, I wanted to sit back and reflect upon what I had actually accomplished.  20 hours is no small feat but  like I mentioned in my Week 5 post, as long as you stick to your plan (3 to 4 lessons per week), finishing 20 sessions in 6 weeks actually is not difficult at all!

One thing that I wanted to do was actually confirm whether my French had actually improved or not.  I felt it did because I no longer felt nervous or afraid of speaking French but I really didn’t have any conclusive proof that it had.  Then I remembered, I made a Public Video Pledge where I spoke some French at the beginning if the Challenge.  As I was making my final video, I decided to edit in my before video of my attempts to speak French and found out that the difference was remarkable….

Watch below and judge for yourself!


Create a Challenge Review Video and win 300ITC!

So if you won the Challenge and are would like to show off your Challenge achievements in a video, we’ll be awarding an additional 300ITC to the top 3 Challenge Review Videos (our staff will be judging).   It’s like winning another Challenge! To do this:

Speak in your native language

(Below are questions to help guide your video but it can be done any way you want!  Be creative!)

  • Introduce yourself and what language(s) were your learning in the Challenge?
  • Tell us about your italki teacher(s)? What was good about your teacher(s)?
  • What did you learn about learning a new language after completing the Challenge?
  • Do you have any advice for people who are thinking of taking the Challenge in the future?
  • Include some BEFORE footage from your Public Video Pledge (for those of you who made a Public Video Pledge)

Repeat the above in the language learned in the Challenge

Label the video: “(italki username) completed the 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge!”

Write a Notebook Entry “I completed the 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge” and paste the YouTube/Youku URL.

Send the link to your notebook entry to support @ italki.com and you’ll be entered in a content where you can win 300ITC!  The real reward is the fact that you finished the Challenge after 6 weeks of hard work!  This video simply commemorates that achievement!

** Please note that we would like to use these stories and videos to help motivate others and let them know it’s not that hard to improve a language in just 6 weeks!

I personally just wanted to thank each and every one of you for helping us create a wonderful language learning community.  I don’t know about you, but I’m actually looking forward to the next language challenge!  If you are, you can sign up here to be notified when that begins.

Thank you for participating and hope you found it just as fun as I did!

Keep on pushing,

Lexie
italki Marketing and Customer Experience

P.S.  I was so proud of myself and wrote a story about this as well.   Read it here.

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Week 5! Almost there!

Current Progress Check

Total Completed Sessions = 15

Upcoming Sessions =  4 sessions per week

Hi Everyone!

How are you doing with your Language Challenge?! I have already finished 15 sessions, only 5 more to go! I am pretty confident that I’ll be able to complete the challenge and win the 300ITC (30USD) reward!

What I’ve learned is that as long as you stick to your plan (3 to 4 lessons per week), finishing 20 sessions in 6 weeks actually is not difficult at all! And the best thing about this whole experience is I am getting used to speaking French regularly.   Learning French is now a regular part of my life now!   I wouldn’t say that I have huge progress in French but the change is pretty obvious… I am not scared of talking with native speakers anymore, and we can talk about varies topics now, such as pollution issues in China etc… (my teacher is in France so this was something that she was very curious about as it’s in the news every where!) For the record it’s NOT that bad as we all live here!

I am learning grammar by myself (via text book) because I want to use 100% of my time during the sessions to practice speaking and listening.   I think this is a great method where you self-study focusing on reading, grammar and vocabulary and then use italki solely for speaking and listening.  I also ask my teachers many questions about my self-study.

So far my method of learning a language is simple.  It’s repeat, repeat, then….repeat! The same way a baby learns! What do you think?

Hope you are doing well with your Language Challenge! We are so close to completing the Challenge now! Good luck!