Erin O’Reilly, one of our Professional Teachers who has been teaching on italki for over a year now recently presented Going Global: Using italki to Connect with Native Speakers at the 2014 SouthWest Conference on Language Teaching in Snowbird, Utah, USA last month. We were honored that she presented on our behalf.  Below she shares her presentation with a guest blog post:

The Changing Language Classroom

April 24-26, 2014

erin_oreilly

 

by Erin N. O’Reilly

 

italki_erin_screenshotLanguage teachers love technology.  Arguably, they probably love technology more than teachers from most of the other traditional subject areas.  This may be because until the advent of the Internet, getting authentic language learning materials meant travelling abroad and schlepping back yellowing newspapers, outdated magazines, and bulky cassette tapes.  Talking with native speakers?  Never a possibility unless you lived in a major metropolitan city.

For the past year, I have used the italki platform as a language teacher, connecting with language learners and enthusiasts around the globe.
While their goals and reasons for learning a language vary widely, their passion and enthusiasm to connect with native speakers is immediately obvious.

Enter italki – the platform that makes it all possible.

This past week I had the opportunity to join with language teachers from around the South Western region of the United States at an annual language teacher conference. I shared with them the research behind live, online language lessons as well as best-practices and creative ideas to get started.

As language teachers, we’ve historically been limited to classroom learning. Creating opportunities for meaningful practice with native speakers has always been limited by geography. Today the tools exist to go beyond the classroom, to connect with a world of learners and teachers. (more…)

Check out the following music video created by our italki member Brian Kwong and his friends from the +1 Challenge (who are all italki members).  This happy little video also features many of our italki Japanese Teachers including Noriko, Mayumi, Hanoko, Hiroshi, and Yuri who are singing, dancing, and doing all sorts of goofy things while signing a fun little Japanese tune.

It just goes to show you that…

Learning Language is more fun with friends! : )

The other great thing about this video is that it shows what can be done when like-minded people are able to connect with one another to make language learning fun!  This is exactly the reason why we built italki – to make human connections between language learners and language teachers.  We wanted to say thanks again to Brian and his friends from the +1 Challenge and our Japanese teachers who helped create this fun little video.

You just need to watch it for yourself.  It will definitely put a smile on your face.

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At italki, we love to support language projects, and our friend, Brian Kwong, is running a fantastic language challenge, called the +1 Challenge!

As part of the +1 Challenge, one of the cool things he is doing is a Youtube video, which needs the help of our beloved Japanese teachers on italki, check out the message from Brian [in English and Japanese]:

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Day Two: We went over basics!!

My name is Sam Bleakly,

I’m the community manager at italki!  :)

In July I will be traveling to Japan for the first time….  and I know absolutely no Japanese!!!

As a solution, I will be taking 30 lessons on italki before my trip and documenting what I learn by making videos of me learning Japanese.

Here is my first video where i’m tired from a long day of work at italki and trying to remember all of the Japanese vocabulary that I’ve learned!!!!: