3 Tips for Learning Any Language

May 27th, 2013 | Posted by Samuel Bleakly in members | teachers | teachers | tips - (Comments Off on 3 Tips for Learning Any Language)

Learning a language can be challenging, so here are 3 tips from one of our italki tutors on what to focus on in order to reach your goal!

3 Ways to learn a language



Welcome back to our weekly Teacher of the Week spotlight series:

This week we feature Victoria from France, who teaches an impressive 3 languages – French, Russian and English! Victoria has taught 35 students and completed 152 sessions with a perfect 5.0 professional lesson rating.



We want you to get the most out of italki, and so we’re planning to write a series of blog posts for how you can improve your experience.

General tips for finding good language partners

1. First, offer to help other users

Many users ask other users to become friends by demanding that they help them learn a language.  This isn’t wrong exactly, but it’s always important to think from the other person’s perspective.  Ask yourself why this person would want to become your italki friend?

* Person A:  Hi

* Person B:  Teach me English I wan learn English very mch

* Person C:  Salut, I see that you are learning French.   I was born in Paris, and I am native speaker of French.   I was wondering if you could help me with English for practice in French?

bad introduction

bad introduction

In order to receive help, you must be willing to give it. Especially at the start, it’s important to let other users know that you’re interested in helping them too.

2. Show something real about yourself

Profile pictures
When you’re online, it is harder to build trust, so it’s important to try to be real. Not having a picture or using fake pictures makes it harder to connect with other users.

Which one of these is a real person?

Audrey Hepburn did not join italki

Audrey Hepburn did not join italki

Profile information

Likewise, profiles with no information makes it harder for other users to know if they should be friends with you. The more you’re willing to share about yourself, the more likely other people will be willing to share their time with you.  Again, always offer to help people in your profile.

3. Answer questions, ask questions

Answering questions is a great way to show other people that you are interested in sharing your knowledge. In addition, other users who have similar questions may view your answer and find you that way.

Asking good questions also shows potential language partners that you’re serious about learning a language. Some users are looking for longer-term study partners, and showing that you know something about the language helps the community understand who you are.

4. Having discussions in groups

Groups is another place to be seen and to participate in a dialogue.

In particular, if you are a teacher or tutor and want to let other language learners know that you are available to teach, definitely go to the help offered / schools and teachers group to post an introduction. If you are student looking for help, you should post here.

Likewise, if you’re a student, go post in a group like learning the language or in the help wanted / tests and exams area.

5. Don’t give up

It isn’t easy to find good long-term language partners, so don’t assume after sending five invitations that there is nobody who wants to work with you. It’s also important to know there are many reasons why people don’t reply or aren’t interested. Some users already have many friends, and don’t want to add new ones. Some users are just too busy.

Our main recommendation is just to keep on trying, and keep on coming back to the site. The language partner search results are generally filtered by who was last online — so don’t wait to be found. Stay online, and get involved!

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If you have other suggestions or ideas about how to get the most out of italki, please let us know in the comments below! You can also always send us feedback or email at feedback at italki dot com.

The italki team

Free Online Tools for Teachers

June 21st, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in tips - (3 Comments)

It’s been almost three months since we announced the launch of our Language Marketplace, and we’ve seen thousands of teachers register to teach on italki.  So far, most of our teachers have only been using software like Skype to teach online.  However, many teachers have asked us if there were other free tools that they could use to help them teach online.  Here are some of our favorites:


Whiteboard – twiddla.com

  • Twiddla has a great whiteboard that lets you write and share ideas with multiple participants.  It is free, and incredibly easy to use.  You can start typing or drawing on it immediately, and all you need to do to share is to send someone a URL.  The whiteboard also comes with a text and audio chat, and you can also import pictures and documents .
  • You can try marking up this page right here:
    Twiddle this page!

Documents – scribd.comscribd

  • We’ve been long-time fans of Scribd.  With Scribd, you can upload and share word documents, powerpoints, PDF, and other types of files with students and other italki users.  We’ve integrated Scribd into the italki Resources section, so when you upload files to italki, all your students need to view it is just a link.  This avoids clogging up everyone’s mailboxes, and is a great way to spread the word about your services.
  • Note:  scribd.com has been blocked in mainland China.

Powerpoint / Slideshows – slideshare.comslideshare

  • Slideshows or powerpoints can be great tools for teaching or sharing information.  Slideshare has a nice way interface for flipping through different pictures and for full screen views.  If you like to teach with powerpoints, uploading to slideshare might be a nice option to have.