As the World Cup Language Challenge start date slowly approaches, one of the most common questions we receive is, “How do I prepare for a Language Challenge?” Well, you can simply dive right in and start taking lessons or you can plan each week and maximize your learning. Our guest blogger and World Cup Challenger Lindsaydoeslanguages shares with us her weekly Language Challenge goals! This post originally appears on Lindsaydoeslanguages.

ITALKI WORLD CUP LANGUAGE CHALLENGE: MY WEEKLY GOALS

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With the italki World Cup Language Challenge creeping ever closer, now seems like the perfect time to give you a quick update before it all kicks off. (I’m just gonna keep the football puns coming…)

Have I started?

Nope! The italki World Cup Language Challenge begins on June 1st, so there’s still time to sign up!

What I have done though is booked all 25 lessons in advance because I know that for me, having the lessons booked now will take away the pressure of booking last minute.

I have also set myself 8 weekly goals. (Told you, there’s plenty more where that came from…)

My 8 World Cup (Language Challenge) Goals!

Week 1 – To read a short chapter of “Caro Bruce Springsteen” out loud on video.

This may sound completely random but this is to prove that language learning doesn’t have to be expensive. I picked up this book from a book stall in Portugal last year for just 50 cents!

Week 2 – To read a random news article from the internet out loud on video.

This may sound like a lot of reading, but in the early stages, I really want to work on improving my pronunciation and making it sound more Portuguese and less Spanish. Personally, I find reading really helps with this.

Week 3 – To learn the entire lyrics to Ai Se Eu Te Pego

So this is, like, the greatest song ever.

And it’s Portuguese. It just seems rather fitting! (more…)

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This is a guest blog post from our friends at Lingua.ly.  We love this app as it turns your mobile phone into a language learning experience. Download the Lingua.ly Android App.  Reposted with permission.  Here is the original blog link.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Listening in a Second or Foreign Language

 

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Listening is harder than reading– a sentiment shared by language learners around the world. In fact, one of the greatest fears of the language student is using a phrase correctly and being unable to handle the onslaught of native speaker speech received as a response. So, why is it that spoken language seems so difficult to process in comparison to the written word and what can a learner do to improve comprehension? Read on to find out!

1. Listening happens in real-time
Unlike with reading, listening forces you to process language as it is delivered. That means you don’t have an opportunity to pause the activity to look up a word in the dictionary. But it’s important not to panic, as this conscious monitoring of the listening process can cause you to miss the rest of what is being said as well. Learn to relax your brain and keep your mind open until the listening text comes to a natural pause.

2. Listening doesn’t mean you hear every word
Listening is something we do naturally and many people don’t realise that even in our native tongues we don’t necessarily register every word someone says. Instead we pick up on keywords which give us the information we need to make inferences about who, when, where and most importantly what we are listening to. So listen for the big picture words and let your brain fill in the rest. (more…)

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In our last language challenge, we found that:

85% of the Challengers who actually put up a Public Video Pledge actually completed the Challenge (compared to only 48% of those who did not).  (See the previous Challenge Review)

So… we’re offering this bonus again to help you complete the Challenge!

(and also because we’re cool like that!)

If you’ve signed up for the 2014 italki World Cup Language Challenge, we’re giving away even more ITC to motivate you to succeed!  Do you really want to complete the challenge?  Use peer pressure (in a good way) to help yourself achieve your language learning goal! Life Hacks research has shown that if you put yourself up to something by doing it in public, you follow through because others are watching. Things that you put on the Web have a better chance of getting done!

BONUS 50ITC! Upload your Language Challenge Public Video Pledge

Make a Public Video Pledge by uploading a video to YouTube or Youku before you begin your first session (or your first few sessions).

What should you say in your Public Video Pledge?

lindsay_screenshot (more…)

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Sign up for the 2014 italki World Cup Language Challenge!

reachyourlanguagegoallllThis summer, people from all nations will celebrate the greatest sporting event in the world – The World Cup!

In honor of this event, italki will be hosting the 2014 italki World Cup Language Challenge where language learners all over the world come together to learn 100’s of different languages taught by 1000’s of different teachers.

Just like the World Cup, our Language Challenge brings people of different backgrounds and cultures together to work for a common goal.

 

To take the Language Challenge, you will need to follow these steps:


language_challenge_2014worldcup1. PLEDGE 20USD
You will get this pledge back when you complete the Challenge. Deadline to take the pledge is June 15, 2014

2. TAKE 25 HOURS OF LESSONS IN 2 MONTHS
With any Community Tutor or Professional Teacher from June 1st until July 31st (think ~3 lessons a week)

3. WIN 40USD
Get your 20USD pledge back AND 40USD in italki credits.  We are paying you to learn a new language

Click here to Sign Up for the 2014 italki World Cup Language Challenge now!
And finally become fluent in a new language!

pnz1v-lexie-thumbsup-300x280_04903y04903y000000What Previous Challengers Say!
I always wanted to learn French but always had an excuse to never put in the time to truly learn it. The italki Language Challenge was the perfect opportunity to finally start learning French. It was tough but it worked!” –Lexi

You can do it! See Before and After Videos from Winners of our previous Language Challenge!

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italki presented at the 2014 SouthWest Conference on Language Teaching

May 11th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in feature | teachers - (Comments Off on italki presented at the 2014 SouthWest Conference on Language Teaching)

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

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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…)

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