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,

italki Marketing and Customer Experience

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


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!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in promotion - (Comments Off on Happy Valentine’s Day!)


On this special day, say I love you to someone in a new language.

Or better yet, send a loved one an italki Gift Card!  With italki Gift Cards, you can transfer or gift ITC to a friend using your existing ITC!

Also if you send a Gift Card to a friend who has not registered on italki, you’ll get the 50ITC referral bonus if your friend continues with a future ITC purchase.  Our Gift Cards actually gift you right back!

We also wanted to share with you Bodo Wartke’s Multilingual Love Song. This talented singer is able to sing this song in over 88 different languages!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

the italki Team

Lexie Language Challenge – Week 4

February 12th, 2014 | Posted by Lexie in Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off on Lexie Language Challenge – Week 4)

Hi guys,

It’s time for another update on my current status at the italki Language Challenge. Having already completed 12 sessions now, my current challenge is to memorize the vocabulary that I’ve learned at the beginning. To solve that problem, I started making vocabulary lists which is quite helpful for me.

In order to check my progress I also took a free language test online and the results were good but could be better.  My grammar and reading were great but my listening ability still needs improvement.  Therefore, I’m going to ask my French teachers to tailor my upcoming lessons to focus on improving my listening!

Current Progress Check

Total Completed Sessions = 12

Upcoming Sessions =  4 sessions per week

2014 italki Challenge update… halfway done!

February 6th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off on 2014 italki Challenge update… halfway done!)

Lamb is one of our newest italki users and decided to take part in the Language Challenge. He wrote in with this update of his Language Challenge. It’s great advice for all Language Challengers (and language learners in general!). Lamb also posted a Public Video Pledge of himself before he started the Challenge. I’m sure even at the halfway point, he’s already come a long way!

Lamb’s original Notebook Entry (reposted with permission)

lambSo last month I signed up for the italki challenge, put my money where my mouth is, and scheduled 20 sessions with a few reputable looking teachers. This was a little frightening because: (1) I had never used italki before, (2) I had never spoken my target language [French] with native speakers before, and (3) I had only just started to learn French from scratch for about a month. A lot of people, myself included, feel a great deal of anxiety about having to speak a language they’re not proficient in.

Most of us would rather study textbooks and flashcards and use websites like Duolingo (all great resources that I also recommend) for months on end and hope that speaking takes care of itself. Now, and I’ve only put around 12 hours of speaking in, I think I can say that this is the way it works. You get better at speaking by speaking, and the anxiety of speaking goes away the more you do it, too. I don’t think that six more months of self-study would have gotten me there.

So for anyone who’s on the fence: try it out. Start talking. As bad as the anxiety might be, you will be impressed with your own progress and see that it’s worth it. If all goes well, in a month I’ll have finished the challenge and gotten some more money for lessons. But if the worst happens—sessions get cancelled or something unavoidable comes up—I won’t lose the progress I’ve made so far, nor will I lose the motivation to keep going in March.