Last night was our very first italki Language Exchange Meetup!  More than 45 people, from at least 5 different countries, came out on Wednesday night to chat with each other.  Being based in Shanghai, Chinese and English were the most popular languages, but we also had people who spoke Korean, Italian, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.  We also ran some activities to help people get to know each other and get comfortable with participating in language exchanges.

Everyone seemed to have a good time — check out the pictures:
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It always makes an impression on us when we meet people who tell us that this was their first time speaking to a foreigner.  Many of the attendees told us about the friends they had made through italki, in addition to the help they received on learning a language.  Hearing stories like this make us feel that italki really has a role to play in bringing people together.  Based on everyone’s encouragement, we’ll definitely be holding more language exchange meetups in the future.

If you’re an italki member, and you think you’d like to organize a meetup in your city, please contact Toffler (at) italki (dot) com.  We’re thinking about Bangkok, Thailand and Seoul, Korea in the near future, but we don’t want to discourage other cities that have vibrant communities.  As always, let us know what you think — and keep on sharing languages and cultures!

The italki.com team

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liz_teachingToday is our official launch of our new Language Teachers feature. Now with Language Teachers, students and teachers can now find each other and pay (or receive) money for lessons.

* For students, you can find a teacher that has right kind of experience, a suitable time schedule, and at the right price. You can search for teachers, choose from their profiles, view their ratings, and search for courses on subjects you want to learn. By purchasing italki credits, you can be sure that your teacher is qualified and your lesson money won’t be wasted.

* For teachers, you can now find students, and earn money teaching them. Create your own courses, and set your own rates. Students purchase italki credits before the lesson so you don’t have to worry about foreign exchange rates or how to get paid.

Now you can learn any language, on your own schedule, and from the comfort of your own home! We have many more explanations about the system on our frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. If you have further questions, you can always write to feedback at italki.com.

Latest Addition: Free Trials
In addition, we’ve recently added on is the ability for students to request free trial lessons. Students initially receive three free trials which they can use to find teachers and to better understand the system. Teachers can choose if they want to participate, and can use free trials as a way to reach out to new students.

Take a look at the Language Teachers feature, and let us know what you think. We’re actively going to be refining these features based on your feedback, so please let us know what we can do to improve the experience for you.

The italki.com team

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Chatfest – Shanghai

March 20th, 2009 | Posted by Kevin in members - (5 Comments)

For italki Shanghai members, we’re organizing its first event for all of its members in Shanghai to come out and meet each other face-to-face. This will be a great opportunity to:

  • Meet some of the people you chat with
  • Find new language partners
  • Meet the italki team
  • Learn about different cultures, and
  • Indulge yourself with a Dunkin’ Donut!
  • We’ll have activities to help you mix and mingle and meet new people. Speakers and students of all language welcome!
    We look forward to meeting all of you at Dunkin’ Donuts!

    Date: Wednesday, March 25th
    Time: 7-  9 pm
    Location: Dunkin’ Donuts ShiMen Yi Lu 239, near Weihai Lu
    Metro Line 2: Nanjing Xi Lu
    Dunkin_Donuts

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    New version of italki.com!

    January 20th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in announcement - (2 Comments)

    Today a new version of italki went live!  There have been many changes to the layout, design, navigation, and features of italki.  A couple of changes we’d like to highlight are to Answers and the Language Index.

    Answers
    When you ask a question, you will be able to add additional information to clarify your question; however, you can not edit your original question.  While the question is still open (ie within 14days of initially being asked, with no ‘best answer’ having been chosen), respondents can edit their answer.  This may help respondents more accurately answer the question after it has been clarified by the asker.

    Members can also now vote as to whether questions as related to language learning or not related.  Three votes indicating it’s related to language learning will move it into a category of “Educational questions.”  Members can then decide if they only want to see educational questions related to language learning.  We hope this will help those who are focused on language studies more easily access relevant questions, while giving others a chance to ask cultural and similar questions on the side.

    There is now a quick “Ask a question” box on the right side of every Answers page, so you can ask questions more quickly and easily.

    Language Index
    The language index page for each language is now a one-stop shop for everything related to that language.  We’ve aggregated all the different pages and put them in each language’s index page.  That includes self-study resources like: podcasts, videos, documents, websites, and Knowledge, as well as interactive resources like: language partners, teachers, groups and answers.  You can still post on the blackboard of that language, too.

    The new Podcasts and Videos tabs makes it much easier and quicker to find and share multimedia resources for learning that language.

    Start browsing around the most recent version of italki to get an idea of the new features and layout, then tell us what you think.  We encourage you to send your feedback on these or any other features you’d like to see to feedback@italki.com or leave a message on our Contact Us page. We’re always looking for new ideas to make italki better.

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    italki and the China 2.0 Tour

    November 18th, 2008 | Posted by Toffler in event - (Comments Off on italki and the China 2.0 Tour)

    China 2.0 Tour

    Last week bloggers and other tech people from North American and Europe come to China as part of theChina 2.0 tour organized by The China Business Network, Web2Asia, and CNReviews.  We were privileged enough to be included in their busy schedule when they were in Shanghai on Thursday and Friday.  Among the tour participants we were fortunate enough to meet were:

    Robert Scoble
    Shel Israel
    Mike Butcher
    Melissa Sconyers
    Sheila Scarborough
    Ernst Jan Pfauth
    Bart Lapers
    David Feng
    Ryan McLaughlin

    As well as many other awesome people!

    You also can watch videos of italki’s presentations to the China2.0 groups on Kyte.  To find out about more events or videos with italki, follow us on twitter: http://twitter.com/italki

    This photo was taken at our office with the China2.0 participants last Friday.

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