Andrew Tracey is the author of the Spanish Learning Blog How to Learn Spanish (using free online resources!). He recently wrote a review about italki and we enjoyed it so much that we wanted to share some of the insight that he gained. Reposted with permission. Here’s a link to the original article iTalki Reviewed: Free Language Exchange Plus a Tutor-Student Marketplace (also: are tutors worth it?)

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I’ve talked about (here) how I think language exchanges are probably the single most valuable thing you can do to learn a language because that’s where you’re actually talking to – and being corrected by – a native speaker, that’s where the rubber meets the road. They’re considered an absolutely integral part of The Telenovela Method of Learning Spanish since I place such emphasis on using the Spanish you’ve just learned and I think the best possible way to do that is by trying to use it to communicate with a native speaker (because you’ll learn immediately whether you’re applying it correctly or not).

LOGO_italki_200x200Also, I know I’ve recommended italki before several times, usually stating that it was what I believed to be the best online language exchange site available (and that’s including even the language exchange sites that cost money, iTalki does not) and I still believe that. I’ve been meaning to write up a review of it for a long time now (couple years actually) but haven’t because I’ve dealing entirely with my book the last two years or so (either writing it or launching it or marketing it or…blah, something), so here it is. Not only am I going to cover the language exchange portion of the site (which is entirely free) but I’m also going to cover the tutor-student marketplace, so to speak, that’s the other part of the site (and where iTalki makes its money, if you were wondering). I’ve been using the language exchange system on iTalki for years now but only just today did I try out one of their tutors for the very first time. (more…)

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How to use italki

April 20th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement | feature | Motivation - (0 Comments)

icebergproject_logoIf you are learning Italian, you’ve probably read Cher Hale’s blog – The Iceberg Project.  It’s a great resource for learning Italian (and actually any language for that matter as the learning tips and advice is applicable  all).   Cher actually wrote a great How-To guide to get the most out of italki that started with her blog post How to Learn to Speak Italian Without Ever Being in Italy (or why you should hug people with big ideas for language learning)

If you’ve ever wondering if you’re really getting the most out of italki, look no further as Cher went on to write about the six main ways to use italki and provided individual blog posts with step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

We were so impressed that we just had to share these posts with everyone in the italki community.

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Introducing italki Articles!

April 4th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement | teachers | tips - (0 Comments)

articlesWe’re happy to announce our newest feature –  italki Articles!  

italki Articles are cultural and language learning tips which have been exclusively written by italki teachers and language learning enthusiasts for the italki language learning community.

We’ve got thousands of italki teachers on italki teaching all the world’s languages.

Many of our teachers have some great language learning tips and advice that they’ve accumulated over years of teaching their language.

Many of our teachers are also great writers.

italki articles allows these teachers to share their experiences with language learning and culture with the entire italki community. (more…)

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Notifications Upgrades!

April 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement - (1 Comments)

At italki, we’re constantly making new improvements to the website. We add new features and make bug fixes all the time. Most of the time these changes go relatively un-noticed unless they are big new features like Instant Tutoring. But once in a while, there are some small improvements that will make a big difference to our users.

Our latest improvement, unified notifications will make everyone’s experience on italki much better.  We’ve organized all those random little notifications and “bubbles” that you would normally get and now present these notifications in order of importance and urgency. You’ll now know what’s important and what needs to be acted on.

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Patineuse (left) at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics acting as a volunteer translator.

I completed the 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge. The challenge was to take 20 lessons in 6 weeks.  I actually finished the Challenge in a record 10 days!  The Challenge was great for me because I was going to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and it was the perfect opportunity to improve my Japanese, French and English.  I wanted to improve these languages to at a level where I could help out as a volunteer translator.

I want to thank my favorite teachers JapaneseTutor, Jéròme, Altini and Lloyd. It was not only my Challenge, but also theirs as well :) (more…)

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