italki Culture Cast Episode One: Swedish

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by Samuel Bleakly in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on italki Culture Cast Episode One: Swedish)

Here is our first in a weekly podcast series interviewing native speakers.  This week we feature Beatrice from Sweden.


Let us know what you think, and if you’d like to be interviewed, email

Teacher of the Week #1: Amy

January 28th, 2013 | Posted by Samuel Bleakly in members | teachers - (3 Comments)

Welcome to our first Teacher of the Week spotlight on the italki blog.

This feature of the blog is designed to highlight teachers that are doing a particularly good job of promoting themselves and the italki community as a whole.

This week’s featured teacher is Amy,

Amy teaches Korean, and is also a preschool English teacher.

Here is Amy’s introduction video: 

Amy has taught 115 sessions, and currently has 29 students with a feedback rating of 4.9.

So for those of you wanting to learn what gangam style is actually talking about, book a lesson with Amy today.


*Teachers are selected based on activity, cleanliness of profile, and student satisfaction.  If you would like to nominate yourself or another teacher, email me at


John Warnken and teaching English online to schools in Indonesia

July 16th, 2009 | Posted by Kevin in members - (Comments Off on John Warnken and teaching English online to schools in Indonesia)
John Warnken

John Warnken

It is amazing the things that can happen when people get connected online. John Warnken (italki profile, facebook profile) was teaching US senior citizens in Arkansas how to use the internet, when he found italki. He found that connecting people through italki and Skype was a popular activity for the seniors he was working with. However, one person John met on italki was Endang Palupi, a school teacher from Pekalongan, Indonesia. She asked John if he would be interested in volunteering to teach some basic English to high school students.

John began teaching classes through Skype, and since then, John has become a celebrity in Pekalongan. He’s been featured in the local newspaper, and he’s been introduced to the mayor of Pekalongan. He even gave a graduation address (through Skype) to the high school.

He’s written up his own story on the Oprah Angels Network.  He’s also posted his story in this italki group.

John had a chance to be on a Central Java radio station, and he invited me to join him on the show. During the show, the mayor phoned in, as well as the local school superintendent. A number of students also went to the studio to talk on the air with John.

Unfortunately, at the moment when I was supposed to introduce myself, and talk about how the internet could be used to help people learn languages — I ran into some technical difficulties with Skype. The irony was not lost on me.

You can listen this segment of the radio interview here:

(I believe I said a number of things, but…)

Nevertheless, it was inspiring to hear how much this town appreciated John’s help in teaching English through Skype. John also let me know that the station has been receiving hundreds of texts and phone calls since the radio show aired. The station may make a talk with John a weekly program.

Here are pictures of the radio show in Pekalongan.
jbwarnken_2c jbwarnken_3c

If you know of other stories about how you have used italki to help people (or have been helped), please let us know at feedback at italki dot com. If you’re interested in helping John with teaching English classes through Skype in other countries, you can contact him through italki (John Warnken) or post on his group discussion. We’re excited to see how projects like this develop.

Kevin and 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 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: 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.