We wanted to let everyone know that September will be the last chance to purchase the SpeakENG 1-Year Online Course for $16 USD. We’ve been offering the 1-year course at this very, very low price as a promotion. While we’re happy to say that it has generated a lot of interest, we’re sorry to say that this promotion is coming to an end!

So this is your last chance to purchase the 1-Year SpeakENG Online Course for $16 USD!

If you know anyone who is studying English, please tell them to join italki and purchase it soon! The price for the same package starting in October will be $40 USD! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

If you don’t know much about the SpeakENG Online Course, you can read the description here. It’s important to remember that SpeakENG has two main parts:
1) Online Course: Multimedia lessons, English exercises, grammar explanations, roleplaying games, and much more. The courses run from beginner levels to advanced.
2) One-on-One Tutoring with a professional American teacher: Included with the 1-year online course is a 15 minute session with a professional US teacher. The teacher can answer any questions the student may have, in addition to structuring a one-on-one live teaching course. Students are encouraged to purchase additional teaching sessions.

Here is a sample video of what a SpeakENG online course looks like:

You can also view a short sample of a one-on-one tutoring session here.

We hope people studying English will take advantage of this promotional pricing! It is really a tremendous value that is hard to compare with.

Also, it’s the last chance to register for our sweepstakes the Great English Giveaway. We’re giving away 20 SpeakENG 1-month Online Courses, and all you have to do is post in that group. We’ll be choosing the winners on Monday. Go post now, and if you don’t win next week — make sure you purchase SpeakENG by the end of the month!

The italki team

SpeakENG girlWe are helping people learn English by giving away twenty (20) 1-Month subscriptions to SpeakENG Online English Course!  So if you’re learning English, now is your chance to grab more English training for free.

SpeakENG is an online course for learning English, and any italki member can win a 1-Month Subscription just by replying to this group post! The SpeakENG program includes access to the Online Course for a full month, plus a 15 minute session with Eleutian’s certified ESL teachers.

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What you need to do to enter the sweepstakes:

1) Log on to italki.com or join if you’re not already a member.

2) Go to The Great English Giveaway group post

3) Read the rules, and then reply to the post with three things:

  • How you found out about italki
  • Why you’re learning English
  • A funny or embarrassing English mistake you have made

4) That’s it!

The contest will begin on September 8, 2009 at 12:01 am China Standard Time, and will end on September 20, 2009 at 11:59 pm China Standard Time.  italki will choose the winner before September 30th.  Full contest details are available here.

If you’re looking for other products to help you learn English, check out the italki Marketplace.

Good luck!

alipay

Alipay

Learning English is the primary goal of most users on italki, which is natural given that the majority of users are not native speakers of English. Our largest group of users come from China (20% of total users). We’ve just started a marketing partnership with Alipay to make it easier for Chinese users to purchase italki credits.
Alipay is a payment platform owned by the global e-commerce company Alibaba. Alipay works similarly to Paypal, and is very popular in China. For the month of August, we are offering a 10% bonus to purchases of italki credits over $30 USD through Alipay.

Learning English in China

alipay_page

Alipay - italki page

We hope that by making it easier for Chinese users to pay online, this will lead to more transactions on the italki marketplace. There is certainly an immense demand for learning English in China. Chinese students start learning English at an early age (depends regionally, but average age of 10-13). However, after studying English for five years or more, many students graduate with “哑巴英文” (mute English). They often have not had any opportunity to use their English, and the vast majority are taught by Chinese teachers with varying levels of proficiency.

Given the demand for English, English training centers in China are a huge industry. These centers often are very expensive (10,000 – 20,000 RMB or ~$1500-$3000 USD). This amount of money also needs to be viewed in an economic context where the average monthly salary is roughly between $200 – $600 USD (depends on the city and region).

Anecdotally, we’ve been told that many Chinese find their experiences at these teaching centers to be disappointing. The centers are strong at marketing, but weak at delivering real improvement for students. Students have very limited access to teachers and are stuck listening in large classes.

Naturally, we believe that online learning can change this equation radically. italki partners, like Eleutian, can deliver an online product (SpeakENG), direct to students at an incredibly low costs. Students can get Eleutian’s certified teachers or find independent teachers which they can schedule according to their own time needs. In addition, student tuition doesn’t go into supporting building rents in expensive city districts, massive marketing campaigns, or large school administrations. Given the natural benefits of online learning, we think this will become a major alternative to offline learning in the near future.

View the English press release (PDF)
View the Chinese press release (PDF)

The italki Team

SPEAKENG Course 1Y 10000004-2 We wanted to write more about our first partner company, Eleutian Technology, and its product SpeakENG.

Eleutian is based in Wyoming, USA, in a little town called Ten Sleep (google map).  Their mission is to teach the world English, using online courses and US-based teachers.  In a time when much of the US is in recession, Eleutian has been hiring certified teachers to satisfy the global demand for learning English.  Eleutian is an interesting globalization story in that English teaching is being “in-sourced” to the US. Another intriguing aspect about Eleutian is its surprising technology infrastructure (news report).

screenshot of SpeakENG

click for detailed explanation page of SpeakENG

The other part of Eleutian’s SpeakENG product is online courses that are powered by Pearson’s English Language Learning and Instruction System (ELLIS).  SpeakENG (Pearson ELLIS) has an impressive amount of English content for online self-study. There are video lessons, scripts, recordings, skill drills, in-depth explanations of grammar points, and much more.  We’ve been told the package normally retails at a very expensive rate, and that the pricing on italki reflects Eleutian’s desire to grow aggressively in this market (this pricing might not last).

If you want to find out more information (pictures and walkthrough), take a look at our in-depth explanation on Eleutian SpeakENG.

Eleutian SpeakENG is offering to italki users:

You can see the full list here.

If you’re learning English, we really can’t recommend trying SpeakENG enough. It’s an amazing product for self-study and combined with tutoring from US certified teachers, we’re sure this is something that you shouldn’t miss out on.

View the press release (PDF)

The italki Team

eleutian_logo_400 We’re excited that we have expanded the Language Marketplace to include language companies and schools. Now language learning companies can partner with italki and offer their services and products to italki users. We think this is a major step towards making italki a destination site for language learning.

Our first partner company, Eleutian Technology, targets the largest language learning market in the world: Learning English.  Eleutian uses American certified-school teachers and the highly-regarded Pearson English Language Learning Instruction System (ELLIS) to teach English online.

marketplace screenshot

click to go to marketplace

Language Learning Ecosystem

Our plan is to expand the marketplace to include every language, and to support a variety of services.  By creating an ecosystem for language learning, we believe everyone benefits:  students, independent teachers, language training companies, and application developers.

Students benefit by having more choices.  They can pay for premium services, or use the free community generated ones.  Students are able to share information about different service providers and make informed choices.  Students are also able to pick and choose a combination of services that may be useful to them.  Most of all, a central location helps students find online providers of language education.

Teachers and companies benefit by having an active market with demand for their service.  Companies and teachers can reach out to students around the world, and transact without having to deal with individual payment issues.  Quality teachers and companies also benefit by having their reputation socially confirmed by their customers.

Again, we’re thrilled to be opening our expanded marketplace, and to have Eleutian join us as our first partner.  If you’re not learning English, just be patient — we’re planning to add more companies and services for other languages soon. If you represent a company that might be interested in partnering with italki, please contact us at business at italki dot com.

View the press releasePDF)

The italki Team