How To Be Fluent In Any Language And How It Can Benefit You
You probably think that this is just another one of those “language learning” website things with overpriced teachers. But, I must say, italki is wonderful. I have personally studied here myself and have been a community tutor here as well. So, I figured I’d just give my review of what I think about italki in my 5 months of experience as both a student and a community tutor.
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Language Tutoring at an Affordable Price!
I have tried a lot of online websites similar to italki that gives similar features. But, in all honesty, this is by far the best in terms of affordable lessons. You can have sessions with Native Speakers or near native speakers speaking that specific language and depending on which tutor you choose, they can give you sessions as low as $4.00 (Currency converter) per hour! Not only that, trial sessions start as low as $1.00. As mentioned, it is pretty clear that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a lesson. I am a student here myself and I met wonderful professional and community Chinese tutors who offer efficient and fun lessons for an affordable price.
Community Tutors, Professional Teachers, and Instant Tutoring
In Italki, you can choose either a professional teacher or a community tutor you can choose how you would like to improve your language abilities. Community tutors are native speakers who can help you practice speaking the language to help you become fluent, homework help, review for a test, or simply learn and chat about their culture. This is a great way to interact with native speakers or fluent speakers in the language which will enable you to learn things like slangs and expressions you might not learn from a textbook. Personally, I have met a lot of Chinese community tutors and they are excellent! I love them. I do informal tutoring in italki and it has been a blast for me so far, because I got to meet a lot of people on the other side of the globe while learning about their culture and language as well as helping them improve their language skills.
If you are someone who wants structured lessons by someone who holds a certification or a degree in teaching, then you can hover over professional teachers and schedule a lesson with them on italki. Most of them ( not all ), offer courses which are very pricey. Since my level in Chinese is intermediate, I study with professional teachers offering their informal tutoring. Of course, it is still good.
Now lets move on to instant tutoring. This is great feature for tutors who have extra time to provide lessons to students. For students, these teachers are available to you right away. Since the booking here is 24 hours before the scheduled date, instant tutoring in italki, offers you immediate access to a language teacher. Personally, I have never done this before, because I prefer bookings made 24 hours earlier so I can prepare lesson materials for the session. Even if I am a community tutor, I provide structured lesson materials to students who requests for it.
Notebook, Discussions, and Answers
Moving on, I also love this about italki. If you want to practice writing, you can post your written composition in this category for other users who are fluent and natives of that language to correct your entry for you. In return, you can correct others’ entry in a language you are good at Italki gives you points if you participate in the community, but what you do with the points is kind of a question here since they do not have any reward system for the points yet, though it has been years already. So, the points just sits there for now. I hope they can decide what the reward will be so a lot of people in the community are motivated to participate.
In discussions and answers, I suppose they are identical. If you have any questions of the language you’re learning, you can post a question or discussion in italki, and wait for members to answer them as well as discuss. If you have difficulty understanding the word, slangs which you cannot find in the textbooks, or how to construct sentences, then post a questions and wait for people to answer your questions. In return, you can also answer their questions in the language you are fluent in.
The Downside of Italki
The only downside of italki is the inability to edit your published notebook, discussion, and answers. I found this extremely frustrating as I wanted to correct some of my typos in my notebooks. I hope they fix this soon. Another thing for communities, is the lack of speaking and listening abilities, I suppose the feature they lack is ability of users to record their voices in an audio to practice their pronunciation, and speaking and have native speakers or fluent speakers correct their pronunciation. This may be covered by teachers and tutors, however, I do understand the primary focus of this website is to connect you with native speakers who can help you speak the language to be more fluent.
Overall, I would seriously recommend italki out there for language learners out there. Not only you can find a great tutor who can help you speak fluently, you can also meet new people, make friends, and learn about their culture. I have found lots of friends through italki, and I must say that we became tight internet buddies who help each other become fluent in a language we are learning.
If you decide to sign up now. I suggest you go for it. Don't forget to tell me your experience!