I was given a free italki subscription in exchange for a review on my site.
I was compensated for my time in writing this post, but all opinions are my own.
italki is a website that offers live lessons in foreign languages from native speakers around the world. It is a really great way to learn a language for any person of any age. We had the chance to try it out with my 9-year-old son this past month. He had 6 lessons from a native Spanish speaker in Mexico named Cynthia. We were given free credits to try out the lessons through italki.
How italki Works:
It is really very easy to use, let me explain how it works a little. You begin by setting up a profile. With a basic profile you can meet other learners and have discussions with them on the site. You can also ask language-related questions to help you with any of your learning needs. The cool part is the lessons, though. You buy italki credits to be able to schedule lessons with different teachers. 100 italki credits is $10, plus a small processing fee. There are a lot of different payment options including credit, Paypal, and bank transfers. The different teachers have different rates based on skills, and experience. Our teacher’s rate was 80 ITC (italki credits) per lesson which equals just $8/lesson. You can choose between informal tutoring or professional lessons. The informal lessons are less expensive. You can choose from a huge list of languages to learn. Then you choose from the available teachers. They have profiles that you can browse to see their ratings, experience, and levels of expertise.
Various Ways to Use italki:
- If you are traveling to a foreign country, you could do a quick course to help you learn the language
- If you are preparing for a test in a language class, you could use this as a review
- You could use it for business purposes to help you learn to communicate with others around the world
- It could be a school course for homeschoolers or other learners (They even have a page for homeschoolers!)
Once you choose your teacher, you schedule a convenient time with them for your lessons. A list comes up showing available time slots for the next few weeks. You can schedule as many as you would like at one time. I love the convenience of setting up the lessons. I really can choose what time works best for us. There is an option to leave a note to the teacher to tell them about you and what you are looking for in the lessons. In our case, I told her she would be teaching a 9-year-old boy who has had some Spanish lessons in the past. I like that she knew this so she was prepared for a child versus an adult.
Why We Love italki:
Our teacher was so wonderful with my son. She is fun and animated. She made the lessons very interesting for him with colorful flashcards, music, and videos, she even taught him sone tongue twisters! She jumped right in checking his knowledge to see what he knew and where she needed to begin with his lessons. Some things she taught him each week were: vocabulary words, verb conjugations, and conversation practice. She was very gentle with him and helped him understand all of the new material that was being covered each time.
We have been really trying to teach our kids a foreign language in our homeschool, but since I am not fluent in any other languages it is hard for me to take it to the next level beyond easy vocabulary. I love that this gives him interaction with native speakers and allows him to hear the language spoken. I think this is so critical to learning a language and really helps his learning move at a much quicker pace. If you are looking for an interactive way for your kids to learn a new language, I definitely recommend italki!
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