While books can teach you proper grammar or spelling in another language, italki helps learn a language with native speakers and be fluent in a language. This complete italki language learning overview looks at what it offers and if its worth getting.
I looked into italki and found there was a lot of information to digest about how this learning platform works. As a blogger on the topic of money savings tips & resources, I figured i’d share my findings on this blog, along with information on how to save money with italki.
When truly learning a language, the colloquialisms and idioms of a language are better learned from immersing oneself in the community of the language. One way to do this is to travel to the country where the language you want to learn is freely spoken and diving into their culture. Talking with the locals and experiencing daily living gives you a better understanding of the language.
Living in another country is a nice way to learn a language except not many people can do that. Alternatively, you can learn a language with a native speaker from the comfort of your couch with italki.
I came across italki when my kiddo had to take an AP French exam. Although he listened to french news radio, joined study groups and the teacher was awesome preparing the students for the final exam, it wasn’t the same as having the opportunity to learn first hand from a native speaker. I looked further into how helpful italki would be to learn a language, and below I share a breakdown to determine if its also right for you too. Useful for anyone who wants to learn a language.
What is italki
iTalki is a language tutoring community that is available on the PC/laptop, iOS and Android apps. While there are several language teaching programs available, italki is different as it connects users with a live tutor who is native to the language you want to learn. This person can be anywhere in the world to meet with online at a time you can meet. Meet online from home, during lunch break, at the park, etc.
Additionally, italki offers niche classes such as learning business English, French for tourism, or Spanish from Latin America. Instructions are sectioned based on your goal for learning the language into 5 categories – General, Business, Test Prep, Kids, and Conversation Practice (see screenshot below)
How italki works
Through the italki learning community students and teachers connect for 1-on-1 online language lessons and cultural sharing to become fluent in a foreign language.
italki boasts teaching more than 130 languages from credentialed teachers, such as the romance languages as well as English, Mandarin, Afrikaans, Farsi, Arabic
italki teachers credentials
The number one thing that crossed my mind is what credentials must teachers meet at italki? Being a native speaker of a language doesn’t mean they’re ready to teach.
According to italki, applicants must provide education and language expertise documentation to be an italki teacher in order to be recommended to students.
These are some of the accepted documentations:
Bachelors or Masters degree in Teaching [X] as a Foreign Language
DELE (Spanish teaching)
DITALS (Italian teaching)
Other accredited foreign language teaching certification
What you get from italki
- Practice conversational skills under different real-world scenarios.
- Customized lessons that cater to students’ learning needs and interests
- 1-on-1 lessons that provide you undivided attention with teachers
What italki says about their language learning program
- More affordable than offline tutors – 30% of the cost.
- More affordable than offline schools – a fraction of the cost. Schools can cost thousands of dollars, with less flexibility. Very limited 1-1 attention from teachers to address your particular language needs
- More affordable than software – Rosetta Stone can cost $200 USD for a Beginner CD. Compare that to 20 hours with a live teacher at italki.
- From the first italki lesson students experience language and culture from someone who truly knows the language.
- What is your language goal? Trying to conquer a test, ace an interview or simply looking to learn a new language? italki connects you with teachers to help you achieve your language learning goals.
About italki lessons
Professional Lessons or Tutoring – which one to choose?
- A professional teacher can provide you a structured language learning plan and lead you through the learning process.
- For experienced learners who already know the topics to focus on or want to learn through informal conversation, a community tutor may be a better option.
Free Trials and schedules
italki offers free trial lessons as a way to learn the italki system and experience how italki works at a discounted price. During the trial lessons you get figure out the payment process, the scheduling system, and how to confirm a completed lesson, and also the opportunity to connect (or not) with a teacher.
Each user has three trial lessons that they can use to try out italki. You can use 1 trial lesson per teacher, and you can use them whenever you like. You do not need to use them all at once, trial lessons don’t expire.
Lesson sessions can be scheduled to start on the hour or at any 15 minute interval. Your first italki lesson can start as soon as 15 minutes after the invitation. (Useful when preparing for a test and last minute questions come up).
italkin signup – When pressing the Book Now button, select the class that you wish to purchase multiple lessons in, then press the Next Button.
Packages & Discounts
italki packages are a guaranteed set of lessons that you purchase from the teacher. Schedule one or many lessons at once. Most teachers offer a discount to students who purchase packages. Packages are offered as an option because many students and teachers want a way to purchase and schedule multiple lessons at once, but they’re also a way for you to save money on language lessons.
If the teacher offers a lesson package discount, you’ll see the option to select one of the discounted packages offered.
italki coupons, promo codes and vouchers
I thought italki coupons referred to a discount, but they don’t. They’re a way to pay. There are 2 kinds of italki coupons – purchase coupons and lesson coupons. Purchase coupons are a way to pay when purchasing italki credits. Lesson coupons are a way to pay when booking lessons.
Voucher Codes are issued by italki. These are a payment method that can be redeemed for italki credits directly by entering the code in the voucher, which you can see in your italki wallet. (The italki wallet is basically another name for payment details).
Italki occasionally offers promotional and discount codes to use when signing up. These are usually a word (like DECEMBER2018 for example), applied directly on the payment page. (If there’s one available i’ll included it in this post)
To find a teacher, go to the italki sign up page, type the language you’re interested in learning, and that will show you the teacher’s information such as rate, languages they teach and speak (many teach more than one). You can also click on the “Find a Teacher” at the top right after signing up.
Finding a teacher you can feel “connected” to is a different story however. This is when trials lessons and credits are helpful.
Incentives to keep learning
Things can get old or boring quickly. italki keep users motivated to continue learning a language in a variety of ways.
The italki challenge is where users challenge themselves to completing a certain number of lesson hours. While the challenge is free to enter, the lessons are not. However, during the challenge period, italki users get rewarded with vouchers, badges, italki credits. The italki challenge is a contest designed to motivate students through a fun community competition that rewards users. Motivation to learn also comes from joining a community that shares something in common with you.
The italki 2021 challenge starts at 6:00am UTC on 13 January, and finishes at 6:00am UTC on 1 March
Exercises – Practice and improve your skills through audio and written exercises.
Questions – Got a burning question? Get unstuck here.
Posts – Share your learning milestones, stories, and more.
Topics – Meet, connect, and grow through language and culture discussions
The #LanguageHacking community
Language hacking refers to a different method of learning a foreign language that focuses on what is important in learning a language rather than every aspect of a language. A shortcut to learning a language. italki partnered with Benny Lewis to develop the italki language hacking community to help users learn quickly. italki users get a code to access the language hacking community and participate in talking missions with other italki learners and tutors.
For international currency purposes, the method of payment in italki is italki credits. italki credits are displayed in USD and used to pay for lessons, a test or to join a language challenge. You can purchase italki credits with your credit card (Visa, Mastercard), Paypal, Alipay, and other forms of payment. The minimum amount of italki credits to purchase is $10.
Purchase and view italki credits in the Wallet section of your account. For finances safety purposes, italki does not ask for, collect, or store any of your financial information. italki states that payment information is handled the payment processing partners’ websites.
italki Users – What do people say about italki
italki reviews throughout the web are mostly positive. Users of the italki app had general complaints relating to the device rather than the program. italki laptop and PC reviewers generally indicated that italki helped a lot once they found the right teacher. Other complaints related to the friend referral bonus, with people stating
italki reviewers who use the Android app give italki a 4.0 rating out of a possible 5 star rating (as of the date of this review):
Here’s a review from a Reddit user:
Will you learn a language like a Pro and pass language exams?
The italki language learning program has a lot of positive features. Its affordable as you pay for the service for as long as you can or need it. I like that there are no contracts or long term commitments, and also that you can get a discount by purchasing bulk lessons.
Additionally, I also think that the italki community is a plus to keep motivated to learn. That’s huge, given that things can get boring quickly. Whether you need to supplement your foreign language education for school or learn for fun, italki is a fun way to learn a language. Another plus of the italki community is that you can connect with people who share your interests, but given the craziness of the internet, you can control your anonymity level.
italki overall is a good language learning program. The ability to learn from someone who is both a native speaker and credentialed to teach a foreign language is an easier and faster way to learn. However, as idioms and colloquialism is something one learns with an italki native speaker, the bottom line is that you’ll have the opportunity to also learn terms books don’t teach and become fluent in a language. As far as pro tips to learn a language and pass language exams goes, practice talking, practice, practice. You have a better chance of passing language exams.
Nonetheless, you can try a couple of lessons and if you don’t like it there’s no commitment.
Happy savings, TaLis.
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