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Lindie Botes

Lindie Botes

I'm a South African designer and language YouTuber with a passion for foreign languages. I aim to inspire, motivate and guide you in your journey to learn new languages!

How to get the most out of italki (+ free credits)

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Hello friends! After a few videos where I mention I take italki lessons, a bunch of you asked me what I think and who my tutors are. 

What is italki?

italki is an online platform to find language tutors and language partners in many languages. I used to use italki only for journal entries to get corrections from native speakers, but over the years they have shifted their focus to online tutoring. What’s awesome is you can choose from so many tutors and languages to find one that suits your budget, schedule and learning style. If you don’t want to take lessons, you can also meet language exchange partners and send them friend requests on italki.

My thoughts on italki

I love using italki because it takes the pressure off having to plan lessons for myself, and it’s awesome having someone who can correct my mistakes and help improve my speaking. I use italki for Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean lessons. As for my tutors, you can see them on my profile.

Pros Cons
There are lots of tutors available for each language so you can find someone that suits your learning style Some tutors can be expensive and italki takes a fairly big percentage of the cost to the tutor
Tutors must upload videos, so you can watch their intro first to see what they are about Some community tutors might have bad video or microphone quality. It’s best to check beforehand through their video or a trial lesson
You can find a language exchange partner if you don’t want to take lessons with a tutor The site keeps changing the interface and it’s harder to find language partners than it was before
There’s a notebook feature where you can upload a text and get corrections from native speakers As per the above point, the UI revamp has decreased the notebook feature visibility and corrections take longer than before

How to get the most out of italki lessons

  • Don’t be nervous! Tutors are there to help you. It might be your first lesson but they’ve seen many many students with varying levels. It’s OK to be shy about your abilities, but just know that they will never laugh at your mistakes.
  • If you’re not sure how to pick a tutor, you can book a trial lesson. Try out a few tutors until you find one that suits you.
  • Prepare questions beforehand so you make the most out of your lesson time
  • Ask for homework if your tutors don’t give it already. Most professional tutors give homework and some community tutors don’t. It’s always a good idea to test what you’ve learnt and have them check up on your mistakes, so be sure to request it!
  • Do the homework they give you and write down any new vocab words they teach you during the lesson
  • Ask if you can voice or video record your lessons to go through later when you review
  • Book a package with a tutor. Packages are usually cheaper than individual lessons
  • If the lesson is too fast for you to take notes while it’s happening, just listen and immerse yourself in the lesson and ask the tutor to type things out in the lesson chat, and once the lesson is done, you can take notes.

Get $10 free credits on italki

If you are a new user, you can get $10 FREE italki credits AFTER booking your first lesson if you sign up here.
This post is not sponsored but this is an affiliate link ✨ 

 

How to find language exchange partners on italki

If you don’t want a tutor, you can find someone to practice with via italki. Search for someone who is interested in your native language. You can arrange with this person to practice your target language for a set amount of time and then do their language, or do one language per session.

Language partners are approached via the italki messaging and friend request platform. You can message someone to ask if they are interested in an exchange, and then add them as a friend by going to their profile and clicking on “Add as friend”. After that, you can arrange when and how you want to practice together.

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One Response

  1. I personally have never used iTalki, but several of my colleagues (with Ph.D’s) have. I like the idea that you can post things to be corrected. It is something akin to Lang-8 before they stopped new registration and completely switched over to HiNative. I do miss those days. I suppose if a tutor is a good option for something, then iTalki is the way to go. Thanks for the review!

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