Italki: foreign language learning platform


Nowadays world becomes more and more international. People travel more, have more international colleagues, even international families became more common. Therefore, being able to speak many languages is more important than ever.

In 2006, the educational platform Italki that helps people to learn foreign languages was introduced. The educational platform solves many of the most common problems that arise during language learning. The post will analyze problems, which may occur on each step of learning language road starting from picking a language to lessons themselves, and how Italki deals with them.

Firstly, a person chooses a language that she wants to learn. However, it is very hard to find teachers of languages that are not very common. As Italki works as a platform, which connects teachers and students, it has a huge pull of teachers. Therefore, it is possible to find native speakers of any language.

The next step is to find a teacher that suits your requirements. Different people learn languages for different reasons, that why they have different preferences. For example, schoolkid mainly learn it to pass an exam while business person may learn a language to expand her business abroad. Therefore, schoolkids focus more on typical assignments while business people – on a particular vocabulary. Italki labels teachers as “professional teachers” if a person has professional teaching experience or certificates or “community tutors”. Moreover, Italki provide overall grade of each teacher based on marks, which former students of a teacher gave. Number of former student and their feedbacks on each teacher also can be seen. Furthermore, a native language of each teacher is disclosed. Based on all these data, each member of the platform can find a teacher that she needs.

When a person chose a teacher, she should schedule a lesson. Teachers show timeslots when they are free and a student may choose an appropriate time. However, it is usually hard to schedule a lesson if a teacher and a student live in different time zones. To overcome misunderstanding in lesson time due to different time, Italki shows a time to a user given her local time zone. So, the only thing a user should care of is to set a time zone where she lives. To make sure that everyone remembers a lesson time, Italki sends reminder two hours in advance.

Finally, a student have to pay but how much? When a teacher registers in the platform, she sets a price of her lessons; she also may adjust her lessons’ price later. Italki chargers 15% service fee for successful lesson. As the same person may teach one language and learn another one, overall she may experience free language exchange. All prices are presented in ITC (Italki currency). ITC is a virtual internal currency with an exchange rate $ 1 = 10 ITC. At any moment in time a person may decide whether she wants to keep ITCs or convert them into cash.

Want to learn a language – Italki is what you definitely should try!

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