Conrad shares with us his enthusiastic opinion about the italki website, and as a Japanese and Hebrew learner he can give you some insight on how to start out with those two amazing languages.
Conrad has been a member of italki since August 2015.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, My name is Conrad, and I live in Texas. I play ultimate frisbee, video games, and watch a lot of anime when I’m not at work. I live with 2 brothers and 2 sisters as well as my parents.
How did you find out about italki?
I found out about italki through youtube. I was watching my favorite Japanese Youtuber, Abroad In Japan, and he advertised a website called italki. It was talked about on a bunch of his videos, so I decided to look into it. My first actual italki lesson was interesting because I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a 30 minute lesson on Hebrew with a guy in Israel. I felt like I kinda had to just fill time, but later on realized that I had discovered something amazing. This guy could really answer all your questions.
What skepticism did you initially have about italki and how was it erased?
Truth be told, I thought it was a wash. I thought I’d be paying a bunch of money to get crap results. But I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case.
What benefit did you derive from italki as a student and why do you love italki?
I derive different benefits from different teachers. I’ve currently had to cut back to a couple teachers, but 2 months ago, I had 4 Japanese teachers! It was just fun to speak with them. I love italki because, no lie, it’s an easy to use massive hub for language learning. The articles for Japanese make me giddy, and I don’t say giddy very often.
What would you say to a friend and/or student who needs italki’s language learning services but is reluctant to sign on?
If you actually want or need to learn another language, you need 2 things. 1, is flash cards. Memorizing vocab is essential. 2, you need a teacher. italki is designed perfectly to fit all your needs. You can find cool people who WANT to talk to you. You can submit journal entries and get corrections usually within 24 hours. (both of those are free). And you also get someone who can answer potentially any question you have, and EXPLAIN it. Very few things are worth investing in. italki is one of them.
Can you talk about the effectiveness of tutoring via SKYPE?
It’s great. Skype is free, powerful, and simple. I use my webcam with half of my teachers. The other half I use audio. I have the Ecamm recorder so I can listen to my teachers explain things over and over again.
Do you have any suggestions for teachers and/or students who want to teach and/or learn a language on italki?
Look, most teachers charge less than $12 for an hour. But guess what, you can opt for 45 or 30 min sessions. So you don’t have to invest a whole hour, and you can save money and time. Using flashcards (free) and a tutor (cheap) is a very powerful combination that WILL work if you use them consistently. If you slow down on your cards, you will start to forget your vocab, and if you go too long without your tutor they may forget where your are with your language progress. Teachers, go ahead. If you’re serious about helping people and have a flexible schedule, you can do a great service to the world. Who knows, maybe you’ll teach English to the next head of a major industry!