“Hablo espanol un poco,” is a phrase that has been a constant reminder of my failure to become fluent in Spanish. Learning Spanish has always been an item on my bucket list. I was envious of my bilingual friends who spoke Spanish because I did not wish to be left out of their conversations. In my opinion, Spanish has always sounded like beautiful music and I was determined to learn this “song.” I took Spanish all throughout high school and when I went to college I allowed my frustration to get the best of me (I felt I wasn’t learning the language fast enough) and stopped studying.
Several years after graduating from college, I still felt guilty for not mastering Spanish. It’s that item on my bucket list that has been haunting me for years. However, I made the decision to stop allowing it to taunt me and to get serious about crossing Spanish off of my list. I signed up for classes at a local university, but quickly realized I needed the opportunity to practice speaking more.
I went to a couple Spanish meetup groups, but I never really felt comfortable speaking. Attending these meetups often made me feel like I had entered a scene from the Hunger Games. We all shared the same desire to practice Spanish, but there were so many people to compete against in order to get involved in a conversation. Clearly the odds were not in my favor because I did not have the tenacity Katniss possessed, so I gave up on the meetup groups and decided to pursue online private tutoring.
Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am that I stumbled across a Mashable article that mentioned italki. I always thought private tutoring was going to cost me an arm and a leg, but that was not the case. Italki enables you the opportunity to effectively select teachers/tutors who can help you achieve your language goals within a reasonable budget. I like being able to not only read the biography of your potential teacher/tutor, but you can also view their video as well. In my opinion, the videos allow you the opportunity to really get a sense of their personality so you can see if you are both on the same page.
You don’t have to worry about being cheated because the teachers/tutors on this site are incredibly friendly and professional and the classes are guaranteed. Italki allowed me the ability to connect with two AMAZING Spanish teachers who have been a tremendous help in me make a HUGE dent in my endeavor to learn Spanish. I am able to take classes via Skype during times which work best with my schedule (evenings and weekends) and this would not that have been possible without italki.
Not only has italki put me in a position to finally cross Spanish off of my bucket list, but it has also helped me add a new goal to my list. I want to become a teacher. I have tutored people from all over the world (online and offline) and my sessions usually end with people encouraging me to become a teacher once they discover that I am not one. I thoroughly enjoy helping people and have always been told that I am really good at explaining complex concepts, so I finally decided to take the leap and pursue a career in teaching. Italki has not only played a significant role in helping me achieve my goal to master Spanish, but also to pursue a new career which will put me in a position to pay it forward and help someone cross English off of their bucket list.
Tosha joined italki in December 2013 and is also providing English lessons as a teacher on italki