Using Skype to Learn a Foreign Language: My Experience with italki

I have spent years dabbling at learning a foreign language, with limited success.  I am pretty good at remembering vocabulary but have extreme difficulty in using it.  I tend to get flustered and second guess myself.  I also don’t really practice Spanish by talking to someone daily in my target language as life often gets in the way.  That changed when I recently discovered the italki website.

italki is the website that I wrote about in my last blog post on using Skype to learn.  The purpose of italki is to serve as an interface to connect those who want to learn a language to others who either teach the language, or to those who want to practice speaking a language with a “friend”.  Kind of like a live video pen pal.  Watch the following video from the italki website for more information.


Last night I completed my very first Spanish lesson using Skype.  It was an interesting and fun experience and I was surprised at how fast the 30 minutes went.  (My first lesson was only 30 minutes long as italki offers new member 3 low cost trial sessions with any teacher.  My fee for 30 minutes was only $4.)  What surprised me even more was how by the end of 30 minutes I was starting to think in Spanish and could understand more of what the teacher was saying without  resorting to the instant chat feature where he was also typing what he was saying.

I really liked my teacher and plan to schedule more sessions when he becomes available again in August. In the meantime I plan to use my two other trial sessions to try other instructors.  One surprise I found was that I earned a free $10 worth of credits.  If you are interested in signing up for italki, by clicking on the italki links in my blog post, both you and I will receive a $10 credit if you sign up and pay an initial $10.  Not too bad!

I am more excited about learning a language than I have ever been and hope to be fairly fluent in Spanish by next summer.  If you have any questions about my experience, post them in the comments below.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: WWW as the New Teacher 7-A-1 | Between Knowledge and Ignorance

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