My thoughts on Italki

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I think it’s my first time doing a review on whatever I used until now, but I decided to talk about my experience with Italki because it really became my new way of learning and connecting with people.

For those of you who might not be acquainted with Italki, let me tell you what they do. Italki is one of the biggest and most famous platforms for learning languages. It is mostly used for talking to natives and learning through the most natural way: conversation. However, you can still find teachers who will teach you the basics like the alphabet if you learn a language that uses a different writing system, grammar and some even have lessons that will help you prepare for international exams.

What I really like about Italki is the plethora of languages they cover, and the fact that you can find a great number of native speakers to start practicing the language you want to learn or improve your skills in.

At Italki, there are two types of teachers. There are professional teachers who have a teaching certificate and have a lot of experience (they usually have bigger prices, but this is not a general rule), and there are the community tutors, the ones I started working with, and who don’t have a teaching certificate, but they might have a lot of experience in teaching (they usually have smaller prices, but again, this is not a rule). The reason I chose a community tutor is because I really want to learn in a very informal way, and to also benefit from speaking to people I don’t know, a skill I personally wanted to develop. I discovered that I remember vocabulary easier when having informal and random conversations because I am genuinely interested in the subject and it is easier to learn when I enjoy it.

Every teacher on Italki has to upload a video containing a self-introduction part and some details about how they’re going to organize their classes in order for you to have a better idea on the teaching style and the person you are going to work with. You can also check the schedule of your teacher (every teacher has the right to choose their schedule as they see fit), and choose a person who has a schedule that might be suitable for you. For example, as I have more free time during the weekends, I look for teachers who work during the weekends.

As a student, you have 3 trial lessons which means that you can try at a lower price 3 lessons from 3 different teachers in order to decide which one is the most suitable to your learning style. Also, as a student, you will pay a small commission to Italki, a fee that will be calculated at checkout, after booking the lesson you want.

I love the fact that you can book each lesson separately for a specific day and hour that are suitable to you. Rather than booking a whole course or module, you can book one lesson at a time, a feature that give students freedom to book lessons according to their own schedule.

Italki has its own teaching platform, Italki classroom, but teachers are free to use other platforms like Zoom for example.

I started using Italki as a challenge to improve my speaking in other languages and I already fell in love with this platform. Currently, I only use Italki for improving my Korean, as Korean is the language I lack the most in ( in Japanese I am still a beginner and I am still in the first phase, that of learning the alphabet and reading simple texts). I have completed 5 lessons in Korean from the end of August until now, and I tried working with two tutors.

I still need to figure out how to organize my time better in order to benefit 100% from these lessons, because it is very important to review the vocabulary learnt in classes on your own as well. By the way, if you are interested in more articles about Korean, you might want to also check out My Little Forest is learning Korean or this one which will provide you with some great sources of inspiration.

As a conclusion, Italki is for me a great tool for improving my language skills and my conversation skills too, because personally, I find that Italki is also a great place to connect with beautiful and intelligent people and have very interesting and meaningful conversations.

I hope that you found this article interesting and thank you for always coming back here and reading my stories. Have a great weekend and warm days ahead.

My Little Forest is learning Korean

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I talked in a previous article about Little Forest, about how important it is to find a space where to feel secure, peaceful and loved. I believe we are always in search for such a place . Some find it faster than others, but every journey is different. I hope you can all find your own Little Forest and be happy.

I think I found my Little Forest. I think I found it a while ago, but I did just not know it. My Little Forest is in all the little things that make me happy and peaceful. Actually today’s article was not even planned, but I had this sudden thought while studying Korean that I was in my Little Forest and I felt happy, my mind was at peace. I felt I was doing my best for my growth and that I was following my dream.

I love learning languages, this is one of my biggest passions, and it is my long term project, but the connection I have with Korean is different. I spend more time learning Korean that I spend learning any other language . Korean is a part of me, and it became my safe place, a place I feel happy and free to be me, my Little Forest.

As frustrating as it can get because I am still lacking, I enjoy the process and I appreciate my evolution and the effort I put into becoming better every day. Studying Korean does not feel like something I must do. Though I have some objectives and to do lists even for studying and I take time in organizing my time for study and reading, it never feels like a task. This is because I love any activity that involves Korean and I don’t put pressure on myself. I don’t have a destination. I just know that I want to keep travelling. I just focus on the process and the happiness that comes with every experience.

I am grateful that I still love Korean even after many hard times, I am grateful for my Korean friends who had the patience and kindness to teach me and correct me when I needed. I am grateful for being lucky enough to have access to education and facilities that made my journey possible and made me into who I am today. I am grateful to have met beautiful people and experienced a new and fascinating culture, a culture that speaks to me and keeps me wanting to learn more and more. I am grateful to have found something that I can love this much, this passion being my motivation, the reason I work harder and harder.

My Little Forest is learning Korean and about Korean things, it is something I love. One’s Little Forest can be a physical place, one’s room, one’s family, one’s special person, one’s career , one’s passion or activity they love without reason. You got the idea, whatever makes you feel the sparkle. Have you found your Little Forest yet? If not, keep searching, you will definitely find it.

This is my story for today. Thank you for reading, I am always grateful to you, the people I don’t know and the people who don’t know me but take their time to read my thoughts. I hope you are safe and happy. Sunny days! 🙂

Why you should keep a journal in another language

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As fun and healing journaling can been, you can use the benefits of journaling in more ways than you would have thought. While keeping a journal is totally a person’s decision, you might be tempted to try this method as a way of practicing a language you want to learn.

My sister told me the other days that I used to keep journals since childhood. I think I started to keep a journal when I was 14. I started to write the things I couldn’t discuss with other people, to write my worries and the things I was proud of. I kept that journal for a few months until I got into high-school. Then a new period began and I started writing a new journal. Why? Because it was mostly about my days in high-school and about the guy I had a crush on. And because I wrote only cheesy stuff the way teenagers do, I wrote it in English because I was afraid my younger sisters would find it. You know, when you have younger sisters or brothers, your things are not really yours :))

No matter how cheesy that journal was, it was my first journal written in another language and I was proud that I could do that. I had a precedent. My next journal, the one I started writing during my university years, was written in Korean because I really wanted to learn the language and I did everything I could to become better at it. I have realized that journaling in another language is a very powerful method when learning a new language.

Now I have 2 journals, one in English, a regular one, and one in Korean, a general one. I can’t give up on any of them because they are that helpful in many ways. In English I write not only for practice but also because I am more advanced than in Korean and I also feel more comfortable than I do in my mother tongue. I used to read my old journals from time to time in order to check how much I improved, how I felt then, how I dealt with different people or situations in the past. But keeping journals in different languages made me realize that my language skills were improving too. Sometimes, when I feel discouraged that I am not doing a lot better with Korean, I pick my old Korean journal and start reading. I can easily see how much I have improved and it gives me hope and a positive feeling.

No matter how I look at it, journaling gives me joy and a sense of achievement. And it’s also fun.

I want to hear from you. Have you ever used journaling in another language as a tool to practice and improve that language? Share with me your stories and thoughts on this.

As always stay safe and positive and I’ll see you around.