italki has been a part of my life for quite some time. According to my account, I’ve been a member since 2013.

To be honest, I don’t really remember when and how I heard about it. But I started using it pretty fast. I was amazed by how I could look for language partners there, ask questions, and have my notes corrected.

In this italki review, I’ll cover how the site can help you learn a new language quickly and effectively from the comfort of your own home.

Read on to learn more.

What is italki?

You can think of italki as a language portal.

It also works as a marketplace where teachers and students can interact with each other online. You can also meet language exchange partners, read useful articles, participate in or initiate discussions, ask questions, enter competitions, and have people correct your language practice.

All this makes italki an incredibly useful language resource.

Signing up with italki

It’s very easy to sign up with italki. You simply need to enter your name and add a photo. italki advises this should be your own photo and it’s best if it’s a headshot because this can help you seem more trustworthy.

Personally, I don’t really mind whether the person I exchange messages with has a real photo or an avatar. But some people do.

You should also list the languages you speak, and which languages you’re learning, together with what level you’re currently at with your language (A1-C2). You should also write a short introduction and say what you’re looking to gain from the italki service (professional lessons, language exchange etc.)

Ola: my italki profile
My italki profile

Professional teachers

You can find teachers for many different languages on italki. Of course, there are more teachers for more popular languages, but the rarer languages also have a good selection of teachers.

Prices vary. You can find italki teachers as cheap as $5 and up to $30. As a general rule, I would not recommend the cheapest teachers, but I’m sure there are some exceptions.

When looking for a teacher you should consider what you expect from them and what is your individual learning style. For example, I’m quite an independent learner, so I prefer to mostly study on my own and just use the lessons to troubleshoot any problems I encounter and to practice speaking. But some people actually prefer to have just regular lessons where everything is explained bit by bit.

Students give teachers reviews, and you can use these to make an informed decision. I also advise that you contact teachers before you hire them so you can explain exactly what you expect.

Language partners

The other great thing about italki is access to language exchange partners. The idea is that that you exchange languages, speaking your target language 50% of the time, and the other person’s target language 50% of the time.

My advice would be not to do this, if you’re a beginner in a language (unless you’re learning a language that it’s really similar to yours. For example, this worked really well for me with Russian, which is similar to my first language of Polish).

Clipart of different nationalities with flags  as speech bubbles representing the languages they speak.
italki allows you to connect to other language exchange partners

When I used language exchange partners for languages I was just starting out in, I found myself slipping too much into English, and because of that not practising enough. Professional teachers are more dedicated to making you practice your target language.

However, once you’re over your speaking block having an exchange partner is great. My italki language exchange partner for Spanish really helped me improve my speaking skills.

italki also allows for you to search for people based on location. I really liked that because it helped me find people in the places I was moving to. I’ve made some good friends this way, especially when I was learning Chinese.

Articles

You can also find there a lot of interesting articles about learning languages. These are mostly written by italki teachers and contain a lot of useful information.

Some example article excerpts: 4 Tips to Boost Your Confidence as a Beginner Language Student, 5 Ways to Improve Your Spanish Through Reading and Different Ways to Say Yes and No In English
Some example articles

Answers

This is another great service. You can ask any language related question and somebody will answer. Of course, it’s a good idea to make your questions as specific as possible.

I really like this feature. I found it especially helpful while trying to find out the differences between words that have a similar meaning.

You can also rate the best answer for your question, much like you do on Quora or Yahoo Answers.

Discussions

This is a place for discussion on any language-related subject. You can find out more about the culture of the different countries and many other things.

It’s a great place to hang out and be part of a community with other likeminded language users.

Notebook

The Notebook is probably my favourite thing about italki. You can write a few sentences in your target language and somebody will correct them for you.

You might find that people don’t correct every single mistake, as they’re doing this as a favor. But still, you can learn a lot from what they do correct.

Writing is always a very good thing to do in order to practice a language. You can also record yourself speaking your target language and ask for corrections, but I’ve never tried this.

Some Spanish text with corrections offered by italki users in red
Corrections on some text I wrote in Spanish

Premium membership

Any time you purchase italki credits you get awarded Premium membership for one year. Here’s the comparison from the italki website.

At the time of writing, you can send unlimited free messages, and get 2 friend requests, questions, notebook entries and discussions every day. italki gives you the ability an unlimited number of these, plus question and notebook highlighting a premium badge and a personal URL.

You automatically get premium access when you take lessons on italki and it’s useful to be able to send those messages while you’re looking for friends and language partners.

Competitions

italki also often has competitions when you give yourself a goal of doing a certain amount of hours in one month and you can get some prizes for it. You can get some free italki credit this way, which allows you to purchase language lessons.

Functions I would like

italki has the option of taking an English test to show your English level. I wish it had this for other languages as well. I personally find that tests like this help me with studying and it’s also really nice to know my language level.

To sum up, I think that italki is a great and a very useful webpage. It definitely helped me improve most of my languages and let me make some friends as well. If you sign up using this link you will get an extra $10 first time you make a purchase.

Signpost pointing in different directions to: English, Francais, Deutsch, Italiano, and  Espanol.
italki can be a great tool to aid your language learning

italki Review: Conclusion

Thank you for reading my italki Review. Have you ever used italki or any other language learning platform? How did it work for you?

If you liked this post then feel free to share it on social media using the buttons below. Doing so will help us grow so we can write more quality content on a regular basis.

Note: This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase some products, we may earn some money from the sale. This costs you nothing. Thank you for supporting Being a Nomad.

Like this post? Pin it!

print

Seeking more fulfilled travel?

Subscribe to get exclusive travel tips and stories every month.

Thank you. Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Something went wrong.

About Ola Jagielska

Ola Jagielska is an ESL teacher, language enthusiast and co-author of this blog. She speaks five languages and is striving for more. She loves traveling, reading and drinking good coffee.

Leave a Reply