Disclaimer: I received free sessions of italki lessons in Arabic and I was compensated for my time. The links included are referral links. If you purchase lessons through these links, we’ll get more italki credits which would be very exciting! This review is an honest assessment of the program based on my experience.
This summer we had the opportunity to learn Arabic from a native speaker in Egypt. Ethan took Arabic lessons last spring at our homeschool co-op and he has been eager to continue his studies. So, I jumped at the chance to try out this online language learning program. italki is an online community where people can engage in private language instruction. There are many languages to choose from and you get to choose a professional teacher within that language group.
Using italki & Technology to Teach Foreign Languages in Your Homeschool
- italki allows you to meet a teacher and schedule lesson times using their online calendar. You can see your instructor’s schedule online and it’s very easy to choose the times they are available.
- italki will remind you two hours before the lesson begins that your lesson will be that day.
- Lessons are one on one and take place over Skype.
- The teacher is well versed in technology and easily shared her electronic files like Power Points and Microsoft Word documents with us over Skype.
- Our teacher has been very professional and is not phased by the occasional screen freeze. When we hit a glitch, which has been rare, we have the files on our computer as well and we continue to talk through the lesson that way if necessary.
- You can choose the professional language lessons or language tutoring if you are already taking lessons and want more conversation and practice.
italki allows You to Homeschool a Foreign Language Online Safely with a Native Speaker
- Lessons are one on one and italki suggests that parents listen in on the first lesson to help facilitate the kids on getting used to talking with a new person especially in an online format.
- Our teacher works through me to send Ethan emails with homework and new files. Then I pass them on to him. This is partly for me to keep track and partly to help communication go smoothly.
- You get to learn a language from someone who speaks the language natively all under your supervision. It’s been wonderful to take lessons from someone who speaks Arabic as her first language.
- You are able to choose the teacher from recommendations and profiles on italki. They are very quick to help you find the teacher who is right for you.
- italki teachers are professionals from around the world and you can see their credentials if you’d like.
- After each session you are able to leave feedback for your teacher– you’ll also get to list what you learned in the lesson which helps the students to remember what they’ve gone over.
Enjoy Excellent Homeschool Arabic Instruction through italki
- We set up a Skype meeting via messaging on italki just to meet one another and for our teacher to assess Ethan’s skills before he would really get started. He’d had ten lessons a year earlier and had not revisited any Arabic prior to meeting with her. Surprisingly, he remembered well and she was able to choose materials for him according to what she heard that day. This did not cost us any ITC credits (the italki currency).
- Our teacher chose materials based on where she thought Ethan should start. He’s started by reviewing the alphabet and has moved on to greetings and then reading and writing only in Arabic over the last 5 sessions.
- She assigns homework for him after every lesson. Ethan does the work and scans it and I email it off to her.
- Our teacher is very complimentary of his work both during the session and in written feedback after each one.
- She will often do recordings of herself speaking the things Ethan is supposed to practice so he can hear how it is supposed to sound. Each recording relates to the topic of the lesson for the day.
- The instructional materials are well organized and very professional in their appearance. The cost of the materials that we are using are part of the italki price. We haven’t had to purchase anything while taking these language lessons.
When you register and make a purchase at italki, you will receive an additional $10 USD worth of language credits. The credits can be used to take lessons with any teacher on italki.
This offer is only good through September 15, 2013 and is available to new italki users. If you have any questions about the offer, you can contact italki at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love to see some friendly faces in the homeschool area of italki. Come and join us!
Other Ways to Follow Along & Connect with italki
- On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italkilanguages
- On Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105416793968438784381
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/italki
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/italki/
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/italkilanguages
italki is a Real Option for Home-based Language Learning
I’m excited about using italki in our homeschool. Ethan is taking Arabic as part of his sophomore year of high school. He seems to have a knack for languages and he looks forward to all of his sessions of Arabic.
- italki allows me to purchase packages as we go so that we don’t have to lay out the fees all at once.
- We can explore a language and then switch it up. You don’t have to commit an entire year to one language if you are in the exploration phase.
- The lessons are one on one so you aren’t sharing teacher time with other online students.
- Lessons are 45-60 minutes long depending on the package you purchase.
- You schedule the lessons– so you are not tied in to when a class is offered. It can be different week to week based on your availability.
- Flexibility is important when working with a native speaker from another part of the world. Our teacher lives in Egypt and given the headlines of late, it is no surprise that some days she does not have internet. When that happens, we simply schedule another lesson to the package.
- Cultural lessons are learned through italki sessions– while scheduling some Arabic lessons we had to work around some holidays important to our teacher.
- There’s a place for Questions and Answers if you have a question regarding your homework that you want to address to the community of learners.
- The Notebook page lets you look at notebook entries made by other users. This where you get to write in the language you are learning and see if it’s correct. You can also edit the writing of others.
The cost for italki is $10 for on ITC credit. Classes are purchased through ITC credits. Each instructor has their fee on their scheduling page. The fee includes your teacher’s undivided attention and the course materials.
Ethan is looking forward to a great language instruction year with italki. We looked at other online foreign language options, but italki is a great fit with the individualized attention and the materials suited to his level. We love the flexibility and the professionalism of the program and our teacher. I encourage you to try out italki for your homeschool foreign language needs.