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Hello experienced italk-ers,
I'm super excited to be on italki learning Spanish and Thai and helping others out with their English. I expected to have trouble finding partners because English is so common, but I've already met an overwhelming number of people to practice with in just a few days.
Personally, if I decide to be someone's partner, then that means I truly want to help correct his/her written English and chat in both languages either in writing or via Skype. I can't possibly keep up with hundreds of people, so I've kept my "following" list to about thirty. Every time I've ignored a request, though, I've felt a twinge of guilt. Maybe it's because I am actually a teacher in my real job; wanting to help everyone is just a part of who I am.
So, I'm curious... How do you do it? Do you accept everyone as your partner? Do you try to keep to a maximum limit like I'm trying to do? Do you just accept that having a big list of people you're following means you won't get around to helping everyone on your list?
I'm benefitting a lot from the corrections people have given me in Spanish and Thai, and I want to make sure I'm a positive force in this community, too.
I definitely don't know how many are too many but I can tell you one thing - When I try to be friend with someone who already has many friends, these become my friends but often don't answer my messages, especially if they are women who are overwhelmed with requests. If they don't answer me I no longer follow them and I try to keep those who answer me.
It's certainly difficult to keep many friends and to look after friendship, isn't it?
All the best!
Wow! I like this question. I've recently started an Italki account thinking I wouldn't find/have that many language partners as well. It's amazing how wrong I was.
This site is huge, and although you might not have accepted a language partner request, there's probably a chance that him or her already has someone helping. If not, there are plenty of other ways someone without a language partner can still receive help. Writing a journal, asking a question on the questions (answers tab) page, the English Skype group, (never tried, looks good though) or participating in certain discussions. English is common here, so I'm sure someone will be able to correct and answer the journals and questions.
I'm going to answer your questions now:
1. Do you accept everyone as a partner?
I do not accept everyone as a language partner. If the partner request is well written, and asking for help, then I'm more likely to accept. Typo's are ok, because I know English can be tough. It's the effort that matters to me.
2. Do you try to keep a maximum limit?
I'm going to limit my partner number as well, and when one partner get's extremely well, I'll send a message to the next person asking if he/she still would like to be partners and take it from there.
3. Do you accept that having a big list of people you're following means you won't get around to helping everyone on your list?
I like being personal. I don't want a large number of partners, because I want to get to know and help everyone! :)
I'm going to take this last bit to say that the people you're helping are benefiting immensely. The people you will help afterwards will benefit from you too. It's ok to feel a twinge of guilt, because you want to help anyone that asks for your help. But just know that he/she has other resources at their disposal on this site, and will still receive help.
I think that meeting for 1 hour appointments each week, demonstrates that more than 15 partners each weak is on the border of too much.
I have had as many as about 30 or more students each weak, but it gradually wears a person down to keep all those appointments.
Currently, I have about 15 students, and it is just about right. Several of those I am able to work with for more than 1 hour each week. These I students who demonstrate a total committment to study and learning.
Hi Mazie and all, I'm glad i found this place where there are people like you who are sincerely help other people to learn. I hope i can find someone like you too soon to become my partner.
Oops, i'm sorry i mistyped your name. What i mean is mezzie, not mazie. Already sleepy so it's hard to concentrate. I think i better go to sleep now. Good night everyone..