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Miriam
How to italki - A beginner's guide
This is a post for new users who don't know how to navigate italki and what it has to offer.

1. What is italki?
It's first and foremost an online teacher marketplace where students can book one-on-one classes with professional teachers and tutors. Teachers have teaching certificates, tutors don't, so some of them only offer conversational classes, while others prepare classes like professional teachers.

2. How to become a teacher/tutor in italki?

3. Is italki an app or website?
Both. Currently there is an app for smart phones but it doesn't offer all features and information that the website does. The website looks different on computers and on phones. Also, currently (April 2019) there are two websites: the "classic" site (https://www.italki.com/) and the beta site (https://beta.italki.com/), which will replace the classic site in the future.

4. How can I learn languages on italki for free?
There are several features you can use for free: discussion, answers, notebook and language partner search. Please note that this is a community where people help each other. Don't only expect help but also offer help.
You can find infos about the community section here: https://support.italki.com/hc/en-us/categories/200405078-Community
Articles: Here you can read language learning related articles written by italki teachers: https://www.italki.com/articles
Discussions: This is the place where you can engage with other users in language and culture related discussions. Please note: teachers shouldn't use this section for promotion. If you post interesting language related discussions, then this will be a much better way of attracting new students then just an advertisement. Students shouldn't flood the discussion section with language partner requests. Otherwise all real discussions will be hard to find. https://www.italki.com/discussions
Answers: Here you can ask and answer language and culture related questions. https://www.italki.com/questions
Notebook: Here you can upload texts you wrote and receive corrections by native speakers. Also, it would be nice if you helped out other learners by correcting notebook entries in your mother tongue. This way you can also find potential language partners.
Language partner search: Here you can look for potential language partners. Before contacting a user, read their profile first and check if they're interested in language exchange and in your mother tongue and if they have been active lately. There are many accounts that haven't been used for months or years. Those users will probably not reply to your message. https://www.italki.com/partners

5. Nobody contacts me or replies to me! What am I doing wrong?
Check your profile:
- Provide a little introduction about yourself in your profile. Some users don't reply to empty profiles.
- Check if you set your contact permissions in your privacy settings to "anyone". If not, only friends can contact you. Since non-premium users can only send out two friend requests per day, you'll have less language partner requests when people can't send you private messages right away.
- Check if your language settings are correct. Do you display your native tongue and the levels in your target languages correctly?
- Check if your account has been deactivated: The italki spam filter might automatically block you when your messages appear to be spam or other users might report you, if they feel that your comments are inappropriate. To check if you're blocked, log out of italki and then visit your profile while being logged out. If your profile and/or your posts are inaccessible, contact the italki support to ask to reinstate you: https://support.italki.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Check the profiles/posts of potential partners:
- Do they indicate that they're interested in language exchange? Not everyone here wants to do language exchange but only wants to use the other features italki has to offer.
- Are they learners of your native tongue or interested in communicating with fellow learners of the same target language? If not, they might not reply.
- Do they have specific ideas on what kind of language partner they are looking for? If you don't fit the preferred profile (native speaker, gender, age, nationality ...), they might not reply.

Check your messages:
- Do you only write "hello" or "hi" when contacting other users? Many users won't reply to such messages. Tell them something about yourself in the first message, why you want to do language exchange with them and how you're planning to do it.

Read this discussion with more info about why it's difficult to find a language partner: https://www.italki.com/discussion/106909
Apr 12, 2019 9:44 AM
Comments · 70
Since I hit the character limit, I'm continuing here:

What can I use the italki points for?

Nothing. They just show the level of your activity. Users who have a high number of italki points are very active in the community and most likely are correcting a lot, since you receive most points by doing corrections.

Someone is harassing me or seems to be a scammer. What shall I do?
Block the user and report them to italki.

Please post further questions you might have here.

April 12, 2019
Thanks for writing this, Miriam. Now I do wish there were a way to get this pinned to the top. 
April 13, 2019
Yeah, it's a pity, that pinning isn't possible because italki just won't make a normal forum structure. But now, whenever someone posts "I'm new, how to use this app?", I'll just a post a link to this discussion. And I'll try to push it up from time to time.
April 13, 2019

@Samaneh

"in the Notebook section some people only want to correct the text of the target language, not the rest"

I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean some people only correct texts of other users who are native speakers of their target language? For instance, I'm a German and study Spanish and if I would only correct German texts of Spanish speakers, then that would be what you're describing?

I can say that for the German section, this isn't the case. Some German correctors just correct whatever text comes along, some only correct texts that are interesting and not too badly written. But I haven't seen any tendencies that some people get not corrected because of their nationality/mother tongue. I don't know how it works in the English section though. The thing is: correcting notebook entries is completely voluntary and as we have seen in other discussions, many users don't deem it necessary to even leave a simple thanks. So, as unfortunate it may be for the individual learner if their notebook entries don't get corrected, they can't raise a claim for being corrected. The best way to receive corrections is to write interesting texts with not too many spelling mistakes (because that means sloppiness and laziness) and also correct the texts of others. If I correct the texts of speakers of my target languages, they are very likely to also correct my texts.

Maybe I should write another guide: How to write and correct notebook entries.

April 16, 2019
The points can be interpreted as a kind of credibility statistic for a member - a measure of how active they are here in terms of notebook entries, corrections, questions, answers, posts and comments. I have an eye for numeric data, so I can think of another credibility statistic that's not immediately obvious. This is the simple "views to comments" ratio for a post.

In case of this post, the ratio is just above 20, which is on a pretty high side. Few posts ever exceed this. This will always be higher for a post written in English about English, though. For other languages, half of this (10) is a high number. But if someone gets around 5 or 6 for an English language post, their credibility isn't too high. While there may still be a good number of comments on such posts, they won't be high quality comments and people in general don't much care to read them.
January 13, 2020
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Miriam
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)