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Detti Daku
Community Tutor
Self study and the difficulty of speaking -language partners and writing a language learning diary
Hi everyone!

I am learning Italian at the moment by self-study.At this point I can understand quite a lot when listening to the language or reading it,however expressing myself,well I find that really difficult.

I tried a few apps to find language partners but I can't really seem to get my success there yet.
Do you have any tips on how to find and maintain good language partner relationships?

I am also thinking about starting a diary in Italian,to express things without having anyone to speak to.Do you have any tips or experience on that?

Or just any other tips how to get through the difficulty of speaking when learning a language on your own?

Thank you!
Apr 27, 2020 5:15 PM
Comments · 13
If you can already understand well what is said to you, you are already halfway there. I still have difficulty understanding Italian unless it is spoken very slowly.

Writing a diary will give you practice in using the language, and you could record yourself reading it out loud on one of the online apps. If you can find an Italian partner to listen to it they may be able to give you feedback. I practise by speaking to myself, reading whatever comes to hand : notebook entries, etc. ; it's not ideal, but it's better than not speaking at all, and I like to think I'm improving.

I get a lot of language partner requests from Italians, but feel I have to decline them as my level is still too low to be able to hold a conversation. If you can afford a community tutor [they are usually cheaper than professional teachers] this would give you an opportunity to practise and get help and feedback. There are quite a few on this site for $10 or less, and I find that 30 minutes is as much as I can manage in a session.

In bocca al lupo !
April 27, 2020
Thank you everyone for your comments, I found them very useful.

I will carry on having lessons on here,and work on my profile.
Rui,probably you are right having a language partner is probably beneficial when both have a good level.

I will also give a try to the journal,but probably instead of writing I will record myself speaking.

Have a lovely day eveyone:)
May 1, 2020
Hi Dakudetti, I'm Beatrice and I'm an italian teacher. In my opinion you should firtsly continue to study on italki, because talking with a teacher is the best way to learn a lenguage. Secondly you should look tv series/videos/movies in italian and finally you have to do some exerices autonomously. If you need some help I would be glad to help you! If you book a lesson or write me privately I could help you talking and sendig you tools to improve your knowledge about the Italian.
April 28, 2020

I can relate to your struggle with my own Italian learning journey. However, I was very fortunate early on to have found a language exchange partner and now very good friend. Even though I agree with Margherita that utilizing the tutors on iTalki is a great start (especially because so many are very affordable) here is my advice for finding a language partner:

  1. Work on your iTalki profile. Add that you are looking for a language partner and maybe some details about yourself.
  2. Continue writing Notebook entries for Italian natives to correct. (That's how I met my language exchange partner)
  3. Be sure to respond to corrections and comments to start relationships.

I hope that helps. I'm sure you'll find your way. Above all else, keep trying and at the very least talking to yourself in Italian :). I feel weird doing it, but do it all the time.
April 27, 2020
I have lots of thoughts about this as well, especially because I'm one of the bad language partners (especially when the partner is in another time zone). I feel like language partners are most useful when you're both at quite a high level, but the most important thing is that they are willing to be patient with you and you are willing to be patient with them and actually conduct language exchange rather than just focus on improving your own language. For German, which is the only foreign language I can converse in, many native speakers already know English and thus I cannot provide anything for a language exchange, so I'm grateful I have the financial means to pay for some conversational practise. Additionally, I have a friend who is a native German who speaks with me in German, but at that point it's not language exchange, it's just a friend who happens to speak your target language HAHA. You're lucky in that you speak "rarer" languages, so perhaps a language exchange is still possible. I haven't tried this yet (but once I FINALLY submit my essays) I'll be suggesting to my language partners for Chinese that we set aside a specific time to concentrate on Chinese, and then another half to concentrate on English.

I tried language diaries, but I don't find physical ones very useful because I recieve no input. I actually really like the format here on iTalki, because you can submit your Notebooks and most of the time people are kind enough to correct them! I've also always found the idea of using videos as speaking practice very useful, like posting videos speaking your target language, but I wish there was some specific language-learning video-posting platform. YouTube is too scary HAHA
April 27, 2020
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Detti Daku
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