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Hannah
I Want GROUP DISCUSSION Back

There used to be, two years or so ago, group discussion on italki, where strangers or new learners could meet and started coversation. It was beneficial for long-term friendship building and it also cultivated good atmosphere for practicing foreign languages. There were several groups, devided by languages, like English, German, Russian...

 

However, italki cancelled it. I don't know why and I need a reason.

 

I really miss it.

Dec 15, 2014 5:52 AM
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 Also,  you mentioned your requests,  in which you  indicated that you wanted to find "friends".

 

    As a general rule,  I avoid  responding to persons  who indicate that they are seeking "friends".

It is not that there is a misunderstanding about the idea of friendship, but I find that   most serious students of English,  indicate that they want to learn English,  without mention of seeking friends.

 

   So as a general rule, when someone writes that they are seeking friends,  I just do not respond.

I will respond to someone who indicates basically,  that they want to practice English or improve their English skills.

 

     At the same time,  I have rarely met a student who I did not regard as a friend.  Some of my students have studied  with me for as long as 2 years  and  more.  

 

 

December 15, 2014

There used to be, roughly two years or so ago, group discussion on italki, where strangers or new learners could meet and started coversations. It was beneficial for long-term friendship building and it also cultivated good atmosphere for practicing foreign languages. There were several groups, deivided by languages,; like English, German, Russian...

However, italki cancelled it. I don't know why and I need a reason.

I really miss it.

December 15, 2014

   Finally, I would add that   many groups can be created,  and just as quickly fail, because  the person  hosting the group  has no  plan  as to specific structure or study material which serves for the subject of discussion.

 

 This also pertains the difficulty with seeking friends.  After the initial introductions are made, and each person  talks about What---They---Like or What--They--Do--Not---Like,   there is little to hold a group together.

 

       There is a saying  in the United States, and it goes like this:

 

   "Your adversary  has become your teacher."     [Actually, in its original form,  because it is very ancient,  reads like this:  "Thine adversary  is become thy instructor.";  but I simplified it.]

 

  The point being,  when a person is serious about learning something,  they will learn from anyone, even someone who is not their "friend".  In fact,  some of the best study relationships are with personalities that are an "adversary".  You can at least trust an adversary   to be just as they are.

A person  who can only learn,  in  a  relationship  of "friendship"  may be depriving themselves of a meaningful study.

 

.

December 15, 2014

  Hanna:

 

 Anyone can start a group  in Skype or other chat program and invite people to meet regularly.

 There are several obstacles.  First,  only a few people an  fit into any WebCam type chat software function.  I think that  a  Host   and perhaps 4 people is ideal.  So there is nothing to prevent you from starting or joining a group like that.  With some announcement of your interest, you might find  a Native Speaker to participate or host in  the group to assist you.  In fact,  just yesterday I posted a Notebook Entry which explains how to set up a group call on Skype.

 

    If you would like to do that,  it would only be necessary to publish  a discussion topic about once a week inviting  people to join, or to remind people that a group exists.

 

  It is a fact of Internet forums like this, that a great majority of people are  only "Lurkers". It means that they hang around,  and visit,  but usally never bother to read anything but their own  discussions and questions, and thus they have a very narrow spectrum from which to learn.

 

  A wise student would read as many Discussion Topics and Answers as possible to see how the  "system" works,  in which people negotiate for Language Practice Partners and assitance with language study.

 

   One of the surest ways for any person to be unsuccessful in finding people to practice with in a group or with an individual, is to post  very little.  In such a case, those who might help,  just do not get to know  who can be helped.

 

.

December 15, 2014

Hi Elijah, nice to meet you. Thanks for your correction! I don't find the reply button here. I'm not sure if you can see my answer.

It was fun here before with group discussions, so I made a lot of friends naturally. I talked with them, got to know them, so added them finally. Then it was cancelled. I REALLY DON'T GET IT. As a result, making friends here has become more difficult. I had to look for people according to some criteria, and asked them to friend me. That's not cool! Later on, even the number of new friends adding was limited! ╮(╯▽╰)╭ So as you can see, I left here for a long time...

 

I came back because italki had sent me an Email, which reminded me of the time here with group discussion.

 

I don't know where to send complaints/feedbacks to them... So I hope they can see the topic here.

 

Btw, I don't think less participation leads to no group discussion. On the contrary, group discussion will bring more people here. Some of my good friends also leave because of the same reason as me.

 

December 15, 2014
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Hannah
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, French, German, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Cantonese), English, French, German, Spanish