Parents, we know you have many questions about how your children can learn a language online. Below are 5 Frequently Asked Questions and 5 Tips to help you and your child have the best experience on italki.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can my child have their own italki account?
No -- italki requires account owners to be at least 18 years old. italki is a platform where you can arrange language lessons for your children. This means you will be responsible for payments, scheduling, and communication with your child’s teacher. You are the user of the website and mobile app, and any online activity done with your child should be monitored by you. This is the best way to ensure your child has a safe and positive experience.
We have more tips on digital safety here: Parent’s your guide to digital safety on italki
2. How do I choose a teacher for my child?
Finding the right teacher can be daunting, but luckily italki is here to help! The main tool is our teacher search. Start by choosing the language you want to learn. For beginners, we also suggest looking for teachers that can speak a language that your child speaks. Most importantly, select "Kids" as a lesson category. This will filter the list to those teachers with experience teaching younger learners. You can also search for keywords such as "Kids Homework tutor", "Kids Conversation", etc. All of this should help you find your child's perfect match.
3. How can I help my child learn a language that I don’t know?
It is okay to not know the language your child is learning! Professional teachers on italki should be experienced with learners starting from zero. We also think it is important to be a good role model for your child -- be curious, open to making mistakes, and interested in learning how to learn. If your child is struggling with making progress, please know that this is totally natural and part of the learning process. You can also communicate with their teacher to learn more about how to be supportive if your child is struggling.
4. How much time should my child spend studying outside of class?
Every child is different, and this can also depend on the child's age, language level, educational goals, schedule, workload, and personal situation. There is research that states there are benefits for children practicing their second language for 15-20 minutes a day. In general, the more a child practices, the faster they will make progress on a language. However, this should be balanced against overwork and burnout.
5. How can I connect to other parents and study groups for my child?
On italki’s community, users can connect and message each other. You can reach out to other parents to share experiences using italki and discuss how best to help your child learn a language. Remember that you are the account owner and not the child. As always, please be careful about sharing personal information and practice good digital safety.
Tips for Learning:
1. Establish a routine for learning!
Creating good learning habits is important for your child's overall development. With italki’s booking feature, you can create a consistent schedule by scheduling lessons at similar times each week. A routine can help a learner to make steady progress over time.
2. Stay in touch with the teacher!
Communicate periodically with your child’s teacher. Ask them questions, follow up on your child's progress, and bring up any concerns. Teachers should communicate with you regularly, but parents should also reach out if something is unclear. Also, please be respectful of your teacher's time. They may be very busy and may need time to respond.
3. Choose a good place to learn!
Having a dedicated location for class can help your child feel comfortable and productive in class. Changing locations is possible with online classes, but moving can make it harder for the teacher to keep the child-focused on learning. Make sure an adult is nearby, and able to monitor the class ("keeping the door open"). Please practice good digital safety.
4. Provide positive feedback!
Motivation is important in anything we do as children and as adults. In an offline environment, children would receive praise and motivation from their peers as well as their teachers. In an online environment, it's important to try to bring the same positive energy. Remember to celebrate small achievements and praise good efforts from your child.
5. Help the learner take charge of their own learning!
Over time, we think learners should take charge of their own learning. We believe the more a student is able to direct their learning, the more likely they will find things that interest them. This does not mean there will not be times when motivation is low and studying is a struggle -- that is expected! Remember to be supportive, and understand that learning is a lifelong endeavor.