Many language learning services have been covered on this blog, and we are quite excited to see some of them are doing excellent job by using the web 2.0 concept and technology. ChinesePod introduced Podcast to learn Chinese; ECPod is using user generated videos for teaching everyday Chinese and English; Lexdex allows you to create flashcards from online textbook and users can even download the flashcards to mobile phone; Fluenz developed language learning software to emulate the one-on-one tutoring, and the software has its mobile version too. Also a language learning service, but italki.com has its own focus on this market.
italki.com, Shanghai based and privately funded start up was launched in December, 2006, has just released its new version several days ago. “italki now has over 200,000 users around the world and is growing briskly, and it has become one of the largest web sites in the language learning space. “, Kevin Chen, an advisor of italki.com told us.
italki is a language social network providing free language learning content. Unlike the traditional one-on-one education approach, italki is building an online community where any user can play two roles, tutor and learner. In italki, users can find language partners, post their foreign language questions which can be answered by other users, and join groups for language learning. The new version introduced a new feature called Knowledge which is basically a Wiki service. Now users can not only share the language learning materials they uploaded but also collaborate on creating free language learning textbooks by their own. So italki is building probably the largest Wiki for language learning content!
Although it is based in Shanghai, but italki has a global focus. italki web sites is available in 16 languages and covers almost all the popular languages. Eric Pang, the former GM of Marketing and Business Development at Beijing Sinopost Co., Ltd has just joined italki as President and COO. Eric will focus on expanding italki’s business and developing its international marketing. William Bao Bean, a partner at Softbank China & India holdings is also appointed to the Board of Directors. Kevin also told us a new Jabber-based chat function will be released soon, we just can not wait.