This month: Reddit became a platform for strong debates about language learning. When the iTalki tutoring platform popped up in the discussion, students started sharing their hot takes on when it’s best to switch the chosen tutors. The question of using Duolingo also got raised and many learners contrasted it with immersion in the particular language sharing their own experiences. In the end, it came to the possibility of using online tutoring platforms like Preply and iTalki to acquire new languages and the best way of benefiting from these websites.

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If you are not into reading the news but still want to stay updated on the latest trends in language learning, A*Help got you covered. We collect all the juiciest and most discussed topics to form a monthly digest to keep you posted on what’s happening in the world of linguistic acquisition. We are determined to give you the most valuable pieces so you don’t waste your time on irrelevant information. On top of that, this news summary can be useful in showing you how to harvest opportunities for more efficient language studying.

Knowing When It’s Time to Change Your iTalki Tutor

Apr 9, 2023

Knowing When It’s Time to Change Your iTalki Tutor

Some people may find it hard to start language learning on their own and that’s when hiring a tutor might be the perfect solution. And if you didn’t know where to start looking for that, Reddit users could tell you all about it, starting with the recommendation of iTalki and a few tips on how to know when you should change your hired tutor for another one.

Students provided insights on factors such as teaching style compatibility, lack of progress, insufficient personalization, unprofessional behavior, and feeling uncomfortable. The need for a fresh perspective, trusting your gut, tutor enthusiasm, uneven tutor-student dynamics, outgrowing your tutor, and aligning goals with a tutor’s expertise was also mentioned as important considerations. What everything came down to was that making a change in tutor may be necessary for a successful language learning journey and that there was no place for hesitation, especially if this step could allow you to receive some benefits.

Duolingo vs. Immersion: The Great Language Learning Debate

Apr 18, 2023

Duolingo vs. Immersion: The Great Language Learning Debate

Language learning apps, especially Duolingo, have recently seen a spike in popularity. But could they be considered coherent options or should students opt for a complete immersion in language acquisition? A discussion on Reddit had some answers. 

While Duolingo supporters argued that the app was an excellent tool for beginners to build a foundation, proponents of immersion stressed the importance of real-life exposure to the target language. Many users suggested a balanced approach, combining Duolingo with immersion and other resources like podcasts, books, and language websites. Factors like motivation, time commitment, and personal preferences played a significant role in choosing the right method. Ultimately, persistence and a willingness to explore new approaches were key to successful language learning.

Mastering Language Learning with Preply and iTalki: Insider Tips and Strategies

Apr 23, 2023

Mastering Language Learning with Preply and iTalki: Insider Tips and Strategies

iTalki vs Preply – tutoring platforms that, as of recently, have been gaining much popularity. Yet, to successfully utilize them for language learning, some tricks should be taken into account. Luckily students were generous to share their insider tips on how to make the most of the tutoring experience. 

Main recommendations included starting lessons early, investing time, utilizing tutors for conversation practice, trying multiple tutors, supporting tutors, and being patient. Preply was praised for its flexibility and the option to take trial lessons, while iTalki was highlighted for its low-pressure environment, community features, and Language Partner feature. Combining conversation practice with structured lessons and using both platforms to learn multiple languages simultaneously were also recommended. By following these tips and strategies, language learners could improve their online learning experience and achieve their linguistic goals.

TOEFL Exam Duration Cut by an Hour in Response to Market Shifts and Competition from Duolingo

April 30, 2023

iTalki & Preply Tutoring, Duolingo & Immersion: Top Language Learning Stories of the Month

If you thought about taking TOEFL exam, but were scared that it would take too much of your time, you shouldn’t be anymore. The ETS (Educational Testing Service) made sure that it wouldn’t happen by reducing the duration of the test in a belief that this would help keep TOEFL’s competitive against the recently emerged Duolingo examination.

ETS faced growing competition from Duolingo’s one-hour English language proficiency test, which gained traction during the pandemic. In response, ETS announced adjustments to its TOEFL iBT test, shortening the duration to less than 2 hours, streamlining instructions and navigation, modernizing the writing task, shortening the reading section, and removing unscored test questions. The changes, which will not affect the TOEFL Essentials Test or the pricing for the TOEFL iBT, are set to take effect starting July 26, 2023. ETS representatives maintain that the TOEFL iBT offers a superior evaluation, but Duolingo representatives believe their test still holds advantages in terms of duration and acceptance by U.S. colleges.

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