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Is Italki Language Exchange Free and How Does it Work?

iTalki Language Exchange is a feature on iTalki that allows people to find language partners to learn a new language. iTalki’s first purpose was a social media platform for language learners to conversate with other people who spoke the language they were learning. iTalki’s goal shifted, but they still wanted to give their users a platform to continue conversations in various foreign languages. This is where the creation of the iTalki Language Exchange feature began.

What is iTalki Language Exchange?

italki free language exchange

The iTalki language exchange partner will assist each other with language skills, including speaking.  iTalki provides a platform where people can find each other to have a conversation in whatever language they wish to use. The conversation will take place on another platform, such as Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp, or Facebook.

Finding iTalki Language Partners

After creating a free online account with iTalki, you will fill in your profile. To find an iTalki Language Partner, go to the Community tab and click “Find Language Partners.”  Fill in the information for a language partner.  You first choose the language you want to learn and practice. For example, if you’re going to learn Spanish, choose Spanish initially.

If you’re going to learn french, choose french in the beginning section. In the next part, select the language you are willing to aid your partner in learning. Most partners want a native speaker, so it is best to put your native language here.  For example, if you are a native English speaker, you can choose that next. Be sure you can speak this language fluently before choosing it.

Filter Choices

After choosing each language, you need to make a couple of other choices to find the perfect partner.  Choose your preferred gender and where you would like your language partner to be from. This is important if you want to learn a specific dialect.  You can also choose the preferred location of your language exchange partner. This might be important for the time change, and scheduling calls to talk. Finally, you decide whether you want a native speaker or not. This is important because native speakers are more likely to teach a dialect and include relative slang and idioms.

Filtered Results

You will receive a list of all your filtered results, and you can start messaging people you think would be a great language partner for you.  Be sure to introduce yourself and state what language you want to learn and what language you offer. There is a maximum number of people you can message a day, so be careful who you choose. Each person you message will more than like not respond, so message more than one person. Ask questions about preferred communication and when they would like to chat.

The Next Step

After you find a partner, you will schedule a time that works for both of you to have a conversation. You want a time to speak with each other face to face and not over a message.  This is why having someone available at about the same time of day is essential. Each session of conversation is very laid back and not a full lesson. You can plan things to talk about if you’d like or just let the conversation flow with your partner. Each person should talk about their goals and have some mutual goals as well. Eventually, you both will be able to speak both languages.

Set Expectations

Be sure to set some rules and guidelines with your partner. Set time restraints and appropriate topics vs. inappropriate topics. Ask your partner what they wish to practice and any questions they have.  Don’t be the person that doesn’t show up to your language appointments. Set a timer and write it in your planner to help you remember.

Is iTalki Free?

Started as a social media platform for students to conversate in foreign languages, iTalki revamped back in 2008 to become a marketplace for students to seek teachers to help learn new dialects. It is free to create an account, and many features on iTalki are free, including iTalki Language Exchange and resources on the Community Tab. These resources are The Notebook, The Answers, and The Discussions.  These resources center around iTalki’s original mission to give people a way to practice a foreign language.

However, not all of iTalki is free.  If you want to book a lesson with a teacher, the iTalki teacher will set the price per hour. iTalki gives teachers a place to market themselves for language learning.  Teachers can require a minimum of $8 a lesson and as much as $80 a lesson.  Tutors can require a minimum of $4 a lesson and as much as $40 a lesson. Trial lesson prices can vary as well.

How Much Do You Earn on iTalki?

As a teacher or tutor, iTalki can earn you a high supplemental income.  However, there is no set rate for teachers or tutors as they set their own prices.  On average, a professional teacher can earn $15 an hour, with a tutor earning about $10 a session.

A teacher/tutor gets to set their schedule working as many or as few hours as they want.  Several teachers post their incomes from iTalki online, and most average, 25-30 hours a week. If you average $15 for each lesson and work 25 hours a week, your weekly income could be $375.

Starting will be slow. You should not expect to make this much in the first week. The business will pick up, and you will hopefully see a higher income as you teaching more lessons on iTalki.

A Final Word

Language partners are a great way to talk and practice with other people who want to learn a new language. There are often dozens of people looking for English assistance, so if all you currently speak is English, you still have something to offer. There are multiple languages people provide to be a partner. They include English, French, Spanish, German, and more.  Try out the iTalki language partner exchange for a FREE chance at learning a new language.

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