My mother tongue is Spanish. Around age 18 I learned English. Soon after that I learned Italian and dabbled in French. Lately I've been wanting to learn Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese to be specific. How do I keep up? What's my strategy? Presenting iTalki.
Right off the bat I don't need much help with English/Spanish since I use them all of the time. My Italian needs a tune-up and some heavy work on the 'condizionale/congiuntivo'. My Portuguese was close to non-existent, however I could understand about 40% with relative ease. French was too close to my other romantic languages, so I decided to put it on pause for now.
So my game plan was simple:
Create an iTalki account
Get my Portuguese up to 'survival mode'
Fine tune my Italian
Postpone French to Fall
Find the 'right' Instructors
Now, the natural question is what is/was my criteria for the 'right instructors'? Well, as someone who loves learning, I've found generally speaking I learn best when:
1- The instructor is a native speaker 2- The lessons are cheap ($5 to $10 per hour) 3- The instructor takes a genuine interest in me / my work / life 4- The instructor calls out my mistakes and offers corrections
After close to 30 completed sessions here is my pick for my TOP instructors:
Silvia (Italian): Silvia is a broadcast communicator by trade and therefore she is a natural at asking probing questions. Yes, she offers corrections but the one thing that sets her apart from the others is her curious heart, her knack for following rabbit holes, and her talent to make you feel front and center. I was fortunate enough to catch her when she first started but it won't be long before she gets fully booked and soars to a higher level. How do I feel with Silvia? INTERESTING. You can see Silvia's profile here https://www.italki.com/teacher/5519395
Francesca (Italian): Francesca is 100% real and what makes her stand out is the interactive experience to bond with someone through their own opinions, ideas and worldview. This produces an authentic forum of ideas in which we (I) are practicing Italian language, but we are also diving deep into Italian culture. Also, she is my daughter, Stella's instructor which obviously endears her to me and it feels like I'm talking to a distant family member. How do I feel with Francesca? APPRECIATED. You can see Francesca's profile here https://www.italki.com/teacher/6719636
Sofia (Italian): Sofia is a MACHINE! She is a beautiful perfectionist. She will call me out on my blunders, write out the corrections, take notes as I'm speaking, identify my weaknesses, find exercises, asks me to practice the grammar drills with her live, all with a faithful dose of charm, love, and care. Think of her as a dedicated coach and you'll get the right idea. How do I feel with Sofia? INSTRUCTED. You can see Sofia's profile here https://www.italki.com/teacher/7158017
Sandy (Brazilian Portuguese): Sandyyyy!!! I absolutely love Sandy. She took me from the VERY BEGINNING of Portuguese, endured my V/B pronunciation mishaps, and my very last minute homework assignment returns, and literally built all the Portuguese I know today. Yes, it is still very rough, but at least it's functional and I needed every bit of Sandy to help me build this foundation. How do I feel with Sandy? LIKE FAMILY. To see Sandy's profile click here https://www.italki.com/teacher/5850709
If you are interested in learning/polishing any language I highly encourage you to give iTalki a try. I just shared with you my top 4 instructors, but if you have any instructors you'd like to recommend on these languages or any other please let me know too!
Peace, - arturo
P.S: PROMO CODE: If you are NEW to iTalki we can both get $10 worth of credits by using their referral program. Simply send me your email and once I send you a referral code we both get $10 bucks which will come in super handy for you to test out a few lessons of your own!
If I could give you a hug, hi5, or fist bump from here I definitely would. As long as you don't mind a couple typos here and there, you're MOST welcome to check in, drop a comment here and there, and make yourself at home.