italki, an online language learning platform that connects students to teachers from all over the world using online video conferencing.
Residents living in Arlington, Va. are learning new languages at a faster rate than other American cities. In comparison to other U.S. cities, italki students living in Arlington take 50 percent more online language classes, totaling more than 1,400 classes.
Ashley Whitman, a 27-year-old, Mexican-American woman living in Arlington, did not grow up speaking Spanish, but longed to feel connected to her culture. For Ashley and other Arlington residents, italki allows them to explore the world and other cultures through language.
“I took Spanish in high school and college and have always wanted to be fluent but never had anyone to practice with. Conversations with a native speaker have been a perfect way to up my language ability and comprehension,” said Whitman. “My grandfather spoke Spanish and my mom is Mexican American, so it’s always been a desire of mine to be able to speak the language of my ancestors.”
Of the 100 languages italki offers, Spanish is the most popular language taken by Arlington residents with 24.6 percent of them electing to learn Spanish.
Following Spanish, Mandarin Chinese (10.9%) and English (9.59%) are the second and third most popular languages taken by italki students living in Arlington.
Kevin Chen, italki’s chief executive officer and Georgetown University graduate, was born in the U.S. to parents from Taiwan. Like Whitman, Chen didn’t grow up speaking Chinese or Taiwanese; he leveraged his bicultural experience to co-create a startup that is now one of the leading platforms connecting people – through language – from around the world.
“Every day, thousands of language classes are scheduled through the site, and we hope that those lessons help people around the world overcome language and communication barriers,” said Chen. “Our students enjoy learning from people from different countries, and our teachers feel rewarded by helping students connect to their language and culture.”
italki’s students learn new languages faster and more authentically by connecting them with real people who fluently speak the desired language. italki currently has 3 million students and 5,000 teachers of 100 languages, including American Sign Language.
To learn more about italki and to start your own language learning program, visit www.italki.com
This post is sponsored by italki.