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When I decided I wanted a teacher, I knew exactly what I wanted ... someone from Mexico, someone who was fluent in English (because I always want to know why things are the way they are), and someone in sync with what I personally needed to make progress with Spanish. I knew I needed to develop my ability to hear and understand Spanish and I needed to speak more. I wanted classes specifically for me, relevant to my interests and life.
Italki makes it easy to find exactly the right person for you. Most of the teachers have introductory videos to help you connect with the right person and italki offers half-price, introductory 30-minute sessions to help you see if you have a fit with a possible teacher.
I was fortunate to find a great fit after watching only a few videos. While I've studied a lot by myself, I was having trouble breaking the ice on speaking. It could be my introvert tendencies or just plain fear, but the advice to "just start speaking" wasn't working for me. Juan Carlos and I connected and he began to develop specific listening and speaking exercises that were so interesting that I was pulled into conversation.
I am impressed with how easy italki makes the entire process of choosing a teacher as well as booking and paying for lessons. We use Skype for our lessons and Juan Carlos enters all the words I have trouble with and sends me homework and videos on Skype. The result is that I have a growing notebook of my learning journey.