Being a Community Tutor in English on iTalki

Click on video to experience the digital transformation.

Since late February 2021 I’ve been a Community Teacher on an online platform called iTalki, a Chinese company headquartered in Shanghai. You can visit my profile page by clicking on the following link: [CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY iTALKI PROFILE PAGE]

To date (4/14/21) I’ve completed around 75 online lessons with approximately 35 students. It’s conversation-based learning, so I target students who can already speak English at intermediate and advanced levels of proficiency. Each “lesson” is about an hour. I currently charge $10 per lesson, although I may increase that once I reach 100 completed lessons. Some students purchase packages of 5 lessons at a slight discount.

The conversation topics are completely open ended. Occasionally, I pause the dialogue to provide feedback on pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and expressive, interactive style. So far I’ve had students from Russia, Estonia, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Peru, China, and the list is growing. It’s a remarkably eye-opening and rewarding experience.

If you know anyone who might benefit from such a learning experience, please help them book their first iTalki lesson with me or any number of other qualified teachers. Thank you.

By the way, did I mention that I’m often blown away by folks who use our conversations as an opportunity teach this old dog new tricks? Yes, it happens; and that makes me the luckiest person on my cul-de-sac!

So much so

So many people nowadays begin their sentences with so! So much so that it’s almost easier to count the number of sentences that don’t begin with so. So what? So here’s what I think. So some time back in the 1980s, somebody got fed up with processes, declared them to be wasteful, and decided it was time to accentuate products over processes. So that was fine for a while, but it quickly caught on, and by then, naturally, people got carried away. So eventually it wasn’t enough for folks merely to favor products over processes; no, they had to declare their complete displeasure with all processes and be associated with nothing but products, results, and outcomes.

So at the same time scientific illiteracy was on the upswing because of all the frivolous emphasis on stuff like the scientific method, which everyone knows is just a fancy name for just another process, which in this case is nothing more than an unnecessarily elaborate and expensive gotcha game that elitists like to play to make hard-working Americans feel dumb.  So it’s like logic or something. So in order not to sound dumb or liberal and end up wasting everybody’s time beating around the bush instead of making a point, folks started beginning their sentences with SO, which is a conjunctive adverb like THEREFORE that pretty much used to be reserved for introducing the juicier clause in a compound sentence that delivered the intended, targeted punch line. So it’s like a preemptive strike this starting a sentence with so. So it’s like starting off with therefore.  So it helps everyone jump right to the conclusion and appear more scientific, more results-oriented without wasting all of their good moves on foreplay.

so much so

So I believe there was an actual turning point in the 1980s when society as a whole came to the collective realization that accountability – as we knew it – was at stake and that each of us, each and every one of us, needed to take personal responsibility to say what we mean, mean what we say, and get to the point. So all it took was a simple, cost-effective, time-saving, performance-enhancing conjunctive adverb: so.  So this turning point, this moment of truth that I’m referring to came to life in the form of a simple question that continues to resonate in the hearts of genuine leaders: