Speaking and writing

Do any of you have ideas on how we could increase the number of learners who sign up for discussions and submit writing for correction? Many thanks in advance.

Give them additional bonuces: to create more links and import more text (reduce limitation for them). For me it would be attractive.

That would motivate free members only, though.

I offer tea and biscuits in my discussions.

Supply writing prompts, somewhere, somehow…At the end of lessons? In the notes? On a special tab?

Offer more conversations with preannounced topics?

For one-on-ones, have a list of topics beginners could choose (click on) from if they like to indicate to the tutor what topic they are prepared to speak about?

In other words, maybe a bit of structure would help the beginning speakers/writers.

Possibly a video guide? To show a tutor conversation in action. It can seem very scarey making that first step. I’m still scared : )

I’m not sure who’d be willing to be filmed as a begginer, but certainly something to take the mystery out of a conversation.

Well, I think that the LingQ philosophy has always focused on input, and how important input is, and output hasn’t been given that focus. I think that espousing the importance of continued practice of speaking and writing (when you are ready) to improve in those activities will go a long way.

I know that the reason I haven’t yet, is that A: I don’t know Im ready yet- would it be waste at this point?, and B: it’s a scary step! I have a French sister-in-law who is one of my best friends, and it freaks me out when she says something to me ‘en Francais’! I’m not really sure what to do about that actually- any tips would. E welcome…
I would suggest that only serious learners would get advanced enough to write and speak- hence many people who only get as far as a couple thousand words would never take part.

Btw, this is my first forum post ever!

While I’m at it, a question: currently my learning strategy is to keep up with my Lingq goals. Except for writing and speaking(at this point), I’m not doing too badly. Although it always seems a struggle keeping up my hours of listening. Will this work in the long run? I want to learn to speak French as quickly as possible. For me, that is- I have three children(my oldest just turned 3).
I’m really enjoying learning, and the key is definitely to keep it fun like this. I just don’t want this effort to be in vain. Am I selling myself short by not speaking and writing just yet? And should my listening be more, to keep up to the words I’m learning?
Sorry, this is very long and wordy…


@Aussiechick - It’s normal to be nervous to start speaking. If you feel you aren’t ready, don’t rush it. At the same time, our tutors will be gentle! You will probably find you do better than you think, and you will start to feel more confident after you have done a conversation or two. You will then also feel more comfortable when your sister-in-law says something to you…! Sometimes you just have to go for it but there is no pressure as to when you have to do this. The key activity is your listening, reading and LingQing. This exposure to the language will of course, prepare you to speak but it will also give you the confidence to do so. If you have a lot of exposure to the language, the comprehension part of the conversation should be much easier. Then, it’s just a matter of formulating your thoughts in the new language. That is why we suggest writing as a good way to practice your output in a low stress environment where you have time to compose your thoughts properly.

Whatever you decide to do is fine. Just enjoy it and don’t put pressure on yourself. Good luck!

I understand that there could be certain problems to implement this, but it would be great if you allowed to sign up for some discussions on the same day and may be even just before a discussion. Sometimes I feel an urge to speak at that very moment or hour, but I know that I need to sign up the day before and that does not always works for me. And I agree with Jingle that more conversations with topics would be great.

@memfiz - You can do this by using the Request Conversation button found on a tutor’s profile page. Simply select a tutor from the Speak page or the Tutors page and submit a request for a conversation with them. They can either accept, reject, or suggest an alternate time for the conversation.

@aussiechick- try to approach to your first conversation as a game…maybe it will help you not to be scared! I have done in that way,and i played and enjoyed the game!

I suggest to LingQ to make a campaign to attract basic members to take conversations. For example: who sign up as a Basic Member could get one conversation in the first month. This gift can be a strong incentive for those who have doubts about the effectiveness of method which is used at LingQ.

Members are given a free conversation by completing the Getting Started steps. If they upgrade to a paying membership, they can also use the UPSAVE500 coupon code which gives them another free conversation :slight_smile:

What maths suggested is great.

Honestly I have points and I think everything ready to talk with some tutor, maybe if we had it more “easy” like some link ready to press and to talk, like making a call, I could talk everyday 3,5, 10 min and then spend all my points very quick.

A bit of structure would probably help. It’s difficult to speak/write freely at a lower level. For example, a list of writing prompts that people can tick off at various levels:

Write 100 words introducing your family.
Write 100 words about your best friend.
Write 100 words about your last vacation.

Similary, with speaking lessons, there can be lists of suggested themes/topics, and students can select in advance what the topic will be (including an option for free/unsctructured). For example:

Talk about the city you live in - what is there to see and do?
Talk about your high school life.
Talk about your favourite holiday - why do you like it and what do you do?

Now, too many options would be confusing, but they can be organized under topic and sub-topic. But many people find it difficult to just write and speak freely. Even in their native language. If you sit two strangers down and say “Have a conversation for 15 minutes”, they’ll probably find it awkward. If you ask native speakers to write a page about anything they want, they might not get any ideas.

If beginning and intermediate students know in advance what they will be talking about (either because the tutor has set the topic, or becuase they have selected a topic from a list, or because they have submitted their topic modeled on a few “example topics”) then they know the range of what they will be talking about and can try to prepare in advance. Tutors will also know what the topic is and it may be helpful for tutors who are not experienced in talking to low-level learners.

Also, I think your pricing plan may not be helpful. Unless I’m wrong, there’s no benefit to signing up for a higher level of membership. I’m a basic member so I pay $10 a month and get no points. But I can buy 1,000 points for $10. If I pay $39 a month, I get 3,000 points. But I only save $1 as I can buy 3,000 points for $30. That’s not very much. As there aren’t many tutors I’m reluctant to commit to the extra $29 per month as I’m not sure I’d be able to use all my points.

But if there was a good deal on the points, like 4,000 points instead of 3,000 then I might sign up. Or $35 instead of $39 for the next level of membership. Yes, LingQ would be making less money on these points, but it would be getting my money regularly, as opposed to not at all. As it is now, I don’t upgrade because I would only save $1 versus buying the points whenever I want them. But the result is that I never buy points. I think it’s a psychological thing. It’s easier to commit to paying for something regularly than it is to always think “Do I really want to spend this $10 on points right now?”. But if there’s no discount, there’s no real motivation to commit to buying points regularly.

I’ll add my own 2 cents to this.

Recently, I joined up with a basic account to study Dutch here. I’m also studying several other languages but I don’t do them here because LingQ seems to work for me at the intermediate level of a language and not before that. I’ve decided that I’m going to spend a few months, working crazily at raising my Dutch level, ironing out some of the problems I’ve had. Some of these problems make it rather difficult to speak. They even slow it down to a crawl if one wants to have something more meaningful than a ‘greetings’ conversation. So, after the few months of increasing my comfort with these particularities of the language, I’ll upgrade to a high level of account or buy some points - likely the later. Right now, I’d be wasting the points.

I don’t think I’m the only one who would feel like this.

My 2 cents:

I personally think points , conversations for points and correcting writings for points are a waste of (my) money. I’ve never tried any of the features and I probably will never try them. For me its just not worth it…
It is rather expensive to be doing over the long term… and I just don’t have time to create content / host conversations and or skills to correct writing in english or french to gain points… But thats just me.

With internet I can easily find conversation partners or pen pals for free. Now, I’m not saying lingq tutors should offer these services for free… On the contrary… I’m 100% with Tutors getting paid well for their efforts and they should! and I understand with tutors from lingq, one will most likely be getting good conversations/ corrected writings … There are alot of advantages , no doubt about it.

HOWEVER … Bottom line is, I’m just not willing to pay more than Basic membership even though I could easily afford points or plans lingq offer. I love lingq’s community and I love the system of lingqing but other than that I dont have a need for any of the other services…

What would make me want to submit writings / sign up for conversations in lingq? I’m afraid nothing really unless lingq adds a free language exchange service. WHICH I THINK would be a COMPLETELY bad idea for MANY MANY OBVIOUS reasons…As I mentioned before I think tutors should be compensated!!!

sorry I’m not of any help.