Why can't we get more people to host discussions?

We have seen very few new people come forward to host discussions. I would be interesting in hearing ideas about how we can interest more people in doing this, in all languages.

People are connecting through Skype on their own. A lot of people meet here, talk elsewhere.

My guess is as follows:

  1. Some members are more interested in learning than in tutoring.
  2. Some members don’t like the responsibilities connected to the tutoring, such as writing a “good” discussion report.
  3. Some members might hate to be evaluated by “students.”
  4. Some members might think that supply cannot create its own demand.

Yes,I often meet Skype users on skype conference,which attracts English learners from different countries. Can we link LingQ to skype?

Probably the main reason people talk here or submit writing is that they feel comfortable. When you have a smaller pond, you have to be more considerate of others-both new members and the feelings of regulars. If you have a big pond, you expect that some people will leave, but you’ll still have enough fish to keep the ecosystem going.

I will be happy to host a few discussions in spanish soon! though I haven’t really read the rules etc. So I didn’t know there is a report to write!! Anyway I still will like to do it soon it’s just my schedule has been weird lately.
I was thinking Steve that it might be a good idea for people interested in joining a discussion in any language, can post a time when he/she might be available, then possible tutors can check this schedule and decide if they can make it at those times and contact the person interested. I was just thinking the other day when I wanted to open up my schedule on saturday but wasn’t sure what time will be a good time for some people or if anyone would be interested in chatting at 10am etc. So If people actually post the times they are available someone might want to pick up that discussion etc. Unless is been done and I just haven’t seen it :wink: just an idea…


We use Skype in our conferences. How do you suggest we might link LingQ to Skype? I am interested.

Of course I am sure there are people simply contacting each other directly which is fine. Still I find it more convenient to connect to my tutors at times that are convenient to me. I enjoy receiving the report, which is really not a big deal.

The report consists of the words and phrases that the learner had trouble with. I type them during the discussion, add a few additional comments and post the report. It does not really take much time.


It is difficult to coordinate the times between learners and tutors. It is best if you post when is convenient for you. Learners can also ask for times here on the forum or on post on the walls of tutors and request certain times. I look forward to your discussions.

“Probably the main reason people talk here or submit writing is that they feel comfortable.”
I agree with you on that, RQ.

personally I don’t have enough time for tutoring- hardly tor my learning. I see tutoring in the long run as a part time job- only few people would do it per enthusiasm and without actual interest.

If you pay the tutors more points, you would get more tutors and …
If you charge the students less points, you would get more students and …
If you pay the tutors more points and charge the students less points, you balance would be …
If you pay the tutors less points and charge the students more points, you would lose both tutors and students.

…, although people do not always behave in an economically-rational way.

Когда ты собираешсь провести разговор, Юрий? Мне было бы интересно!

There is a certain learning curve involved in tutoring. People may start to tutor out of desire to earn points, or they may start because other students beg them to host some conversations, or they may want experience of teaching because they are considering teaching as a future career.

At the very least prospective new tutors should be prepared to invest a couple of hours of their time before they can expect to gain any benefits, reading the tutor’s manual and consulting an experienced tutor before they offer to host a conversation. Even I read the tutor’s manual, and I don’t often bother to read manuals!

Well, in my case I hope I can offer some soon, but finding the time is a little difficult. I’m fully aware that I don’t have to offer a lot of slots or conversation times but still…

Recently we’ve had some slots in Portuguese and that was good to see.

What I do is to offer as many times as possible. If three or four conversations booked for a week I cancel the other times that there is enough time for my own studies.

Reason people don’t tutor more:

  1. They do not understand what it entails, especially at LingQ, since being a LingQ tutor is perhaps not the classic tutoring style. 2) They are nervous about having to keep a conversation going. 3) They don’t want to feel rejected if they are not popular as tutors 4) They don’t need the points/money 5) They don’t enjoy it 6) They don’t want to have an unreliable schedule 7) They don’t have time (or they think they don’t because of #1 8) They don’t have a good internet connection 9) They don’t know how to use Skype 10) They don’t have a quiet environment for tutoring 11) They have some kind of physical
    obstacle: poor eyesight, unable to type etc 12) They are not confident in their knowledge of the forms of English

The time burden need not be great. Even on time slot every two weeks is OK.

Perhaps the learners need to take the initiative and approach specific native speakers, ask to be their friend on LingQ, and ask them to host discussions. I think I will try that for Portuguese.

There is also a lack of interest by some students. Or probably they feel they are not “there” yet to start speaking, although I think conversations at a middle stage can be really helpful. I posted many Spanish conversations and I only got one person interested, so it can be a bit discouraging for some tutors.

I feel becoming friends with another member is an easier and more comfortable way to approach conversations. Joining a conversation with a complete stranger just to practice can be weird for both the student and the tutor, it can feel more like a duty (probably has to do with the “I pay, you give me” idea behind it). On the other hand, my conversations with Jorge (a great Brazilian friend I made here) go really natural and is more of a friendship than a student-tutor conversation.

I agree Falcao. It is often easier to contact people and exchange languages directly. Nevertheless I would like to see more discussions at LingQ and to encourage more people to sign up. It is a bit of chicken and egg. We also need to have a larger pool of members. There is lots to do. Please keep posting your discussions. Let me know when you do and I will sign up.

I am going to put up Sunday 6 am PST times for the next few months

I love the idea but.

  1. My mother tongue is English. Surely the must be enough help for that already.
  2. I have no time, I barely have enough time to blog, sometimes I work 16 hours a day, I have three kids, learning Chinese is what I consider relaxation. Altruism is not enough of an incentive for this much commitment.
  3. I haven’t really investigated this :wink: are the discussions more than 2 people, that sounds horrible I couldn’t talk with a bunch of people online (without the visual cues you get in face to face discussion) in any language.

Regarding 2 above I do attempt some level of altruism both in and out of lingq but now I either can’t (or can’t find the link) to edit lessons and share them.