Shanghai based language-learning social network italki.com just released its
new feature, italki Knowledge, which aims to become the largest source of free, user-generated language-learning textbooks.
Italki Knowledge allows users to create and collaboratively edit web pages using text, video, sound, and pictures - media that traditional textbooks can't offer. Students can find language materials on topics such as grammar, pronunciation, slang, culture and more.
"Italki Knowledge is an application of the idea of collaborative wikis," says CEO Yongyue Jiang. "What makes italki Knowledge unique is that it will be supported by an editing community of over 200,000 language learners speaking more than 90 languages." According to Jiang, the community will ensure that the content on italki will be up-to-date and will improve over time.
Jiang also believes that italki will play a critical role for less popular languages. "Languages like English have lots of educational materials, but many languages don't have the same level of support. With italki Knowledge, no language will be lost to history," says Jiang.
Italki offers all of these resources for free. The italki.com website has already been translated into 14 languages and the company is adding more.
Italki's social network has been connecting users together for language exchange and tutoring since its initial launch in December 2006. The site was re-launched in December 2007 with features such as italki Answers, where users can ask the community questions about learning a language. With italki Knowledge, italki is taking another step towards becoming the primary place for languagelearning on the web.