Information about livechat
If you are already registered and have bought your credit (see below), you can browse through the profiles of the lectors and choose the one that best suits your needs. Lectors that are online at a given moment have a green light saying “online” under their name. Others are not present. Click on the lector and you will see a brief profile. That will tell you the conversation and grammar level of the lector’s skills for a given foreign language, his educational and work background, certifications and the cost per minute. The skill level and price for the lectors varies widely, so you should not choose randomly. Some lectors are native speakers and therefore are not suitable for beginners. On the contrary, other lectors are more suitable for beginners and intermediate level speakers and if you yourself are advanced, you should choose a lector with a higher conversation level. If you click on the button” start chat”, a sound signal will let the lector know that a customer is asking for him. Give the lector time to get the headset and microphone ready and to ready himself at the computer. At the exact moment he accepts your call, you can start the conversation. With your lector, set up the topics that you would like to focus on during your conversation, or the purpose (business trip, job interview, exam or everyday conversation, etc.). On the web, for certain topics, lectors have prepared “questions”-topics for conversation. All lectors are communicative people with broad insight, so conversation on other topics will not be a problem. It all depends on the arrangement between you and your lector. You can end conversation at any time and at that time your credit will stop being deducted. Be aware that the live transmission is not cancelled just by signing off from the website. You have to end the chat directly in the online chat window or close this window. Otherwise the chat can still continue.
What do you need for live conversation?
a. If you need only written conversation, you don’t need anything special except for a computer or a notebook.
b. If you need to converse with sound, you will need a microphone. A headset with built-in microphone will improve the quality of the conversation. You can buy it any electronics store or sometimes even in supermarkets. The cost of the headset is about 150 Czech crowns and every computer has standard inputs for it. Even a plain headset can improve the quality of your call and will help on both sides.
c. You don’t need a web camera if you don’t wish to be seen. It may be already built in into your computer/notebook or you can purchase an external one for few hundred crowns.
Attention! Before activating your conversation, the Adobe Flash Player program (normally part of Microsoft Windows) through which everything runs, will ask if you want to allow the microphone and camera. Click to “allow” otherwise it will not be possible to use the microphone and camera.
Technical requirement! The minimal speed requirement to connect is 1 MB. In a case where the problem is interfering with the quality of the conversation, you can transfer with your lector to Skype (all lectors have Skype accounts as well). Skype has lower requirements for speed connection than live chat. Your payment will be taken care of by leaving the live chat window open for the credit count (both parties have to do that) and by lowering the volume of the live chat.
What are the prices of the lectors and how do I find out their levels?
Each lector sets his/her own price. You will find the individual prices in the individual profile sections. The price is based on the quality of language skills of the individual lector. Each lector is rated with two numbers. For example the numbers 4/3. The first number signifies the conversation level of the spoken language. The highest level is 5 and only native speakers will have it. Level 4 are Czechs that are close to speaking as native speakers. Level 3 are Czechs with excellent language skills who speak fluently and without mistakes. Level 2 are Czechs that have good language skills and are more suitable for less advanced students. The lowest level is 1 and none of the lectors at speakonline are allowed to have that. The second number stands for capability of the lector to explain grammar properly. The lectors that are capable of correcting grammatical mistakes and giving correct examples have level 3. Level 5 are lectors who not only can correct grammatical mistakes but can also instantly explain terminologically correct examples to use of individual grammatical terms, their constructions and exceptions to the rules. Don’t only judge the quality of the lector by price, but by his/her skill level. The price of the lector is not dependent just on his quality but also on time availability, and lower price does not necessarily mean lower quality. The lector’s rate per minute will be automatically deducted during the conversation and you can watch your current balance directly on the screen.
How do you register?
The registration is free in the section “students - registration” and it is done just like creating an email account for example.
How do you get credit?
There are three ways to get credit. 1) By sending a paid SMS message, 2) payment with bank card or 3) through direct bank transfer. All types of payments are described in detail in this section once you register. If you pay by sending an SMS or with your bank card, the payment will show within seconds. Paying by direct bank transfer will depend on the specific bank; usually it will take 1-2 business days.
How can I check the credit?
After your payment, your purchased credit will show up in your Speakonline account and from there you can automatically use it during the conversation, based on the rate per minute of the chosen lector. It all happens automatically- you don’t have to deal with anything and you will see any changes in credit on your screen.