If you live in an English speaking country like America or Australia, finding a speaking partner is a piece of cake! But, if you live in a country where English is not the main language, it can be a challenge.  A common question that I sometimes get from students is about how they can find native English speakers online to practice with.  Well, with the available technology that we have today, meeting a speaking partner has become much more easier.  I’m going to introduce some great websites where you can meet native speakers for free but before we get into that, make sure you have these three things set up already.

  1. Internet Connection
  2. PC with a Microphone and a Web Camera
  3. Skype Software

To be honest, you really don’t need a web camera, but most students prefer using one because they like being able to see their speaking partner.

There are so many websites out there for you to practice language so it’s been really difficult for me to choose the best one. BUT, I have narrowed it down to the website I like the most.

iTalki.com

I have been using iTalki to learn Spanish for about 4 months now and I have also recommend my English students to use iTalki as well to find English language exchange partners.  iTalki is a language learning social network that connects students and language teachers from around the world.

Compared to other language learning websites that I have used, the teachers on iTalki are the most active, so when you message them, they will mostly likely respond.  In my experience, other language websites have low response rates from teachers…

What’s great is that all of the major languages are covered, including English of course, with many teachers and speaking exchange partners to choose from.  They have free online language resources, you can ask questions on the forum and you can get help from an international community of language learners.  They even have teacher reviews – it’s similar to product reviews you find on Amazon so you can decide which teacher you like before spending money on private lessons.

Oh, and don’t worry about time-zones.  iTalki automatically adjusts timezones so you and your speaking partner can figure out a good time and day to make an appointment.  iTalki is growing and I believe it’s one of the post popular language exchange websites right now.  It’s easy to sign up too – just create an account and start using all their free features.

Nothing beats talking to an actual person do you agree?  But iTalki is just as good because it focuses on connecting you with REAL people.  Try it out and see if you enjoy learning online.  Go for it – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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