This is a way of speaking to someone in English via video or chat software. You find someone you want to speak English with and in exchange you speak to them in your mother tongue for part of the session, so that they also get a chance to practice the language they are learning (yours!).
There are many places where you can find a language exchange partner. We are not going to list all of them here. Instead, we will share with you the ones that we can recommend based on feedback we have received from English learners who have used them. We hope you find them useful and that you find a great partner to practice with.
- Conversation Exchange - Here you have the opportunity to search for people to either talk to over Skype or write to as a pen pal via email. If you have a low level or feel shy, you could start by sending emails and then progress to speaking online via video chat.
- Italki - This is a popular language exchange website where you can either chat to teachers or tutors (paid) or other langauge learners (free).
- Speaky - (iOS, Android) This is another resource where you can find people to chat to online for free. Try it and see if you like it!
- Hello Talk (iOS, Android) - This is a conversation exchange and social network app. It is very popular and lots of fun. This one is not completely free though. There is a monthly subscription charge of $0.99 for the use of this app. There are also various levels of pro-membership, each with a different price.
- Tandem (iOS) - This is a free app where you can find loads of people to talk with in English directly from your iphone!
- It is a fantastic way to practice speaking in real conversations.
- You can meet really interesting people from all around the world.
- If you have the time, you can have more than one Skype exchange friend to talk to.
- You have the opportunity to hear a lot of different accents.
- It is free!
You can and should start communicating in English from the very beginning. With these online and app exchanges there is no excuse! If you find speaking a difficult task, then take a look at our speaking advice.