Today, you will speak hundreds or thousands of words.
How many of these words will be in English?
Is your answer “not many”?
Then you’re forgetting about one of the best ways to learn English: practice.
Practice makes perfect, so you better start warming up now with some FluentU videos.Give it a free try and see for yourself!
Practicing your English speaking can help you become more fluent, feel more confident and get experience actually using all the English phrases, words and grammar you have learned. It is an important step in the learning process!
You might say, “But I don’t have anyone to practice with!”
Here are some excellent websites where you can find a speaking partner, no matter where you live.
Top 13 Places to Find an English Speaking Partner Online
1. Skype Tutors
Price: Depends on the teacher, but it is usually not free.
What it is: Many English and ESL teachers use Skype to teach English language learners over the Internet. If you’re not familiar with it, Skype is a program that lets you chat with people using text, voice or video. It is a bit like using a video phone, and it is very convenient when your teacher does not live close to you.
There are many people using Skype to teach, and it might take some looking around until you find the teacher who’s perfect for you. Preply, for example, has many different teachers to choose from, so you can look at a lot of options before you make your choice. You can also find a private tutor through their personal websites, like this one.
Price: Free to observe (watch). $19 – $45 per month to participate, depending on the level of membership you choose. Private tutor fees vary.
What it is: Skype is not the only place you can find private tutors online. Verbling offers a selection of tutors at different prices and for different skill levels. The teachers are hand-picked by Verbling, and you can view an introductory video from each one before you make your choice.
You can also watch some scheduled online classes either by signing up for them. Sometimes you can just join in on a class if the class is in session when you visit the website.
Price: $30.00 per course.
What it is: Now time for something different – Creativa provides premium, highly produced videos for learning English and business communication skills. While Creativa doesn’t provide speaking partners, the videos are designed to feel highly interactive with engaging hosts. Creativa provides entertaining videos, useful but unexpected tips, and goes beyond just English to teach you body language and intonation. Creativa is a new product from the FluentU team.
Whether you want to master job interviews in English or improve your pronunciation, Creativa is packed with essential information and real Business English usage to get your career in English a boost.
Here’s a sample video from Creativa’s Mastering Business Video Calls in English course, which has tips for expressing yourself effectively:
4. Video Game Voice Chat
Price: Free, aside from the price of the game.
What it is: Do you play video games on your PC or on a console like Xbox or PlayStation? Guess what, you have some English speaking partners already! Many games these days have built-in voice chats, so you can talk to others using a headset with a microphone. Don’t be afraid to join in the conversations.
In fact, video game chat should be easier than real-world conversations because no one knows who you are. You can feel free to make mistakes because you never have to talk to them again if you don’t want to.
Remember that you might not learn perfect grammar here, but you will get to hear native speakers taking naturally. Also keep in mind that some video games (for example, shooters like “Call of Duty”) have a lot of cursing in the voice chat, and not everyone is nice. But there are a lot of great gamers who would love to help you out and have fun playing games while you chat.
5. Physical Meetings
Price: Depends on what you do. Booking a stay with AirBnb will cost more than a (free) Meetup at a local park.
What it is: Having a speaking buddy over the Internet is nice, but it is even nicer to make a new friend in person. Surround yourself with English speakers if you can! Find a local group of people who speak English and have the same hobby as you, or find other people who want to learn English.
You can use the website Meetup to find a group of people meeting near you. There are even meetups for people who want to do language exchanges. In language exchanges, you will teach your native language to someone and they will teach you English, like this one in NYC.
If you are planning to travel someplace where English is the common language, instead of getting a hotel, try websites like AirBnb or Couchsurfing instead. You will get to meet and talk with real people, and maybe even make new English-speaking friends.
What it is: Fluent in 3 Months is a useful website with lots of tips and help for people who are learning a new language. The best part of the website, though, is the community. Visit the Language Exchange forum and you’ll find lots of people looking to get a new speaking buddy. You can find someone like you who is learning English, or a native English speaker who is learning your native language.
Price: Varies by instructor.
What it is: Wyzant is the place to find a reliable, professional English tutor who lives near you. (Just keep in mind that this is only available in the United States at the moment.)
You might find a tutor who you can meet with online, but the main purpose is in-person tutoring. You’ll be able to meet up with you tutor face-to-face, at a local library, coffee shop, park or even at your house!
What it is: Back before the Internet, people had “pen pals,” or friends who lived far away and communicated by writing letters to each other. Conversation Exchange lets you find an email pen pal who you can write to in English.
Even better, the website helps you find people you can talk to with voice chat, or even native English speakers who live near you.
Price: Free to visit as a guest. Each club has its own fees if you decide to join as as member. Price varies for each club.
What it is: The Toastmasters Club is a place where people can learn public English speaking skills. It is not an English learning organization, but rather it is a general speaking practice organization.
Here, anyone can learn and practice speaking in front of others. It is a great place to get more confidence for speaking with people in English. There are videos online that you can check to see if this is the kind of speaking practice you are looking for, and there are clubhouses all over the world. Find one near you by visiting this page.
10. Go Speaky
What it is: If you don’t want to download or install any special programs for voice and video chat, you can just sign up on Go Speaky. This website has a built-in video chat right on the website, so you can find and talk to people without leaving your browser.
Go Speaky matches people up based on similar interests, so there is a good chance that you will have something in common with the speaking partners you find here.
Price: Basic membership is free. Premium membership prices vary.
What it is: Busuu boasts over 50 million native speakers, any of which can become your next speaking partner. Busuu is well known within the language learning community and can connect you to a speaking partner through its detailed search options.
Find an English speaker learning your language, or find another English learner to practice English with—it is up to you.
What it is: With thousands of members, Lingoglobe has many great options to find a language exchange friend. You can find someone who is currently available, or you can visit the lively new Language Forum where many language students like you are searching for someone to practice speaking with.
It might be a smaller website, but the people are friendly and you can search for people by the language that they want to learn (or are willing to teach). You can even search for people by hobbies and interests. If you don’t know where to start, you can simply join the main chat where you can find who is online right now and say hello!
What it is: Coeffee is a fun website that teaches languages through games. You can play against others in games like “Make Phrase,” where you choose the correct words to form a sentence, or you can play word guessing games. Have fun while you learn with other people—you can make friends through the main games and become a part of the community.
Once you meet some of the language learners on Coeffee, you can move your conversations to a voice or video chat program and practice your speaking there.
14. Coffee Strap
What it is: More coffee? That’s right! Think of this website like drinking a cup of coffee with someone at a cafe. It is very friendly and personal. Coffee Strap only has about 2,500 users, but it makes up for the small size with a smart matching method that finds speaking partners that you’ll enjoy talking with.
Once you have found a partner, you can engage in guided conversations which are only seven minutes long. After the seven minutes are over, you will get a different partner to continue practicing with. That means you can get a lot of practice here.
Remember—when you’re on the Internet, you’re never alone. Visit any of these websites and you’ll find many other people like you looking to learn and have some great conversations.
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It recommends examples and videos to you based on the words you’ve already learned. You'll have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.