English Speaking Practice Online: 12 Resources to Speak English With Natives
Today, you’ll 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.
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’ve learned. It’s an important step in the learning process!
You might say, “But I don’t have anyone to practice with!”
Of course you do! There are thousands of people who can help you practice your spoken English, and they’re all right at your fingertips. You can find them all right here on the Internet.
Here are some excellent websites where you can find a speaking partner, no matter where you live.
- 1. Verbling
- 2. italki
- 3. Preply
- 4. Wyzant
- 5. Video Game Voice Chat
- 6. Physical Meetings
- 7. HelloTalk
- 8. Conversation Exchange
- 9. Toastmasters
- 10. Speaky
- 11. Busuu
- 12. Tandem
- Bonus: Skype and Zoom
- How to Practice Speaking English Without Talking to Native Speakers
- And One More Thing...
Price: Prices of classes depend on the teacher.
What it is: 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.
On Verbling, you can also use the filter to specifically search for a tutor that matches your own language needs. For example, if you want to learn and practice American, Australian or British English, you could use the filter named “From” to select “United States,” “Australia” or “United Kingdom.”
Price: Depends on the language tutor. Free to download the app and access some features.
What is it: italki is a language tutoring platform that helps you find native tutors who teach your target language.
On italki, you can choose from a long list of English language tutors and, by clicking on their profile, you’ll be able to find out more about them as well as read reviews left by other English learners.
Once you’ve found a tutor, you can have a look at their schedule and arrange a private English class with them. Alternatively, you can also join a variety of group English classes and practice the language with other students.
Click here to see our full review of italki.
Price: Depends on the language tutor.
What is it: Preply is a language tutoring platform that you can use to find and organize classes with native English tutors.
On Preply, you can choose from over 17,000 English language tutors. Simply use the filters to narrow down the results and start browsing through the lists of teachers.
You can either opt for a private lesson with a tutor of your choice or check out some of the group English classes that are available on Preply.
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.)
If you’re located in the US, you can find English tutors all over the country who specialize in teaching ESL. And you’ll even discover tutors who specialize in English grammar and English writing.
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 your tutor face-to-face, at a local library, coffee shop, park or even at your house!
5. 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 talking 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.
6. 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’s 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’re planning to travel someplace where English is the common language, instead of getting a hotel, try websites like Airbnb or Couchsurfing instead. You’ll get to meet and talk with real people, and maybe even make new English-speaking friends.
Price: Basic account is free.
What it is: HelloTalk is a language exchange platform that you can use to search for and chat with native speakers.
On the free version of HelloTalk, you can select one language to learn and one language to teach (such as your native language). You’ll find tons of native English speakers on this platform and be able to get some English speaking practice through calls or messages.
Click here to see our full HelloTalk review as well as some alternative language exchange apps you could try out!
8. Conversation Exchange
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 a member. Price varies for each club.
What it is: Toastmasters is a place where people can learn public English speaking skills. It’s not an English learning organization, but rather it’s a general speaking practice organization.
Here, anyone can learn and practice speaking in front of others. It’s a great place to get more confidence in speaking with people in English. There are videos online that you can check to see if this is the kind of speaking practice you’re looking for, and there are clubhouses all over the world. Find one near you by visiting this page.
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 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.
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 100 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’s up to you.
Find our full review of Busuu here.
Price: Basic account is free.
What is it: On this platform, you can practice English with native speakers while teaching your own language as part of a language exchange.
One great feature of Tandem is its safety—any new accounts must be checked and approved before the user can start a language exchange.
As soon as your account has been approved on Tandem, you’ll be able to browse the list of users and find a native English speaker. Then you can start your language exchange!
You can read our Tandem review here, or if you’d like to find more language exchange apps, check out this post.
Bonus: Skype and Zoom
Price: Depends on the type of conversation (casual language exchange or paid language lessons).
What it is: While they’re not official language exchange or language learning platforms, it’s worth mentioning them in this post as many English and ESL teachers use these online platforms to teach English language learners through text, voice or video calls.
They’re also great for language exchanges as they’re reliable and allow you to easily arrange and have conversations. For casual language exchanges, Skype and Zoom are best used alongside language exchange platforms that you can use to find a language partner, like Conversation Exchange, Tandem or HelloTalk.
Once you’ve found and spent some time talking to a native speaker on a language exchange platform, you can move the conversation over to Skype or Zoom and practice speaking English. These are also good resources for you to use to practice your group conversational skills by setting up a video call and practicing with multiple language learners or native speakers.
How to Practice Speaking English Without Talking to Native Speakers
Not quite ready to dive into interactions with real people? No problem. The internet also has plenty of ways to ease you into the experience. Here are a few suggestions:
Use chatbots. Chatbots are programs designed to talk to you like a human being but without the pressure of speaking to a real person. You can use these to pretend you’re typing to a real person and prepare yourself for the actual experience of chatting.
Talk to personal assistants. What language do you use when you talk to Siri, Alexa, Google, Cortana or any of your other personal assistants? Use English to get some real English-speaking practice! You will need to use correct pronunciation and speak clearly when chatting with these assistants, getting you some practice with real-world speaking.
Watch authentic videos. Authentic videos are made by and for native English speakers. Since we’ve already talked about how to practice your typing, reading and speaking skills, you can get some very important listening skills through native English videos. One great resources for this type of practice is FluentU.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
And 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 gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)