4 Fun Chatting Apps for Learning English and Building Conversational Confidence

“Go on—say something in English!”

If you have friends or family who know you’re learning English, you’ve probably heard this request before.

Don’t they know it’s not that easy?

Speaking in English is hard!

You might not always find the right word.

Or maybe your mouth refuses to make the right sounds.

If you’re a shy person, it can feel much easier to read an English book or watch TV in English than to speak in English.

Even if you’re a highly social person, it can be scary to speak in a totally new language.

Wondering how to overcome these problems and fears?

Online chatting is the solution!

Chatting is a fun, friendly way to learn English from real native speakers. You can type or video chat, exercising multiple skills. You can often expect to pick up English slang or cultural insights from your new chat partners.

We’ll show you how!


4 Fun Chatting Apps for Learning English and Building Conversational Confidence


What is it?

Fluentland is an online language learning community that allows you to practice English by chatting with other users, among several other language activities.

How it can help:

Once you register for a free account, you can participate in group forums to discuss all kinds of language issues. For example, the forums cover commonly confused words and British versus American English, among many other topics.

It’s a great way to practice asking and answering questions and you’ll meet tons of other users to chat with—all while actively building your English skills!

If you need a break from chatting, you can keep practicing with fun games.


What is it?

WhatsApp is a free SMS service that connects you with people all over the world. You can use it on your mobile device or computer. Chatting options include video chat or text message, so you can practice speaking, typing and even pick up some English internet slang.

Simply download the WhatsApp app and fill out a profile to get started. It works just like an instant messaging platform.

How it can help:

While it wasn’t designed for language learners, WhatsApp is very helpful for finding English chat partners. The best way to start chatting is to find a public WhatsApp group for language learners.

Do you have classmates in your English class that you’d like to practice with? WhatsApp is also a perfect platform for you all to connect. The program allows you to organize groups based on topic and continue conversations that were started on your mobile device on your computer.

Best of all, WhatsApp has a feature that lets you record brief voice messages—a great way to practice your pronunciation skills, or use a word you don’t know how to spell in English.


What is it?

Speaky is another free language learning community. It offers audio and video chat features.

How it can help:

Speaky is a “social network” for language learners. Once you create a profile and specify that you’re learning English, you’ll be connected with native English speakers who are learning your native language. Through chat, you can help each other.

Since you’re both learning, it removes much of the pressure to be perfect in your target language.


What is it?

italki is a popular language learning website where you can find informal language exchange partners. italki is also known for its certified online language tutors.

How it can help:

While you do have to pay for the teaching and tutoring services, italki also has a free community where you can read articles written by italki teachers, and participate in free language exchanges with other learners. Just go to the language partners page and browse users based on the language they’re learning, where they’re from, their gender and more.

Looking to improve your writing as well? italki also has a feature where you can keep a journal in your target language and native English speakers will correct your writing.

Why Chatting Is Great for English Learners

English speaking skills can be very difficult for students to master—and it’s not hard to see why. We may feel uncomfortable about speaking incorrectly. We may worry that strangers are judging us, or looking to pounce on every little mistake.

We do what we can to blend into conversations with native speakers. For example, we use movies and series to teach us common expressions and work on our pronunciation. And when the English-language videos are hard to follow, subtitles are very handy, particularly the interactive subtitles on the FluentU website and Android/iOS apps.

FluentU pairs French media clips, such as music videos and movie scenes, with learning tools to guide you through different accents and new vocabulary. When you click on any word in the interactive subtitles, you get definitions, images, audio guides and video examples to help you understand everything the native speakers say.

At the end of each video, there’s a quiz with speaking questions. These can prepare you for interactions with native speakers.

After enough practice on your own, that’s when chatting in English comes in. Chatting makes English conversation much less intimidating. While internet chatting isn’t a substitute for in-person conversation, it’s a good way to get comfortable speaking in English and overcome your fears.

Don’t believe me? Consider these benefits of English chatting:

  • It’s a low-pressure environment. You can have your notes right in front of you and nobody will even know. Write out a script and practice it before logging on. Of course, things won’t always go the way you expect them to, but you’ll have a solid starting-off point.
  • You can talk to many different people without leaving home. That means you’ll see how English is used by a wide range of native speakers. If you try logging onto one of the chat sites below, you’ll meet many different people who are interested in language learning like you are.

Not only will you meet native English speakers, but you’ll also meet those who want to help you learn and are least likely to be judgmental of your mistakes.

  • You can practice what you want. There’s a chat resource devoted to any subject you can think of. Do you like movies? Sports? Travel? You can chat about it. You’ll find yourself inspired to practice more if you’re talking about things that interest you.
  • You can practice more than just speaking. You may not realize it, but chatting allows you to practice many aspects of English. Since you often have the ability to chat over video or text, you can practice speaking, reading and writing.
  • Mistakes are okay! The only place you’ll find “grammar police” is in a university. Most English speakers won’t attack your every mistake, because they make them too, and they’re native speakers! The ones who do offer corrections will usually be very friendly and want to help you learn, so there’s no reason to feel embarrassed.

Relax and have fun meeting new people. Once you enter a chat room, you’ll make mistakes and learn from them. The first step to conquering your fear is to not be so hard on yourself.


There’s no reason to fear speaking a new language. The internet provides you with a variety of sources to practice your English. Once you’re comfortable chatting, you can practice talking to native English speakers in person.

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