Learn English by Chatting With These 5 Fun Apps

“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 with these 5 apps!



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 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 voice messages—a great way to practice your pronunciation skills, or use a word you don’t know how to spell in English.


hellotalk logo What is it?


HelloTalk is a language exchange platform you can use to chat with native English speakers and ask questions about the language. 

How can it help:

Not only can you add friends on HelloTalk, but you can also post “Moments” and interact with posts made by your HelloTalk friends. This will help you see the language used in a more natural context through posts made by native English speakers.

Another great feature of HelloTalk is that you can translate what you want to say or a message you have received, allowing you to keep the conversations going. 

For more information about HelloTalk, click here to see our review.


tandem-logo What is it?


Tandem is a platform you can use for language exchanges with native English speakers.

How it can help:

As soon as your profile has been verified, you can start looking for a language partner from the many available on this platform and begin your language exchange. 

On Tandem, you can meet native English speakers and use a range of methods like text messages, audio and video calls to practice English with your language partner. If you’d like to practice your speaking and listening skills with multiple people, you could also join the “Language Parties.”

You can even search for a language partner based on location, meaning that you could potentially find a language exchange partner in your own city.

Click here to read our full Tandem review.


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.

See our full review of italki here.

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. For the biggest benefit, find a program that gives you both!

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

  FluentU Ad

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 above, 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.

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:


If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

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.


FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:


FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.


FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

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.)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe