Let me show you a little secret.
If you have a smartphone, you can access a fun, easy English learning tool.
You might already have it on your phone. You might even use it every day.
It is not a dictionary or translation app, or even anything that was created for language learners.
I am talking about WhatsApp!
WhatsApp is a mobile chat application that allows you to chat with people you know and make new connections. You can have one-on-one text conversations, participate in group chats and make calls through the app.
WhatsApp is very popular worldwide. It is free and easy to use, available for most phones and includes simple features for sharing files, photos, links and videos. Plus, WhatsApp chats are encrypted and private.
Many of your friends may be on WhatsApp already, but even if they are not, you can still use it to chat with like-minded people and make new friends.
This makes WhatsApp a great app for practicing and learning English!
But before you learn how to use WhatsApp to improve your English, let me tell you about a way of learning English that’ll revolutionize your life: FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.FluentU will get you ready to use English on WhatsApp in a natural, native-like way. Give it a free try and see for yourself!
Why Use WhatsApp to Learn English
This may be an unconventional (not common) way to practice English, but a popular mobile app like WhatsApp could help you a lot. Here is why:
- You can practice in a familiar setting. With WhatsApp, you can chat and practice your English with people you already know, such as friends or family.
- You can collaborate (work together) with other learners. With group chats, you can communicate with people from across the globe who are also learning English.
- You can use WhatsApp on the go. Because WhatsApp is a mobile app, you can read and respond to messages on your schedule and practice anywhere.
- There is no need to rush. When using WhatsApp for text chats, you can take your time to think about your responses.
- You can learn while you type. Using the autocorrect feature on your phone is a good way to learn proper spelling while you chat on WhatsApp.
- It is not just for text. WhatsApp has free video calling, so you can practice speaking and listening in English, too.
Now we can take a look at different ways you can use WhatsApp to learn English.
Chat Away: 3 Ways to Learn English with WhatsApp
WhatsApp has several features that can become powerful educational tools for English language learners. You may already be familiar with these features—you just need to know how to use them for language improvement.
1. Personal Chats
If you already have a friend who is a native English speaker (or an advanced learner), it will be easy for you to start improving your English with WhatsApp. Talk to your friend to see if he or she is willing to help you learn.
If so, you can have free-flowing conversations on a range of topics in English!
You can discuss your interests, from movies to the latest technology news. This approach will allow you to practice casual conversation skills in English, which are important to master at any stage of your learning.
If you do not already have someone to practice English with on WhatsApp, you can search for a chat partner on your favorite English forum (for example, WordReference), post on Reddit or spread the word on Twitter.
Chatting one-on-one with WhatsApp is an effective way to supplement your English learning. When you chat, try to challenge yourself. Write in full sentences and use the vocabulary or grammar concepts you specifically want to practice.
Most importantly, do not be afraid to make mistakes! If your chat partner on WhatsApp knows that you are an English learner, they will understand that your mistakes are part of the learning process.
2. WhatsApp Groups
Groups are a favorite feature among WhatsApp users. They are fun, easy to join or create and they can be very useful for practicing English with other learners.
To make a WhatsApp group, all you need to do is to tap the “New Group” button on the “Chats” screen, and choose the participants you want to add. They need to be in your WhatsApp contacts list already. Then you can rename the group and start chatting. That is all there is to it!
But what if you do not know who to start a group chat with?
Good news! Finding people for a WhatsApp group chat is easier than you think.
To get started, look to the people you already know. If you take English courses or classes, talk to your fellow students and see if they could be interested in joining a WhatsApp group. It will be a helpful way for you all to discuss homework, share advice and even send one another funny pictures or links to articles in English.
If you have friends who you know are learning English, you can also invite them to join a WhatsApp group. You and your friends can chat in English, correct mistakes and exchange language learning tips and techniques.
If you are open to chatting with other English learners around the world, even if you do not know them personally, you can create or find a group with platforms such as Messengery. Messengery is dedicated to helping you find public groups on several popular chat platforms, including WhatsApp. Let’s Practice English was created specifically for English learners.
No matter what kind of group you create or join, remember that your goal is learning and improving your English. When you chat with other participants, you should only use English. If you are in a group specifically created for English learners, do not be shy about asking questions or offering help to other users if they need it.
It is all about mutual help and improving your language skills through knowledge sharing!
3. WhatsApp Calls
WhatsApp has a neat feature that allows you to place voice calls and have video chats with your contacts. Plus, it is free!
So when you are feeling brave and want to test your English pronunciation and speaking skills, you can use WhatsApp to call your English-speaking friends or your study buddies.
WhatsApp has both traditional voice call and video call features. You may consider using videos calls because watching your friend’s facial expressions and mouth movement can help you understand what they are saying.
Remember that while you are talking on a WhatsApp call, you also have the option of text messaging your friend without ending the call. This feature can be very useful if you are having trouble understanding something your friend is saying, or if you want to remember a specific word or expression for the future.
Using WhatsApp calls is perfect for practicing English conversation and improving your verbal comprehension skills. It is also a great way to become more comfortable speaking in English on the phone, which can often feel more difficult than face-to-face conversation.
Now that you know all the fun ways you can use WhatsApp to learn English, why not try it out?
Staying in touch with friends over personal chats can help your vocabulary and grammar. Chatting in WhatsApp groups is a great way to practice casual written English. Calling someone on WhatsApp will boost your speaking and listening skills.
Just have fun with it!
If you do not already have WhatsApp installed, you can get it here.
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 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.