italki

Many people ask me 'how can I get more speaking practice?' Or 'how can I speak to a native English speaker?' I like to use italki*. This is website where you can find language exchange partners (free) and people will correct your writing (free). If you can't find a language exchange partner or you want a more formal lesson, you can pay someone to talk to you on Skype (cheap) or to teach you (more expensive).

It's a great website and I use it myself every week. At the moment I'm taking German lessons, but in the past I used it a lot for French. I really recommend it. (I don't teach on it myself, though, and you can't get a lesson with me on italki.)

Here's how to use it.
(Download this explanation in PDF.)
(I've written this explanation for the English version, but it might be in your language, which is even easier!)

1: First, you need to make a free account. Go here and click the red GET STARTED NOW button to sign up. italki explanation
You can sign up here*. (If you use my sign up page, you get $10 free to spend on the italki website, if you want.)

2: Write your email address and create a password. italki explanation
3: Choose your languages and choose where you are. italki explanation
4: Go to your email and click on the confirmation link. italki explanation
And you're ready to go!

5: Here's how to get someone to correct your writing free. Go to the 'Community' tab at the top of the page on the italki website, and choose 'Notebook'. italki explanation
6: Then click on 'my notebook entries', write whatever you want in the space and click 'submit'. You should get a correction quite quickly. Don't forget to correct a few entries in your native language to help other people. italki explanation
7: Here's how to get a free language exchange partner. Go to 'Community' and click 'Language Partner'. italki explanation
8: Then choose the language that you want to learn and your native language. You want to find someone whose native language is English but who is also learning your language. Usually in a language exchange, you speak English for half the time and your language for half the time. italki explanation
9: Once you've put in the languages, click 'Browse' and then you can click 'View Profile' to find out more about each person. italki explanation
10: Then send a friendly message to a few people who you'd like to talk to. Tell the person a little bit about yourself and offer to help him or her with your native language. italki explanation
But maybe you don't want to do a language exchange. In fact, I don't do language exchanges myself, because I don't have a lot of free time. So, instead I pay someone to chat with me.

11: Here's how to pay someone to chat with you by Skype. Go to the 'Find a Teacher' tab. italki explanation
12: Then click on the 'Community Tutor' tab. italki explanation
13: And finally, click on the teacher's name to find out more about him or her.

Here you can see that talking with this person costs $6 per hour, which is very cheap. (If you've signed up with my link, you could talk to someone like this free, because you get $10 free credits.)

14: Once you've found someone you like, you can click 'Schedule Lesson' to reserve a class. It's usually on Skype. italki explanation
15: Finally, maybe you're taking an exam, or you want to do a real structured English lesson rather than just chat. In that case, you can get a lesson with a qualified teacher.

Again, click on 'Find a Teacher' and then choose the 'professional teacher' category. italki explanation
16: Then you will find a long list of teachers. Click on the teacher's name to find out more about him or her. I recommend finding two or three that you think look good and then doing a trial lesson with them, so you can see who is best for you. Usually the trial lessons are quite cheap. italki explanation
I hope italki is helpful for you, and good luck!

Here is the link to italki again*.


* This link to italki is an affiliate link. Read more about this here.
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