When finding a language exchange partner, it is important to be careful and knowledgeable about the dangers of the Internet. The Internet is an amazing invention and, when wielded properly, can be a magnificent tool. Unfortunately, there are those who would misuse it to take advantage of other. If you feel uncomfortable, do not be afraid to stop, block, or otherwise close off a connection.
But enough with the negatives! It’s time to enjoy and make life long friends. We have compiled a list of fantastic sites where you can connect with others simply by creating a free profile and sending a couple messages. These three sites have been our favorite in the team’s language learning expeditions and we suggest that you get involved in the community as well!
Tailored to the everyday learner, many of these people are here to seriously learn by chatting with everyone. The best and most prominent way to connect is through Skype. This site offers two types of memberships: Gold and Standard. The Gold membership is paid and allows you to email anyone who has a profile on the site while the Standard membership is free and takes a little more creativity to work effectively. (Hint: you can disguise contact information in your profile by having slight changes in spelling such as “sk*pe:” so that people without Gold accounts can still get in touch).
This site is meant primarily for students, from young 7- and 8-year-olds to university students. We suggest being honest about your age (keep it within a year or two of your actual age) because then you will have a better experience and get to learn with those around your skill and interest level. Most of the communications from this site happen through email and snail mail, with an occasional Skype if both sides agree.
A site where you write posts as if in a diary and others help correct it. You get points for correcting others and for posting with rewards and street credit that follow. You can choose one or two languages that you will write posts in and when you publish them they will go into a pool where people can see and help correct. As you can tell, the posts are for everyone to see, so be aware. With the use of text tools such as strikers and highlighters, you can receive detailed, line-by-line explanations as to why the corrections have been marked on your posts.