How can you find English speakers to talk with?


December 10, 2012

Night Club

One complaint I often hear from English learners is that it's hard to find people to practice with.

I agree that it can be hard. You have to change your habits to put yourself in new situations where you get more English practice. It takes a little bit of bravery. You have to be willing to speak with strangers, even though it may be a little uncomfortable.

But where do you actually find English speakers? Here are a few of my ideas — some simple and some a little crazy.

  • Go to the site Meetup.com and search for an English-based group in your city that matches one of your interests.
  • Try a language exchange site like Verbling.com.
  • If you're living or studying abroad in an English-speaking country, take a class on something other than English: an exercise class, cooking class, accounting, computer programming, etc.
  • Hire a tutor.
  • Advertise some service, like babysitting, guiding tours, doing translations, etc. to English speakers in your area.
  • Print a T-shirt that says "I speak English" and wear it around everywhere. Maybe another English speaker will comment on it and you can strike up a conversation with them.
  • Go to a classified ads site like Craigslist.com and look for people who are advertising things. Call them up and ask them questions about whatever they're advertising.
  • Go to a bar or club that you've heard a lot of English-speaking foreigners go to.

But this list is way too short and not nearly creative enough. I need your help! How have you found English-speaking friends or language exchange partners in the past? What else could you do to create opportunities for yourself to practice? The more creative the idea, the better!


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