Skyping with online language exchange partners…
In my interview with Fiona from Baby Steps to Fluency, Fiona explained how she uses language exchange partners to fast forward her studies. When I asked Fiona where she came by her partners, she mentioned How To Learn Any Language and Unilang.
Armed with google, I went in search of more language exchange sites for this post. I discovered that there are many sites available, with a stretch of attributes. Some are simple. You just sign up, do a search, and make contact. Others have more to them: forums, teachers, classes, video, online chat, resources, etc.
Not all language exchanges offer Thai, so I did a quick look to see who did (shown below). Btw – if you know of more language exchanges, please drop a line in the comments or via my contact form.
Online language exchange partners…
They offer three types of exchanges: face to face conversation, correspondence (pen-pal), text and voice chat. My search came up with 67 Thai speakers wanting to learn English via Skype. Their login dates are recent.
Facebook: Skype Language Exchange group
It’s a simple concept. After you join the group, scroll down through the language exchange requests to find a fit. You can also post language requests of your own.
On this site there is the ability to hook up with a Thai language exchange partner, a Thai Skype teacher, or both. There is also a notebook section where you can get your homework corrected (excellent idea) or ask questions. The Questions and Answers section is another place to ask questions. There are other sections, so poke around. When I did a search for Thai speakers, it came back with 500.
Ju Ju Penpals
JuJu is a community where finding language exchange partners is one of the options, but not the main aim. A search for Thai speakers interested in language exchange gave me 78.
Language Exchange Partner
It’s free to join, but if you want to contact a language exchange partner, there is a cost. And until you upgrade, someone can contact you, but not the other way around. When you sign up you have to make your way through pages. One wants you to hand over your contacts, the other wants to sell you something. There are ten Thais using the site but not all want to learn English.
This is a simple site to match language exchange partners. There are no Thai speakers at the moment.
Learn to Speak Thai
On this site you can communicate with a language exchange partner via email, text chat, and voice chat. There are a number of interesting resources on the site: word games, library, forum, and a lot more. The tips section is one of the best advice resource I’ve found. There are 7666 registered Thai speakers signed up to learn English.
This is a new community site. Available is chat, blogs, albums and videos (where you post from your trips or whatever), and a forum. When you sign up, you are asked to define your language (whether you want to teach or learn), and your location. After those two are filled out, you can look for a match within registered users. What I liked about this site is that you can also find study partners (needed). There are no Thai matches but it’s early days yet. And while there is no mention of Skype, it’s easy to arrange between users.
There is so much going on at this site (mostly ads) that other than finding a language partner, I’m not sure what they do. There are four Thai speakers listed.
This is a basic language exchange partner connection site. Besides linking up with someone, you can chat, create an online vocabulary list, and play games (but I believe they are English only). There looks to be around 100 Thai speakers on the site.
My Happy Planet
After you sign up to find friends you can watch videos (mostly music videos from YouTube), and then check out their Thai lessons (none at the moment). There are presently 909 Thai partners listed.
This is a slick site with potential. It has audio chat, video chat and text messaging from the site. There are three Thai teachers listed and one podcast. A forum is planned for the future. There is an offline language exchange where you search for someone close by. I came up with nothing in several searches. Over 150 Thai speakers signed up for a language exchange.
Phrasebase Foreign Language Learning
They have put a lot of thought into this site. It has an active forum and several sections to learn Thai (phrases, words, etc). You can upgrade by paying US$5.75 a month to learn 500 Thai words and phrases. In the community there are two Thai teachers, two language exchange partners, and ten students. Problem is, it’s been ten months since their Thai community has checked in. I’m hoping that it’s a technical glitch.
This site has a simple aim: to learn languages and make friends. It uses the “Polyglot Approach” and the concept of “Active Ear” (I’ll leave you to find out what that is). There is a video section (what you can already find on YouTube) and a forum. Oh, and the Polyglot Club is affiliated with ASSIMIL (a personal favourite, so it has to be good). At a glance this site is worth looking into. A quick search came up with over 40 Thai speakers wanting to hook up with English speakers learning Thai.
PrimeSkype is like a forum, only with sound (and video if you are game). There are no Thai speakers available at this time.
I couldn’t get into this site. Their signup form kept throwing me out for not having everything filled in, when I did. After three times refilling their form, I gave up. Apparently it is a language exchange with pen pals via email, text chat or voice chat.
Simple concept. Just sign in and then do a search for ‘Thai’ (not ‘learn Thai’ or you’ll get everything for ‘learn’ as well).
TANDEM City: Language Exchange Community
This is the most beautiful language exchange site out of them all. They seem to have two aims: language exchange and connecting students with courses around the world. To find a partner you search, and then send the desired person a message. A forum and online chat are available. In their FAQ I came across CALPER again (a site with activities for language students). There are three Thai speakers aiming to learn English.
If you remember, I interviewed Todd Bryant, the creator of Mixxer. The site is fast, signup is easy. Also easy is looking for a language exchange partner. Each member gets a blog where they can write posts in their target language. To find out more, check out their FAQ. There are at least 140 Thai speakers with an interest in English.
At this new site you can find a language partner in your city. When you sign up, you select how to communicate: face-to-face, Skype, MSN, phone, email, pen pal. After I joined up I discovered that there is only one language exchange partner in Thailand. Me. But I did find three Thai speakers dotted around the world (two in Germany, one in the US). I like the feel of this site and wish them many new members.
This is a big site: courses, videos, audio and podcasts, grammar, dictionaries, pronunciation & script, vocabulary, phrasebooks, stories, games & exercises (vocabulary trainer, exercises), linguistics, articles, reviews, news & media, online tools & software. It also has a Thai forum. My search for Thai nationals came up with ten, three have been active on the site (forum posts).
This is a Skype network. You can also use Unize to learn a language through language exchange. At the moment there are no Thai speakers.
This is basically a social network for learning languages. I was not able to poke around inside because I received a 500 Internal Server Error. There is an online chat area, forum, and members can upload teaching videos. My quick search came up almost 60 Thai speakers.
I wasn’t sure if they had Skype classes but they do. At the moment there is only one Thai teacher but the site is excellent so that should change. Also on offer are Flashcards, Absolute Recall™, Web Reader, Course Management, and Language Exchange. Not all are free but the yearly subscription is so tiny it shouldn’t matter.
This site gives you the an option of communicating via Skype, pen pal, and blog entries. A brief search came up with one Thai speaker.
How to learn Thai via Skype, the series…
This post is part eight of an eight part series.
- How to learn Thai via Skype
- Interview: Skype Thai Teacher Khun Narisa Naropakorn
- Guest Post: Study Thai Online via Skype
- My Skype Thai Language Learning Experience
- Learn Thai via Skype: Locating Teachers and Schools
- Todd Bryant and Mixxer, the Language Exchange Community
- Baby Steps to Fluency on Skype Language Exchange Partners
- Online Language Exchange Partners