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Using Skype to pratice a language with a friend
June 12, 2010 3:03 AM   Subscribe

How can my friend and I use our Skype video chats to learn a new language?

My friend is across the country, and we video-chat often. We'd both like to learn a new language, and we have decided to dedicate some of our regular Skype time to practicing conversation in another language.

Are there any language-learning websites or software that are built to help an existing pair of speakers practice (an existing pair = not those sites that match you up with another speaker, since we already have a pair)? As we will both be new to the language (but not to language-learning), we need something that will give us prompts, words to try and use, and other ways to structure our learning. Bonus points for tutorials that are focused on beginners in the language and Asian languages.
posted by ollyolly to Education (4 answers total)
 
Just use it as you would were you not across the country from each other. Both learn as you can, and then chat and try to pick up each other's mistakes, correct them and learn from them. When they use a word you don't know, make a point of learning it and vice versa.
posted by Biru at 3:53 AM on June 12, 2010


Have you considered using the existing sites (or your own connections) to find another existing pair (or an individual) you can partner with?
posted by whatzit at 5:47 AM on June 12, 2010


You should both sign up to Live Mocha, friend each other, pick a language and then work through the exercises. If you have webcams and Skype, you'll probably be able to both hear the same audio. Live Mocha is very similar to the Rosetta Stone approach to language learning, in that it uses visual recognition as the main learning mechanism (show a picture of a flower, use the word, slowly build sentences). It's a great site, and the social networking side of it is really good too if you fancy reviewing the work of people trying to learn English in return for having your own submissions reviewed. I highly recommend it.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:12 AM on June 12, 2010


Italki.com is what you're looking for.

I've found it to be pretty useful for Mandarin lessons. There are tutors available in lots of different languages, if you're willing to pay (sometimes as little as $1/hour), or you can look for "language partners" to practice for free. These are sometimes helpful, sometimes not.
posted by bluejayk at 7:50 AM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


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