English practice for ESL students in Northern Virginia?
January 25, 2009 11:27 AM   Subscribe

ESL-filter: Where can a fairly advanced ESL student practice her English for free?

My sister-in-law teaches ESL classes in Arlington, Virginia. She has a Thai student who is pretty advanced and is looking for a safe place to practice her English face-to-face with another person. Her local library has a conversation practice group weekday evenings but she can't make that because it conflicts with her work schedule. She does have free time weekday mornings, however.

What other places might an ESL student get some English practice in for free? Are there volunteer opportunities that would get her some English practice while she volunteers?
posted by ambrosia to Education (5 answers total)
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but wouldn't almost any volunteer opportunity allow for substantial interaction with other people and therefore language practice? Volunteer positions don't tend to be solitary manual labor. Just off the top of my head, maybe volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen would work. Those have been very social environments when I've volunteered in that context.
posted by rkent at 12:36 PM on January 25, 2009

Volunteering at the library.
posted by mdonley at 12:38 PM on January 25, 2009

I've found pen pals and potential phone conversation partners through this MyLanguageExchange site. You do have to sign up for an inexpensive account to send people requests/messages, but it's free to search in your area. She could find someone who wanted to practice Thai (maybe) in exchange for her practicing English with them.
posted by amtho at 12:47 PM on January 25, 2009

Here are two native English speakers who want to practice Thai in Arlington, VA.
posted by amtho at 12:50 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Toastmasters in Annandale has a number of non native English speakers.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:45 PM on January 25, 2009

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