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Find an English Conversation Partner
In the past, many students could practice English with penpals -
they could send letters to people all around the world. With the Internet,
we now can have keypals - we can send emails to international
friends from around the world.
Here is some advice to help you succeed with your online language exchanges:
1. How to start a conversation when speaking English online
When you want to speak to somebody, start by asking "Yes or No" questions. Use questions
such as "Do you like to blah blah blah?" or "Can you blah blah blah?" or "Have you ever
blah blah blahed?".
2. How to keep a conversation going
Remember your goal. You are trying to find the other person's interests. Think about
things you enjoy and try to find some common ground with the person you chat with.
Listen carefully. In that way, you can get to know somebody as an individual, not just as
an online speaking partner. When you know them well, you will have more to talk about.
Ask follow up questions. After you listen, use what you hear to learn more about that
person. Especially use "open ended" questions, such as "What do you like most about
blah blah blah?" or "What was the most interesting experience you've had while
blah blah blahing?".
Share your own experiences to show you have similar interests and attitudes. If you
only ask questions, you will sound a bit like a policeman! Let other people know about
3. Basic Guidelines for Online English Conversation Exchange
Be patient. Do not try to find one best friend right away. Instead, meet many people
so that you can see who you really enjoy talking to and who enjoys talking to you. That
way, you can really build a friendship that will last a long time.
Be polite. Avoid controversial topics, for example politics and religion, at least at the
beginning. Later, when you know somebody better, you can start to talk about their
opinions on such topics, but even after you know them, you should do it slowly and
Be careful. Don't give any personal information on the Internet, especially your address
and telephone number, but even your real name. If somebody bothers you, do not
respond to them. Most chat rooms even have an "ignore" button so that you don't
have to listen to an annoying person. That "ignore" button is very useful, so use it!