9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with

9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with

Love this post? Share it:)

There are multiple ways to find people to speak English with. The trick is to find nice people with whom you can genuinely want to connect and build relationships throughout the years.

Apps and algorithms could help you to find a partner to practice English but it’s you who needs to do the main job as a human being.

If you ask yourself ‘How can I find an English speaking partner’ or ‘how can I find someone to speak English with?’, this article will be super-helpful for you.

As any seasoned English learner who doesn’t live in an English-speaking country, I was always eager to find people to speak English with. I went through different stages, I tried it all: language apps, local events, pen-pal websites, Facebook, and I did find some friends but the real breakthrough happened when I became a part of a genuine community of English learners and learned how to make connections with people. Only then I was able to find true friends who shared my passion for English, so I no longer needed apps or websites.

Don’t get me wrong, tools can help but without knowing how to connect with people they are useless. That’s why before diving into the tools and places where you can find an English speaking partner, let’s talk about things you need to do before it.

6 Things You Need to Do Before Start Searching for a Speaking Partner

1. Tell your story
Your introduction is what everything starts from. In most of those apps and websites you need to tell about yourself in text, video or audio.

It’s not an easy task for many people. Some might say, “I don’t know what to say about myself. I don’t have much to say about myself.”

Well, as they say, everyone has a story to tell. You just need a little bit of help.

9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Photo by Thom Holmes

Start with your name and then maybe tell about your family. Things you like and don’t like. What kind of people you like and what you don’t like in the modern world. What pisses you off? What makes you happy? What kind of books do you read? Are you a movie fan? What interests you? What makes you sad? What place makes you calm? What places do you want to visit one day? How did you start your English learning journey? What’s your relationship with English now? What’s your native language? Do you know other languages? Do you want to learn new languages?

 

Additionally, you can talk about your job if it’s something you enjoy doing. Or maybe you have another dream? Or maybe you’re between two jobs?

I asked you 11+ questions and even if you have an answer on half of it, you can make a great text about yourself that you can use if you use several platforms for your search.

Just remember you don’t have to tell everything or something you don’t want to share. It’s up to you what information about yourself you’re willing to share in order to find speaking buddies.

2. Identify Who You Are Looking For
Random people who would ghost you after the first ‘hi, how are you’ chat? Or people who have similar interests with you and who’re passionate about English as you are?
So, then tell them about it in your introduction text or video.

You can also specify a set of things, including days or time when you’re available or if you’re more comfortable talking with people of your own gender. It’s important to set boundaries, specifying that you are looking for a friend not a date.

You can also write directly what kind of people you’re looking for. Check out your answer about what kind of people you like and include that information in your profile.

3. Decide How Much Time You’ll Spend on this activity

We all have busy lives and busy schedules and if we carve out some time for our English practice we don’t want to waste it on dull conversations.

Therefore, it’s important to know how much time you want to spend on this type of English practice. Is it an hour a week or 20 minutes three days a week? Is it two hours a week?

As long as you know this, you will be assured that it isn’t wasting your time, but part of your English practice that you planned. Additionally, it will help you to stay committed to your chats with your speaking buddy.

You can even go further and schedule this time in your calendar and add this info in your profile. It will show people that you’re serious about finding a language partner and that they can count on you.

4. Decide What Kind of Conversations You Want to Have

Is it 20-minute chats without a topic when you have some extra time? Do you want to discuss a specific topic or practice vocabulary?

You can choose whatever works best for you. Including it in your profile will let people know what you’re up to. Also, it will make it easier for you to attract the right people.

9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions

5. What Will You Write in Your First Message
Looking for a speaking partner is a two-way street. People will reach you out and you’ll need to reach out to people you’re attracted to.

What’s the best way to connect? Write a sincere and interesting message.

Okay, how to do that? Go to a person’s profile, see what they like, what are their goals on the platform, see if they match yours and you have any common grounds. Write your message showing that you invest some time to know the person better and ask some questions that they would love to answer.

If you’re writing to more than one person, you could use different parts of your introduction info depending on the person’s interests and of course add information about the person you write to.

The more effort you put into this work the better the outcome will be. Usually people appreciate messages that are deep and personal. It shows that you spend some time on researching and writing this message and you truly want to connect with them.

Some people even state in their profile they don’t waste their time on the lame ‘hi, how are you’ messages and they prefer more thorough messages where a person shares common interests and some suggestions for future talk.

6. Make Your Conversations Interesting Right Off the Bat

People who use language apps complain that their conversations fade away when they run out of the get-to-know-you questions. To prevent this from happening you need to prepare.

How? Google ‘ice breaker questions’ or ‘great topics to talk about’ and you’ll definitely see something like this set of great questions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a random or scheduled chat, there’s no way you won’t have fun answering those cool questions.

Why do I know that? Because I used this technique in my speaking club’s sessions and saw how people who met for the first time immediately connected.

Now, when you know the basics of how to connect with people, let’s get right to the point and talk about how to find someone to speak English with.

1. Sign up for language exchanging websites or apps
9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Polyglot Club’s Facebook Page

There are plenty of apps and websites to choose from depending on your preferences.

They are built on the same principle: you download the app, list your language and the language you want to practice and then message people or wait when someone messages you.

Most of them are free to use but if you want to get rid of annoying ads and have more features you’ll need to upgrade your account.

How to connect with people:

You fill out your profile, sharing the info about yourself, things and people you like as well your expectations from potential speaking buddies.

And then you either wait for messages from people or send messages to people you want to communicate with.

Pros:

— It gives you direct access to many people who want to practice speaking skills

— It’s mobile oriented and gives you some fun features to learn languages

Cons:
— Often people are passive and don’t want to make an effort for a great connection.

— Anonymity. Sometimes it’s hard to say if the person you’re talking to is real. It’s easy to join and fake your identity. Anyone can join, so you can meet some scammers asking for money or trolls who are eager to bully people. I guess the app developers try to do their best but they can’t really control millions of people who use the app. Make sure you protect yourself from such people, block them and report to the app’s admins.

— Some people use these apps for dating and it could be annoying as flashy ads that disappear only if you have a paid account. That’s why many people use the app for initial connection but then switch to WhatsApp or Skype calls.

Where to find:

There are many English speaking apps and websites out there, the most known are Hellotalk, Tandem, Reddit. Language Exchange, Free4talk, Polyglot Club.

You can find them on Google, or in your mobile phone app store.

I’m going to review them and some others soon. If you have experience with language exchange platforms and you want to share, send me a message.

2. Join Pen-Pal Websites

Pen-pals are websites for international exchange. English is the most common language there but the difference is that on these websites people want to find like-minded pals and not necessarily language partners.

However, many people use those websites for language exchange as well.

You are free to choose whatever you want to do: find a friend or a speaking partner or maybe both.

Usually you need to fill out your profile, wait for a message from people or message to people you find interesting.

(The guide I shared at the beginning of this article will help you to do this).

Pros:
— You can meet interesting people from all around the world
— You can develop your English writing

Cons:
— Like language apps, these websites can be used by scammers or someone who is looking for dating.

Make sure that you state clearly on your profile that you’re not looking for a romantic relationship and if you receive inappropriate messages, block such members and report to the administration of the website, so they can remove the person from the platform.

— Most pen-pals websites don’t have a mobile version and members communicate through the emails. After you get to know a person well you can switch to WhatsApp or Zoom calls.

— You’ll need to spend some time on written communication before you switch to speaking. Also, some people would prefer texting or emailing.

Where to find:

The most known common pen-pal websites:

InterPals
Global Penfriends
PenpalsNow
—  PenPal World

I used some of them and I’m going to write a review of them soon. If you have any positive or negative experience with such platforms, please share with me.

3. Join Speaking Clubs and Meetings

The best thing about speaking clubs is that there’s a host or a teacher who prepares materials for you to practice and make sure that there’s no random people.

Free speaking clubs usually provide you with the topic and send you to the smaller rooms with other participants, so you have enough time to speak.

Paid are usually smaller groups and the host leads a conversation to make sure that every participant has enough time to speak. In some cases, the host can also give feedback to participants.

During such meetings people share their thoughts and personal experience and that creates true connection between them. If you spend an hour with a person talking about things that matter to you, you are bound to be at least good pals.

I started hosting speaking clubs because I wanted to connect with people from all around the world and improve my spoken English. Through this experience I’ve met so many cool people and witnessed many friendships, including my own.

The best way to make the most out of those sessions is to be a proactive, kind, curious, and sincere person. Be active, ask questions, answer questions, get to know people and eventually it could lead to good friendships.

One of my Speaking Club meetings
One of my Speaking Club‘s meetings

Pros:
— There’s no random people who’re not interested in practicing and connecting
— You don’t need to look for partners, the host will do it for you
— You don’t need to search for questions, the host will do it for you
— Most of the people show up with their cameras on during online events, so you know straight away that they are real people, not someone who’s hiding under a fake account
—  Zero risk of meeting bullies or scammers
— Welcoming and supporting community

Cons:
— You need to stick with the clubs schedule and be on time
—There are might be some technical issues during the meeting but in my experience it happens quite rare
— 1:1 talk is not guaranteed unless it’s a small group and a host sends you to the room with just one person.

Where to find:

You can join free speaking clubs in InFluency Community or some of my friends clubs here:
Speaking Club with Daniela
Speaking Club with Maki
Speaking Club with Noreen

Learn about my speaking club here.

4. Join English Speaking Communities
9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with

This is the best and most natural way to find amazing people who are passionate about English and will be super-excited to support you on your journey and become your friends.

How to connect with people:
No matter which community you join, the first thing you need to know is to learn its rules. What you can do and what you can’t. So you won’t get into an awkward situation by doing something that isn’t not allowed in the community.

Usually you see the rules when you apply to join, so you need to accept them and tell a little bit about yourself and why you are joining the community (use your prepared intro about yourself I talked about at the beginning of this article).

If you don’t see the rules or have any questions ask community moderators or admins (you can see them identifying under their facebook accounts).

Avoid sending direct messages to people with whom you never had an interaction through the comments or videos. It will only scare them off. It’s always good to establish yourself in the community through a natural way of communication and only after approaching people with your suggestions. For instance, in the In.Fluency Community if you want to practice speaking skills, you join Free Speaking Club’s Meetings, asking for a speaking partner is banned.

In most communities, you just need to be a polite and kind person who’s willing to support others and connect.

Here’s what my friend, English creator from Red Pill Read Neil Jose has to say about his experience with communities:

“On Facebook, most of my connections came from the In.Fluency community. Back when I used to actively post videos in the community, I’d get DMs from some of the community members asking for a chat. And also hosting and participating in the speaking clubs helped me a lot. Some of my consistent speaking partners back then were Eugene (he works as a developer). Then there’s another guy named Serhi. He’s an acting school student from Ukraine. We still talk whenever we get time.”

Pros:
— No schedule. You can visit community and participate in activities whenever you want
— You become a lifetime member of the English speaking country community. It will help you to make English a way of life
— You’ll connect with people who will support you
— You can practice your skills and get feedback from members for free

Cons:
— Such communities don’t provide you with speaking partners as language apps do. You need to show up in activities or meetings in order to meet cool people.

— Some of these groups are spammy and overcrowded with nasty people who don’t want to connect but bully and share irrelevant content. You definitely don’t want to be around such people, so choose carefully.

— Most of these groups are on Facebook, which is not the safest place on the Internet. Make sure you update your security settings on Facebook and report to the group admins about inappropriate comments or messages.

Where to find:

‘Most of the communities are on Facebook. You could find them by searching ‘English learners’ and other combinations with ‘English’ or ‘Speaking partners’ but many of them could be spammy and not helpful.

That’s why it’s better to join communities created by English teachers and Youtubers you like. Most major Youtube teachers have their own communities on Facebook. Check out your favorite teachers’ websites or youtube channels and see if they have any communities. Or simply type their names in the Facebook search bar to find them.

Communities that I’d like to recommend as I’m a part of them and know how they work, are:

In.Fluency Community that’s founded by pronunciation and fluency coach
— Daniela’s community Let’s Speak with Confidence
Free English Materials for English Teachers & Students

Additionally, my friend recommended The English Takeover Community and The Stories of Language Learners Podcast Community.

5. Join English Events
9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Photo by Joey Thompson.

Events, festivals, contests, challenges are always a great way to boost your English and meet new people. They could be online or face-to-face and organized by companies or English educators.

Where to find:

Follow your favorite online teachers on social media or sign up for their emails, so you won’t miss when they announce their events. The same goes for the education companies or apps.

As for face-to-face events, you can find them in your local English school’s, libraries, language centers. You can also google ‘english events near me’.

[screenshot]

A great website that could help you to find various online and off-line events is Meetup.

How to connect with people:
You need to be present and active during the event and make connections: you ask interesting questions, share your experience, etc.

Pros:
— Meeting new people
— Learning a lot for free

Cons:
— You need to stick to the event schedule
— Not all events can provide you with speaking opportunities, but you can always choose the ones that provide.
— There are probably some basic rules on how to behave during these events. You can’t just join and say “I’m looking for a speaking partner” unless the event is about searching for a speaking partner. The idea is that you join, connect and build connections that eventually lead to friendships.

6. Join Groups and Events Related to Your Professional and Personal Interests
9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Photo by Wes Lewis

Speaking English about something you like and know is the best way to boost your speaking skills and gain confidence. If you like something you are more eager to talk about it even if you lack vocabulary.

You can find communities based on your professional or personal interests. It could be gaming, reading, engineering, social media, knitting, art, movies or [any of your interest].

Here are some of the most popular hobbies in the world:

  1. Dancing
  2. Watching TV Shows and Movies
  3. Collecting Antiques
  4. Pottery
  5. Painting
  6. Learning to Play a Musical Instrument
  7. Keeping a Garden
  8. Travel
  9. Yoga
  10. Photography
  11. DIY
  12. Reading

If you can’t find yours here, you can read this article about 40 most popular hobbies in the world.

Where to find:

Once you write down list of your interests and hobbies
Take the list of interests you listed at the beginning and start looking for facebook and linkedin groups typing your interest in the search bar.

9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with

You can also find websites that are connected with your job or interest and see if they have Facebook or Linkedin pages or groups.

If you live abroad you can join global communities of expats on Internations or digital nomads of Traveling with Kristin.

There might also be professional associations. Type your profession or a hobby + ‘associations’, ‘club’, ‘annual event’, ‘conferences’ and you might find something interesting to attend.

How to connect with people:
If it’s an online group, you share your passion or experience, ask for inspiration. And if it’s professional you want to share your work experiences, ideas, maybe ask for advice or share advice.

What to avoid:
Again you can’t ask for speaking partners directly, there’s a bigger game to play. Such groups usually consist with native and non-native speakers and there you can actually implement all your skills and if you don’t know something you will learn it because you would want to connect with the members of these groups.
Just remember to see the rules and what people are doing there and make sure that you are not out of line.

I have a friend who’s an architect and she was able to connect with her foreign colleagues through Facebook. Here’s what she says:

“I found groups that were interesting to me on the Clubhouse app. This is how I found their Facebook groups, joined them and started participating in activities and discussions. There are pleasant people and great professionals of different ages in those groups. It was such a pleasure to connect with them. We keep in touch till nowadays.”

7. Volunteer
9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Photo by Photo by Ismael Paramo

Volunteering is a great way to help, learn different cultures and connect with people from all around the world. It’s a place where you hardly find judgment or impatience towards your language skills. The most important thing is your help and the language is literally just a tool to communicate.

When you volunteer abroad you’ll need to use your English all the time, starting from the application process to the actual work you’re going to do.

There are plenty of different types of opportunities from working in a hostel or helping to build a house to working with children or elderly people. You can also take care of animals or do some photography or writing. Some people even look for language partners for themselves or their children in exchange for living in their house and communication.
Although, it’s important to choose volunteer work that you actually like to do, otherwise it will be a nightmare and you won’t benefit from this experience.

Pros:
You will:

— Help people either with your English or other skills

— Travel the world, meet other people and learn other cultures
— Shift your perspective on many things
+ Plus you may discover your true calling or land a dream job.

Cons:
— You’ll have to work for free
—  In most cases you’ll have modest accommodations
—  You’ll need to obey to the rules of your host or an organization
—  There are cases when people just use others as free labor. There are some red flags you need to be aware of. The best is to follow the guidance of seasoned volunteers. You can find those tips in a free e-book created by Helpstay’s founders. Here’s the link to download it.

Where to find:

There are plenty of volunteer opportunities across the world. If you live in an English speaking country you might find some local volunteering opportunities by google [volunteering] + country/city. For instance, here’s a website that offers online and offline volunteering opportunities in the USA.

Even if you don’t live in an English-speaking country it doesn’t mean that there are no English speaking communities or companies who need help from an English-speaking person like you. Search on travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, language centers etc.

9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Helpstay’s Website

If you are up for traveling do the same search adding the country you want to go to.

You can look for volunteer opportunities on Helpstay. They also have a Facebook group where you can find like-minded people, testimonials about different places and organizations and volunteer opportunities.

TIP: If there’s a company where you want to work, check if they have internship or volunteer opportunities and apply. This is how you’ll get to know the processes and connect with your potential co-workers. Even if they don’t have an opening, you can send them an email offering your assistance.

8. Start Teaching English
9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Photo by Adam Winger.

If you like to explain things and help people, you can start teaching English. Whenever you are on your English journey there is always a person who’s behind you and who you can actually help.

Teaching English is a great way to improve your own English skills. Also, it motivates you a lot. We usually have a hard-time making time for ourselves but we’re super-alert when we need to do something for others. When you have this responsibility for your students, it will motivate you to actually do what you need to do.

You can teach English in various ways. It could be a regular class where you teach grammar or vocabulary. But it could also be something unconventional like speaking, improv, listening or reading sessions.

For instance, I love speaking and connecting with people and also like to learn about the meaning of different words and expressions and their origin. This is how I started my Speaking club where I share different topics and sometimes teach some vocabulary.

How to Connect With people:
You connect during the lesson. You want to create lessons around your students’ needs and interests.

So you can have a discovery call during which you can ask them about their preferences or create a google form and ask them to fill it out. This is how you get to know them and connect.

Pros:
You will

— help people for free

— speak Engilsh a lot

— improve your English

— develop teaching skills that you can use in your professional development
+ You may discover your calling and start teaching professionally.

Cons:
— You’ll have to learn a lot. It’s important to know material that you want to teach. Make sure that you actually learn the topic yourself and practice enough not only to teach it but answer additional questions from the students.

That’s why having your friends or family members as your first students is super helpful. This is how you can prepare yourself for possible questions and all kinds of situations. When you feel more confident you can start looking for students in communities.

At the beginning of her teaching career my friend Daniela created a Facebook group where she offered free classes to English learners. Eventually she became friends with her very first students. You can learn about Daniela’s English journey here.

Where to find:

You can start by asking your friends or family members if they want some English classes. Then you can write a post on your social media accounts or in the groups (before doing it make sure that it’s allowed in this community) offering people free classes.

9. Start a Blog or an Instagram Account
9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
Photo by Gabrielle Henderson

Going public is the best way to hold yourself accountable. We humans usually don’t want to be judged by other people, so when we do something for others we try our best in order not to be ashamed. That’s why if you decide to go public you are more likely to put effort into your English skills.

How to connect with people:
By being kind, humble and sharing something that people can find useful, interesting, inspirational. The more you share the more people can see you and appreciate your work.

Pros:
— It’s your account and you are free to announce that you’re looking for like-minded people who want to practice English too.
—  You have full freedom of creating whatever you want to create and when.

Cons:
—  You’ll have to learn how to create and engage with your audience
—  You can’t avoid judgment and nasty comments whatever you do online but you can choose how to react to them. You can ignore or block them from your account.

Where to find:

In this article we’re covering speaking skills, that’s why you need to choose platforms where you can develop speaking skills via making audio or video.

If you prefer making short videos, Instagram or Tiktok can be perfect platforms for you to perform. You can create short helpful videos about something you are passionate about. (Check out the lists of your hobbies and interests and see if you can share something exciting and useful on your account.)

This is how I started my Instagram account. After my pronunciation training I was able to produce certain sounds and my spoken language improved but during day-to-day speech I often switched to the old habits. So I decided to make more videos and as I didn’t have a lot of time to create them, I created an Instagram account.

In April of 2021 I started a vocabulary challenge during which I posted daily videos for 50 days. After that I not only improved my speaking skills but also found new friends on Instagram and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

“Social media is the best way to improve your speaking skills, I have met great people thanks to my page, I have learned a lot from people and thanks to that I have helped my students. When you lose your fear of speaking or posting online, amazing things happen. – says Noreen, my fellow English teacher, who’s very active on Instagram.  – I have met students that have turned into collaborations with another project and I have found another teacher that has encouraged me, and gotten the growth I had.”

Another friend and writing coach, Maki, also found new English-speaking friends thanks to her Instagram account Writers Carvings.

“I started using social media to practice English in 2020, – says Maki. – My start was Instagram. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my face on it at first. But I’m glad I did because I’ve constantly been making new friends (great ones!) since 2020. What attracted other English learners the most was my videos. I believe my videos let other English learners know I’m legit. Also, leaving comments and some questions in the comment section increased the success rate of connecting with new people and having online calls.”

 

9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with
During one of the Maki’s Meetings

If you’re up for longer videos, start your Youtube Channel. If you prefer audio, the Clubhouse can be a great fit for you. Here’s a super-helpful video tutorial on how to boost your English skills and meet new people using this app.

Now, I mentioned some cons for each way of finding speaking partners to let you know about them, not to scare you off. Don’t focus on them, focus on what works best for you. Choose any ways you want or combine several, the goal is to connect with awesome people and boost your speaking skills.

And if you already have a story of a great friendship as a part of your English journey, please share it in this form and I’ll include it in one of my articles.

Sign up for newsletter
Learn more about my Speaking club. 

Cover Photo by Brooke Cagle

Posts created 126

2 thoughts on “9 Healthy Ways to Find Someone to Speak English with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top