Learning how to have a French conversation can be daunting, but with the right penpals or conversation exchange partners, it can be loads of fun, too! Once you've committed yourself to learning a language, you'll want to find the best way to learn French. Instead of paying for expensive tutoring services, you can use this resource to explore six ways to find an online French language exchange that will help you (finally) achieve your goal!
Establishing a language exchange remains one of the most effective methods for improving your French conversation skills. After all, it allows you to truly build proficiency. There are so many language apps out there that drill you on vocab, but what's the point of knowing a word without knowing how to use it?
Over the past few decades, language teachers have turned to the communicative approach that prioritizes communication. Instead of concentrating purely on being 100% grammatically correct, learners focus on communicating imperfectly. That's why apps like Speechling are so groundbreaking. Because you get to work on your French conversation, you also get to practice pronunciation and vocabulary, and you get to develop confidence.
1. Using a Forum
The Internet is filled with opportunities for you to meet the perfect conversation partner. One such site is Conversation Exchange. There you can find someone in your area who is a native speaker.
Not all conversation partners need to be native speakers-- one of the best ways to learn French is simply to practice speaking it, no matter who it is that you're talking to. But if you can manage to find one that is a native, you'll be able to maximize your pronunciation practice.
2. Find an Exchange in an Online Program
MeetUp has long been an amazing place for people all around the world to meet others and practice a hobby. And for language learners, they, too, can get to hone their skills.
If you've never used MeetUp, it's worth it to check it out. They have MeetUp groups dedicated solely to language learners, and you can drop in to see how you like it. If it's not the best way to learn French for you, you're under no obligation to return!
Don't see a MeetUp group that will allow you to find a conversation exchange partner? Start one! You don't need to be the world's biggest introvert to do so. Once you create a MeetUp group, you can easily advertise it on social media.
3. Contact Local Schools to See if French Teachers Have Connections
One often overlooked resource is to connect with local French teachers. First of all, many of these teachers are either expats or proficient speakers who would love an exchange with a serious learner. Second, teachers tend to know other French speakers or French language learners who would like to be connected with someone.
So, how can you locate these teachers? The first step is to search for local school districts and check out their faculty pages. If you have trouble finding their emails, you can always write to the department chair and ask to be connected.
By the way, if you're looking to brush up on your French reading practice while you look for a conversation exchange partner, check out French teacher blogs such as Cups of English Tea. It's a great way to learn new vocab and get suggestions for sites.
4. Search Social Media for French Speakers
Social media has long been a way for people from around the world to meet, stay in touch, and share ideas. In addition to broadcasting to the world who you are, social media sites let you find others who share similar interests.
Facebook in particular is great for language exchange groups. A simple search brings up a slew of language exchange ideas and places to meet penpals.
One such group, French/English Language Exchange, teaches you new words and has an active following. That means there are a ton of people who you could possibly meet to begin an exchange with.
And, of course, there's always Speechling's amazing Facebook group that boasts a solid community of learners and coaches who are there to cheer you on!
5. Getting a Native French Speaker Coach
While you are reading this article, you’re on Speechling, one of the most innovative platforms that uses a combination of modern technology and human coaches to get you speaking fluently in no time.
Speechling is operated by a non-profit organization and provides one-on-one tutoring for a whole host of languages, including French. The free forever plan is, like the name suggests, completely free, and includes access to all recordings by both male and female native speakers. Speechling has not only a website but also mobile apps for both iOS and Android. The mobile apps are super versatile for busy commuters.
The concept is practical because you learn a sentence, record your speaking, upload your recording to the server, and a native speaker coach will listen to and give feedback for each of your recordings, all within 24 hours! This is the best way to perfect your French pronunciation. Go ahead and sign-up for a free account now to experience this amazing product. The quickstart tell you how to use the big red button on each card.
6. Use a French Dating Site
You may not have thought of using French romance to brush up on conversation skills, but dating sites can be a great place to find that conversation partner who will take your language to the next level. Most dating sites actually have a "seeking friends" option as well, so you don't need to only be looking for love to use them.
One popular site, French Friends Date, allows you to look for possible love connections as well as friends. Plus, it's free!
You can also try the unique and fun Jumpin site that puts you into a group with 10 other people and chooses a fun place to meet up. The catch? You don't find out about the meeting place until 24 hours before. Such a fun way to practice French conversation!
No matter what path you choose to find your language partner, you are guaranteed to have fun, build a relationship, and perfect your French. So what are you waiting for? Your French conversation penpals are waiting for you!