My Language Exchange: Ancient Site But Still Great (Review)
- Donovan NagelTeacher, translator, polyglot🎓 B.A., Theology, Australian College of Theology, NSW🎓 M.A., Applied Linguistics, University of New England, NSW
Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator. Founder of The Mezzofanti Guild and Talk In Arabic.
- Excellent way to meet other language learners and penpals
- Millions of native speakers to connect with
- Chat companion with lesson plans
- Costs almost nothing for premium
- Ancient website
MyLanguageExchange.com is over two decades old and has barely changed in that time, yet surprisingly still offers great value for finding other language learners to connect or 'penpal' with. It may also be the only language exchange site that facilitates the meeting and the actual structure of the conversation via pre-made lesson plans.
MyLanguageExchange.com was the very first language learning website I ever used, all the way back in high school two decades ago. 😊
After all this time, the website is going strong with an active community of over 3 million users - it’s grown a lot since then yet oddly still hung on to its primitive platform/design.
True story: One of the very first language exchange ‘penpals’ I met on the My Language Exchange website was a Russian guy from Stavropol (I had a brief fascination with Russian long before I took it up seriously many years later). We kept in touch for a long time by written letter (I still have his handwritten letters and photos he sent me).
One of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I credit My Language Exchange for making it happen. 😊
The general concept of the site is quite simple: you create a profile with your language preferences, you browse the list of native speakers, and you connect by email.
Where it does differ is that My Language Exchange provides structure to your online chatting through what they call a Chat Companion and a preferred methodology referred to as the Cormier method (devised by CELM). Online chat sessions are done in small groups and timed carefully.
Of course, none of this is actually necessary and you can use the platform simply to meet the right native speakers.
One thing that’s great about this site is that because it’s mostly free, it attracts native speakers from obscure parts of the world who may speak a minority language that you can’t find anywhere else.
The premium pricing enables you to initiate contact (that’s the primary benefit), otherwise you’re restricted to receiving messages only.
Overall, MyLanguageExchange.com is still a really handy site for making friends and participating in group language exchanges.
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