Autonomous Technology-Assisted Language Learning/Interaction/Finding Language Exchange (eTandem) Partners

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The following programs and services may prove useful in finding language exchange (eTandem) partners. In addition, many of the programs communication programs listed above offer user directories that allow users to search for persons living in a particular country and/or speaking a particular language.


  • Pyngo.com [1]

The most difficult aspect of learning Chinese language is to "practice" what you have learned from classes or audio tapes, often referred to as "language immersion." According to the famous Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, "all cognitive function processes, including learning language, arise from social interactions." So, unless you have a socially interactive environment, learning a foreign language on your own is very difficult, no matter how committed you are.

Through Pyngo, you can connect with Chinese native speakers at any time and practice what you have learned from audio tapes or classrooms. So you can achieve that all important level of language immersion - for better learning, comprehension and speaking.

International community of online friends and penpals who pursue language exchange via Skype, discussion forums, private messaging, and more.

  • italki [2] Language Exchange and Learning Community. italki's main goal is to help people learn languages.

At italki you can:

    • Find language partners (language exchange, teachers)
    • Practice speaking with them using built-in voice and video chat
    • Find language resources (podcasts, websites, videos, dictionaries, books...)
    • Participate in language communities (Answers, Groups...)
    • Learn from and contribute to lessons on learning foreign languages
  • Language Buddy [3]
  • Huitalk [4] Connecting Language Learners. A great language exchange community, where members can freely search for language exchange partners and share their languages. Members can also write/read language school and book reviews, articles and activities. A full range of tools allows members to speak, listen, write and read with their exchange partner so that all areas of their language learning are covered.
  • soZiety Language Exchange community called soziety. [5]. Great search engine to look for etandem partners. Look them up by language, age, gender, country and favorable feedback. Bonus on this site, skype capabilities. It can be downloaded for free phone calls as an option.
  • MyLanguageExchange [6]. Both free (be invited only) and paid memberships (can invite others) available. Uses Cormier Method for language learning (provides structure with suggested tasks).
  • Translingo [7] Translingo is another Foreign Language Penpal Community offering free language exchange. By exchanging language knowledge through speaking or writing with an Native speaker, the user improves its language skills.
  • LingoZone [8] one of the most active language exchange communities on the web. Offers free language exchange with automatic partner matching, interactive educational games, online vocabulary, message board and chat
  • Phrasebase [9]. Internet's largest language learning social network of language exchange partners and teachers. Supports live webcam based teaching, video lessons, and electronic phrasebook and over 90 languages.
  • Livemocha (official website) Livemocha launched in September 2007.
    • Online Courses: Livemocha has over 160 hours of beginner and intermediate reading, listening, writing, and speaking exercises for six languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese)
    • Global Community: The Livemocha community is full of friendly, like-minded, and motivated language learners looking to practice their skills. Members come from over 140 countries and more than half come from outside the U.S.
    • Motivational Framework: A formal schedule with reminders, a friendly leader board competition, and the ability to monitor the progress of other members maintains user motivation.
    • Language Tutors: French, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese tutors are available for online 1-on-1 chat sessions over Livemocha's voice-, text-, and video-supported chat application.
  • Rockle Lingomigo (official website) is a dedicated community of language enthusiasts from around the world. Includes specially designed language chat with translation and pronunciation features built in, language videos and screensavers. All free. No downloads. Useful for all levels of language users.
  • SharedTalk by Rosetta Stone [10] with over 40,000 members in 170 countres speaking 110 different languages, SharedTalk is a free service that makes it easy for language students to find partners and communicate via e-mail, text chat and voice chat. SharedTalk's main advantage is several live chat rooms organized by language where partners can easily be found for text or voice chat, without installing any software. It is also possible to find out members in the listing of the website, read their profile, and make contact via e-mail. E-mails are accessible from a personal SharedTalk mailbox and e-mail addresses are never disclosed. Very useful for all levels of language learners.
  • xLingo[11]: Online Language Exchange Network. xLingo is another free online language exchange network. xLingo uses Skype for text and audio chat. Users can install a Skype plug-in that allows them to control their displayed Skype status on xLingo as the same or different from their regular Skype status.*
  • Mixxer[12] Mixxer is a free educational site hosted at Dickinson College for individuals interested in having language exchanges via Skype. Teachers can also register and search for other teachers interested in partnering entire classes. Teachers and students can contact anyone in the database free of charge via skype, text chat, or email.
  • Chinese-English Language Exchange [13] "Just as the name says, Chinese-English Language Exchange (CELE) is a service to connect people who want to practice Chinese or English with native speakers. English speakers who ware learning Chinese can call in to do language exchange with volounteer [sic] native Chinese speakers. Likewise, Chinese speakers who are learning English can call in to do language exchange with volunteer native English speakers" (from website).
  • IECC [14] "is a free service to help teachers link with partners in other cultures and countries for email classroom pen-pal and other project exchanges. Since its creation in 1992, IECC has distributed over 28,000 requests for e-mail partnerships" (from website).
  • electronic Tandem on Moodle (eToM) [15] is a Moodle environment for electronic Tandem language learning (eTandem). On eToM language teachers can find partners for their students who are native speakers of the language they are learning and communicate with them using text messages (bulletin board forums), text chat (instant messaging), audio messages, live audio calls and live videoconferences. Use of eToM by college and university language teachers and their students is free.
    • eTandem Europa not through Moodle. This site matches you with an eTandem partner through criteria such as language, forms of interaction, and frequency of interaction.
  • COVCELL (Cohort-Oriented Virtual Campus for Effective Language Learning [16] ppt) is a Minerva Project funded by the European Union whose "overall objective . . . is to address the need, established in current work on on-line language learning, for a virtual environment in which language learners can meet and interact in the process of language study -- a "virtual campus" for language learning” (from link noted above).
  • SL-Lists is Tom Robb's Student List (SL-List) Project for English learners.
  • ePALS Classroom Exchange (official website) "maintains the Internet's largest community of collaborative classrooms engaged in cross-cultural exchanges, project sharing and language learning. ePALS is also the leading provider of school-safe emailTM, blogs, eMentoring and web-browsing technology for the global educational market"(from website).
    • ePALS has recently launched an English-Chinese Language and Learning Portal [17] to its range of portals. Teachers can easily create a free account and profile, which will grant them access to the message boards. There one will find many different classrooms and individuals of all ages around the world looking for native Chinese or English speakers to link up with. Teachers can create accounts for approximately 35 students for free before having to upgrade to a paid account. Accounts enable a user to participate in messaging, forums, and eCards that are restricted to users within the site. Most importantly, ePALS has a built in translator that supports: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese in all of the activities. All posts and activity within ePALS is reviewed and monitored to keep it safe for all ages.
  • Jyve (directory of Skype users)
  • Tele-Tandem French-German exchange for primary and secondary schools.
  • Polyglot club (official website). With 78,500 members in 12,066 cities in 233 countries speaking 151 languages, PolyglotClub.com (free) offers confidential e-mail text chat sessions.
  • Conversation Exchange (official website). A free service with 2500+ members, "Conversationexchange.com membership is completely FREE and enables you to send and receive messages to potential conversation exchange partners, without disclosing your email address. You can edit or delete your membership details at any time." (from website).
  • friendsabroad.com A free service, searches people by language, and even gives you some results that vary slighty from your preferences. You can also choose people according to their language skill.
  • The Language Exchange(official website)
    • eslbase.com goes by the name of "The Language Exchange" on their website. Similar to MyLanguageExchange.com, there are free and paid (5 GBP/year = $10 USD) membership options. A free account will let you setup a profile (picture, descriptions, etc) with what you're looking for, but a paid account actually lets you contact other members through e-mail or Skype.
    • The search engine is simple to use - simply select your native language and your target language. A list of members complete with their profile descriptions comes up in a google-like fashion, making it easy to find someone the right age or with the same interests as yourself. Paid members can easily click on a Skype button to call or e-mail button to contact potential partners. You can also save a list of partners within your account, so later on you can easily access their information.
    • Based outside of the USA, so it may offer a unique community. Otherwise, no special features to differentiate it from other eTandem sites.

At January 17, 2012, the following sites did not work (in order of mention in the article): Pyngo, Juju, Language Buddy (both addresses), Huitalk, Translingo, Chinese-English Language Exchange, IECC, electronic tandem on Moodle, SL-lists, epals chinaportal, teachermania, ccxccx, jyve, speakeveryday, exchangelanguage, lingup. Friendsabroad has moved to Babbel.

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