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In May, Adweek posted an article about language learning that we absolutely loved! We recommend you read the full article, but here’s a quick summary: a school in Brazil connected young teens who wanted to practice English with elderly Americans in retirement homes looking for a little companionship.
Below is a video featuring some of the participants. Warning: it may bring a tear to your eye!
It’s commonly agreed that the best way to learn a language is to practice with native speakers. Aside from improving fluency, talking with a partner exposes you to real-life situations, introducing you to new vocabulary and sentence structure. This project is particularly amazing because it uses this philosophy, while connecting those in need on an emotional and personal level.
Not all of us have easy access to native speakers, however. If you’re looking for your own language partner, WeSpeke has you covered.
WeSpeke is a free, online source that connects people from around the world. Users can choose from a variety of learning options. If traveling abroad, you can practice basic phrases. Teachers can link their students with other classes around the world. Or, for general practice, users can find language partners at any time, choosing to discuss topics that interest them, such as vacation, food, television, and many more.
Users are given the ability to ask for help from the native speaker, including the choice to write out, slow down, repeat, or rephrase the conversation. In addition, the speakers can easily switch into the opposite language, giving both partners the ability to practice.
If you’re studying a language, give WeSpeke a shot! Although it can be nerve-wracking at first, you will likely see dramatic results if you practice speaking on a regular basis. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make a lifelong friend!
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