I just ran across iTalki, a website that facilitates finding language partners for learning foreign languages.

I haven't tried it yet, but I think I will.

Here is some info from their site:

"What's italki?

italki is a language learning community. It's main goal is to help people learn languages.

At italki you can:

* Find language partners (language exchange, study buddies, teachers)
* Communicated with them (using Skype, MSN, Yahoo, Talkbox, etc.)
* Find language resources (podcasts, websites, videos, dictionaries, books, etc.)
* Participate in language forums

By creating a profile, you can find and be found by other people who are interested in helping you learn languages. Along the way, we're sure you'll make some friends and learn about foreign cultures. By voting on language resources, you can give recommendations and find out the best tools to help you learn a language. By participating in the learning community, you can also join discussions, ask questions, and help people trying to learn your language.

italki was developed by a company called Talk da Talk. Talk da Talk is based in Shanghai, China, and is dedicated to teaching English experientially.? They believe using a foreign language is the only way to really learn it.
We hope italki helps you learn a foreign language and make new friends!
What is language exchange?
Language exchange is when two people take turns speaking the other person's native language. By doing this, both sides get a chance to practice speaking the language they want to learn. We recommend dividing the time between the languages evenly.

For example:

* John speaks English and wants to learn Chinese
* John does a search to find Lily, a Chinese woman who wants to study English
* John and Lily decide to do a language exchange for 30 minutes
* For 15 minutes John and Lily only speak Chinese
* For 15 minutes John and Lily only speak English

There are many ways to arrange a language exchange, and there is no one right way to do it. Here are our final recommendations:

* be respectful
* don't be afraid of making mistakes
* have fun!

What is a language learning community?

A language learning community is a group of people that are dedicated to learning languages. When you study in a language school, you can rely on your classmates and your teacher to help you learn the language.

* You can ask questions of your teacher about "how do you say...".
* You can ask your classmates "which dictionary or textbook or CD is the best?"
* You also can ask them if they know anyone who can help with language practice

Unfortunately, not everybody has time, money, or chance to enroll in a language school.

Luckily, with the internet now the whole world can be your language learning community.Now it doesn't matter where you live. It doesn't matter if there is no language school and there are no foreigners living in your city. Now if you have an internet connection, you can find a native speaker of almost any language and talk with them for free. With internet phone programs like Skype, and chat programs like MSN, Yahoo messenger, you can communicate with people living on the other side of the world. Join our forum and discuss with other community members your experiences learning languages.
If you're interested in learning languages, try joining italki's language learning community. We hope you'll learn as well as contribute to it.
What are language resources?

Language resources are the tools you need to learn a language. That includes:

* Podcasts
* Videos
* Websites
* Books
* CD / MP3
* Dictionaries ... and more

Every language student needs these tools to learn a language. But did you ever wonder if there were better materials? Did you ever wonder if there was a better textbook? Or if there was a better electronic dictionary??
In addition, with the internet, there are many new and useful sites. There are amazing new podcasts, and websites with flashcards, or software programs, that have made learning much easier than even a few years ago. We hope this part of the website allows you to find the best tools, and gives you a chance to share your knowledge of resources that you found useful."

Visit italki.com

Submitted by opal myth on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 03:03