Facebook is a good platform not only for sharing pictures and poking friends. There are plenty of other features of the world's largest social network. In this post we'll talk about how to use your Facebook for practising English with people from around the world. There are 1.44 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and it's quite easy to find penpals here.
Searching for other participants who want to practise English
To learn a new language, you have to practise it a lot! Nowadays it's not required to go abroad to speak a foreign language, you can do it directly on facebook.
To find new penpals for practising English directly on facebook you can join pages about English learning (for example, English is Fun), but it's a hard way to contact a lot of members one by one. It's much easier to use the facebook application, made for this purpose, where you get involved directly in practising with other participants, who are interested in improving their English as well.
How to use the facebook application
To practise English use the link apps.facebook.com/speak-in/English (it is possible to practise other languages as well, just replace "English" with "French", for instance). When you join the first time, you will probably be asked to use your public profile, but you may edit your name and photo later directly in the application (in case you want to maintain anonymity).
You need a PC and a microphone or an webcam (the latter is optional). It is better to use Chrome or Chromium browser, but you may use Opera and Firefox as well, just make sure that you got the latest updates. If you want to use an Android tablet or phone, install Chrome Mobile from Play Market. It works only with Android, not with iOS for now.
After you enter the application, you will be able to choose a topic from the list:
If none of them is interesting for you, you may go to the "General discussion" or click "More topics to discuss" and select from the list or suggest your own topic.
Just type what you want to discuss, and click the "plus" icon. If you wonder what topic to create, click the third icon, and get hundreds of suggestions. The second icon is to see the ongoing discussions (which are discussing right now). After you type your topic's description, click "Discuss elsewhere". In this case, you will be practising only with participants who are interested in your topic.
How to practise English on Facebook
Make sure that you gave access to your microphone as follows:
Usually you have the microphone incorporated in your laptop or tablet. To get a better quality it's recommended to use headphones.
In case you declined access to your microphone you have to find this error icon on the location bar of the browser:
Now you may see other participants and may start practising. Sometimes you have to wait a while for other participants to come. If you are too shy, you may just listen the discussions until you have the courage to speak. It's also a pleasing approach to improve your listening skills.
To start speaking, just unmute your microphone:
Optionally you may open the camera whether you want others to see you. If something goes wrong, click "Hang Up" (the last icon) and "Reconnect".
To write messages to the current participants or to see what others have written, open the chat:
If you want to discuss one to one, to send private messages or to send friend request to a participant (in order to speak with him later), click on the user thumbnail's icon:
You'll get an user menu with all the options:
It's so easy and accessible to all. You may practise your English with a lot of participants, discuss interesting topics with people from around the world. And it's all for free! Just try to involve more people, invite friends, be active, and do it often. Practice makes perfect!