Monday 14 September 2020

049 No excuses – The best place to get FREE speaking practice right now

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This is NOT a sales episode, I promise! Seriously, I have found and tested the BEST place to find people to practice speaking English with for free. It only takes 5 minutes to set up an account, and you’ll be up and running, practicing your English with nice people from all over the world. No hidden charges, no sales, I promise you…as of September 2020 when I am publishing this podcast, it’s 100% free. There aren’t even annoying ads! No excuses. Start speaking NOW. :-)

You can find here. It’s a great place to practice speaking with other non-native speakers.
If you prefer to have structured lessons with a native speaker teacher, italki is probaby still the best value. But for FREE speaking practice, definitely check out free4talk!

Hi, English learners, Lori here, your teacher from

Today I have a very short and simple episode for you. Now, I know a lot of you really want to get more English speaking practice, because you’re mainly concerned with becoming more fluent with your English speaking. But the problem is that you have a hard time finding people to practice with, especially since, you know, it can be expensive to get an online teacher, and you don’t have money and I totally, totally understand.

So what if I told you that five minutes after listening to this podcast you could be online, joining in a whole community of people just like you who want to practice their English. And you could actually be practicing, literally within five minutes.

I swear it blew my mind when I found this site. It’s called, and it’s 100% free.

And I promise you, I have no vested interest in this website. I don’t know them. They’re not paying me anything. I don’t make any money for recommending it to you. I just think it’s such an amazing resource that I would actually feel really bad if I didn’t tell you all about it.

Now, if you’re already listening and thinking, “Oh, no, no, that’s not for me. I’ve already tried conversation exchanges and it’s a real pain in the butt because I have to first log in and look at a bunch of profiles and then find somebody and then send a message and, and hope that they’re going to get back to me and then we have to arrange a time and then more often than not, when I show up for our appointment, there’s nobody there, they’ve totally flaked on me.” And I get it. That is a real pain, and that is frustrating. And you’ve spent all this time and still not gotten any practice.

I promise you free4talk is 1000 times easier. Literally, within five minutes, you can find the site, create an account, log in, find a room and start talking to people. And the big difference between free4talk and these other conversation exchange sites is that it’s based on chat rooms. And that makes it super, super easy.

I’ve been logging in off-and-on over the past couple of weeks and giving it a try. And the good news for all of you who are listening who are learning English, is that English is by far the most popular language. Every time that I’ve logged in there’s been at least 40 different chat rooms. Sometimes there’s been close to 100 different chat rooms of learners all over the world, people just like you who are on there to practice their English.

So I hope this is getting you excited. And that you’re thinking “Yeah, cool. I want to go try it.” So here’s what you’re going to need if you want to try it. All you need is a computer with a mic. Or you can also use an Android phone or an iPhone. And you’re going to need a Google account because that’s how you log in. I think the site is actually based on the same engine that drives Google Hangouts. So you can’t use it if you don’t have a Google account.

I won’t bore you by explaining every detail about how you log in and create your account and all that. I trust that you are competent enough as a user of the internet to be able to figure that out yourself. All I want to do here is just encourage you to take action and actually give it a try and get on there and start practicing your English.

And if you’re listening to this thinking, “Oh, but no, I’m still too shy. Oh, that sounds too scary. I don’t want to go on there and speak to people I don’t know”. In my experience, it’s OK to join one of the rooms and just type in the chat that you’re shy and you really just want to listen. I’ve actually tested that myself. And in the rooms where I’ve tried that, the people there have totally understood and it’s been totally fine.

So if you are shy, and it still feels a bit too scary to go on and start talking to people, you can go on and just try some rooms, join and say, “Can I just listen please?” and just get used to the idea and learn how to use the site.

And then when you feel ready, you can start talking. It’s really that simple. And you really have nothing to lose by giving this a try. I hope this is getting you excited about it and that you’re really keen to finish this podcast and just head over to and sign up and give it a try.

I think I should warn you though, that there are a couple things to watch out for, just like anywhere on the internet. It’s mostly nice people, mostly people just like you who all they want to do is practice their English with other nice people. The vast majority are like that on free4talk. But like anywhere else on the internet, there are also jerks and idiots and trolls who are there to just cause trouble, make other people feel bad. And that’s how they get their kicks. So just beware that you might run into the occasional person who is going to be not very nice.

The good news is, is that free for talk has mechanisms in place to help you kick people out and block people if they’re causing trouble. So please, please don’t let that stop you from using this amazing and fantastic resource.

Now, if this hasn’t convinced you yet, I’ll tell you about my experience yesterday. I knew I wanted to record this podcast. So I wanted to make sure that I had really tested the site properly, and that I knew how everything worked. So I logged on and I quickly created an English chat group and I named it “Just Testing.” And I thought, “OK, that’s safe. I can go on here and it’s called ‘Just Testing’ so I don’t have to worry about wasting people’s time by having them join my group and find out that I’m just testing my mic and trying things.”

That’s what I thought.

I kid you not, within 20 seconds — I had not even really had time to get started with my tests — there were already people joining my group to practice. I talked to two people from Iran. And they were the most lovely people. It was a guy and a girl. And we were there talking for close to 40 minutes, I think it was, and I had the most lovely conversation with them. It was really not how I had planned to spend that 40 minutes, but once I started talking with them, they were so interesting. And we had such a nice discussion. It was really a wonderful experience and they were so, so nice.

So I hope that this will encourage you to go on there, give it a try, and please, let me know how it goes for you. You can go to my website and let me know how it goes for you. And, and who knows, I might even see you on there. And we might even have a little chat because I do log in from time to time as Better at English and join chat rooms to be of any help that I can be, or just enjoy listening to the non-native speakers helping each other.

It is truly heartwarming, especially in these horrible times when there’s so much awful stuff going on that I hear how the more advanced learners are there and they’re helping the ones who are not as advanced. And they’re playing games with each other and doing pronunciation practice and having conversations and working on grammar and I can’t say just how wonderful I thought the whole thing was. Again, they’re not paying me to say this. There’s no check in in the mail, I just sincerely am hoping that I, that this will get you excited about it and that you’ll want to give it a try.

So that’s it for me for this time I am working on a new conversation episode for you and I should have that up in another couple of days. But for now, I just wanted to give you this tip about how you can get — today in the next five minutes — how you can be practicing your spoken English with other real, live people just like you. So give it a try. And until next time, this is Lori signing off from Better at English headquarters, wishing you and inspired and productive day. Bye for now.

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