Home > No. 61 International Language Exchange

No. 61 International Language Exchange (2010年08月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
It's August. It's hot. Your air conditioner has probably replaced your computer as your favorite appliance. But sometimes people say things that make me even hotter. Let me explain. Last week I was at a conference for teachers in the prefecture where I work and at one point the presenter-who otherwise made a very interesting and informative presentation-said something like, "but seriously, when do Japanese learners ever have the chance to use English?"

I'm always surprised and angered when I hear people repeat this statement. It reinforces the view that schools and the languages kids learn in them are somehow not applicable to the real world and our learners are cut off from the real world, and anyway our learners are separated by oceans and layers of language and cultural barriers. They are not interested in or able to cross these barriers. This is simply not true. The world, as you know, it easily accessible through technology. This month I'd like to introduce some examples for learners who are teenagers or above.

italki calls itself a language learning community and marketplace and it has members from over 200 countries (even though the world has only 195 officially recognized ones!). After you sign up (for free) you can join a community or find a language exchange partner. They also have Facebook and Twitter tie-ups. http://www.italki.com/

My Language Exchange is another site where learners can access the growing community of international language learners helping each other. The site says they are the largest language exchange site on the web and they have a wide range of activities and options for learning. http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/
Rosetta Stone is a company which makes language learning materials. They also have some websites for learners to connect and communicate. The first is SharedTalk (http://www.sharedtalk.com/) which is more of a general community and RWorld (http://rworld.com/sign_in) which is for more advanced learners.

MeetUp is a website where you can find and join or create a group. What are you interested in? I bet there is a group of people online with a similar interest just waiting for you to join. http://www.meetup.com/

That's all for this month.