Practice makes perfect

Looking for a low-cost or free way to improve your speaking skills in another language? We took a quick look at some of the leading apps / websites for language exchange out there.


A language exchange community that shows you who is online and ready to practise speaking and teaching. You can see people’s profiles and try to find like-minded souls who share your interests / passions. Many user reviews indicate some members have developed long-lasting online friendships. Premium membership costs 49.99 euros per year but there is a free option.


LingoGlobe mimics a social networking site for language enthusiasts. Build a profile and list what languages you wish to learn and / or already speak. State if you wish to have a language exchange and other members will be able to send you a message. You need to use another platform, such as Skype / Hangouts. No cost.


We’ll avoid offering a direct link as a web search revealed a huge number of negative reviews for this prominent site. Users (or former users) complain that what was supposed to be a global penpal community has become a de facto dating site. Complaints included privacy issues, lewd pictures being sent to women and an abundance of scammers.


When you register on Italki, you also join a community of language learners. In the ‘For You’ section you will be able to find and join general language discussions, conversations on more specific topics (cuisine, books, music, etc). Best of all, you can also find other members looking for a language exchange, which will be free. However, you can also find good value teachers for one-on-one classes.


This website boasts 16,000+ members, who speak an aggregate of 40 different languages. The goal is to “minimise the cost of learning a new language by supporting language exchange and by encouraging online tutoring by professional teachers and volunteers through readily available third party tools such as Skype”. (You can volunteer as an online teacher, too.)


This app offers one-on-one tutors but there’s also an active community with members often looking for language exchange opportunities. Prices for tutors start at about 5 dollars per hour and there are over 70 languages being taught by over 10,000 qualified tutors.


Please remember we’re sharing the name of these apps and websites to give you a general sense of what’s out there. Before you sign up and explore further, perform due diligence.

This article was originally published for the thousands of expat partners that Global Connection supports around the globe. It is reproduced here in its original form.

Stay up to date

Sign up for our newsletter and always stay up-to-date on the latest articles.

Sign up for the newsletter