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How to Find a Skype Partner

skypeDo you use Skype? Skype is a great service for video calling. You need a computer with Internet access and a web camera. Many laptops have built-in web cameras.

You can use Skype to practise speaking with other English learners (and teachers). The only difficult part is finding a partner!

MyEnglishClub has just made it easier for you to find other English learners (and teachers) on Skype. First set up your Skype account. Then follow these easy steps and get talking!

Help Skype users find you…
Profile Box
1. Go to your MyEC page. (If you are not a member yet, join today. It’s free!)
2. Click on Settings in your profile box.
3. Scroll down to “Skype User?” Change to “Yes”.

Find the Skype users you want…
Advanced Search
1. Hold your mouse over the MyECMembers tab.
2. Click on Advanced Search.
3. Choose the type of partner you want (for example consider the gender, English level, or country of origin)
4. Scroll down to Skype User?. Change the box to “Yes”.
5. Hit Search.

Exchange Skype ID
1. Send a private message to the members you want to Skype with.
2. Exchange Skype ID’s privately.

Schedule your Skype Date
Use private messages, chat or MyEC walls to arrange you Skype conversations. Pick a time and day that works for both of you. Think of this as a class that you wouldn’t miss!

What to talk about on Skype?
You can use Skype to chat informally (get to know each other) or practise specific English skills (i.e. practise asking and answering questions in a certain tense). Here is a list of resources you can use to spark a Skype discussion:

  • The Learning English Video Project: Watch one of the films before you Skype. Click on “Classroom Worksheet” and do the activities together on Skype.
  • The Monthly News Digest: Each month there are 4 Discussion questions.
  • Use the Talking Point Discussion Forum: You will never run out of things to talk about. Work your way down the list.
  • Practise Small Talk: Try all of the different scenarios and conversation starters in these pages.
  • Practise Dialogues: There are many dialogues to practise in the English for Work section.
  • Discuss Health Issues: Each lesson in this section has a set of “Discussion” questions.
  • Discuss the Environment: Each lesson in this section has a set of “Discussion” questions.
  • Make up your own set of 10-20 questions. Interview your Skype partner. (Take turns asking and answering questions.)

Tip: *You can also join the “Find a Learning Partner Group“. Many members are sharing Skype ID’s there.

Do you use Skype? Share your story about the first time you used Skype. Who did you Skype with? How did you feel? What did you talk about?

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub.com | December 2009
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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