The Easiest and Cheapest Way to Find Native English Speakers Online
Have you ever heard someone say that you have to live or study in an English speaking country to become “really” fluent in English?
Some people say that the only way to find a native English speaker to practice with daily is to spend a boat load of money and travel abroad.
I imagine that there are two reasons why they would think this way:
1) That’s how they became fluent. They learned English in an English speaking country so they think it’s the only way to learn.
2) They don’t know how to learn English in their home country, so they blame it on the fact that they can’t travel to an English speaking country.
But, I can guarantee you that it’s not necessary to travel abroad to become fluent. You can become totally fluent without even leaving your neighborhood.
Want to know exactly how find native English speakers online, right this minute, for cheap?
And, instead of paying $4,000 (the average cost of studying in an English speaking country for a month), you’ll spend around $100, or $60, or even less.
I am going to show you a step-by-step method on how you gain English confidence without traveling to an English speaking country. You can start today, and after only a couple months I guarantee you will see big results.
Why go on a study abroad program?
There are obviously benefits to studying in the country that speaks the language you are learning. And the biggest one is that you are “immersed” in the language. Often these study abroad programs are called “immersion programs.”
So what is an immersion program?
Basically, a language immersion program is one that surrounds you in the language you are learning. You are “immersed” in the language.
So for example, while learning English in an English speaking country, everywhere you look the signs are written in English, people are communicating in English (except Orlando, where the official language is Brazilian Portuguese), you have to order your food in English, and if you want to do anything the right way you should probably do it in English.
Being surrounded by the language all day is an easy way to absorb it, and if done correctly, is probably the fastest way to acquire a new language.
People travel abroad to study English every day with the hopes of becoming fluent, fast. But, 90% of the time their English does not improve as much as they had hoped it would.
And here is why…
Do these programs work?
Most of the time, not much.
Students on a study abroad program usually study grammar for a few hours in the morning, which is incredibly boring and often a total waste of time, then they have an hour or two to practice speaking with the other students.
The evenings are usually spent going out with students they’ve met at the language school from the same country they are, speaking their native language and doing a lot of fun things, none of which improve their English.
After a typical study abroad program the student returns with some improvement in their listening skills, maybe a little increase in confidence, but not much else.
Studying abroad is definitely not a guaranteed way to become fluent, and most of the time is not worth $4,000. Don’t believe me? Tell me why I’m wrong in the comment section below.
The Basic Ingredients for Becoming Fluent
There are two basic “ingredients” you must use if you want to become fluent.
1) Study material deeply
You will learn much faster if you take specific content and focus on that content for one for one whole day or even a week. Study this content deeply! Write down new words, expressions and slang, and repeat repeat repeat. Listen or read the same thing many times until you understand almost 100%.
Your brain needs to hear and see the same words dozens of times to fully implement it into your English “database.” This has been proven many times. If you’d like to read more about the important of repetition in language learning you can right here.
Being immersed in the language will force you to hear the same things over and over, but you don’t have to be immersed for this to happen (I’ll get to the “at-home” strategy soon)
2) Practice with that material daily
If you apply the first ingredient, study deeply, then you will be adding a lot of new content into your brain. But without practicing with this new content, it’ll just get lost in your brain, swimming around in there looking for something to do.
You have to use it! And how do you do that? Easy. You practice with a native speaker.
But you might say that this is the most difficult part. Finding people to practice with isn’t easy. I hear this complaint all the time. And that’s when someone will say “you have to go the the US or Canada so you can speak every day!”
That’s simply not true.
It is true that finding people to practice with for free is not easy. You have to be very committed and a little creative. But if you have a little money to spend, it is extremely easy to find people to practice with.
And now I’ll tell you about the absolute easiest way to find someone to practice with, every day!
Just Pick Up Your Phone and Start Speaking English
The latest and greatest speaking tool, in my opinion, is Cambly, an application that enables video calls with native speakers that you can video chat with whenever you feel like talking.
The new app makes talking with a native English speaker as easy as can be. You probably have little time for any free activity (like practicing English) and with hectic and often unpredictable schedules, it can be impossible to sign up for regularly scheduled classes.
How Cambly works is that you download the app to your phone, or in a browser, and then use it to connect with an English language tutor through video chat.
Tutors are available 24/7, so this concept literally functions whenever and wherever.
Now the most popular excuse of “not having time to learn” English is no longer valid. So stop saying that!
What Cambly also provides is a relaxed language learning experience. All you need is a webcam, a mobile device or computer and subscription which is in line with your needs (four different types, from $60 per month to $300 per month).
There is also a free trial so you can see if you’ll like practicing with Cambly.
In any case, this learning method is definitely about no stress, no schedule and making learning a language a pleasurable experience.
Having someone to talk to every day from any location is basically like an immersion program, right? You could be sitting at a bar drinking a beer in Brazil while talking to an American girl on the phone, and it would cost you only a couple dollars!
How to Combine the Two Ingredients With Cambly to Replicate an Immersion Program
So now that you know the two most important (and fastest) ways to improve quickly, I will show you exactly what to do using Cambly as your main tool. This process can be BETTER than an immersion program, as you control the content you are learning and can easily converse with a native at any time.
Step 1 – You need to find the content which will be studied deeply. This content should be based on topics you are interested in. Forget about boring English lessons or material you would use in a worth English school.
You are going to read a blog and write down the unfamiliar content. Look up the words in the dictionary, and also see how that content is used in context by comparing it to your language’s translation at linguee.com
Step 2 – Listen to the same audio as many times as possible. Minimum 3 times, maximum 1,000 million times. “The more the merrier.”
Step 3 – Take out your phone and open up the Cambly app and find a native speaker to talk to. Any time of the day, wherever you are (there are no excuses for not having time when you have this much convenience.) 15 minutes is enough, but 30 minutes would be even better (the $100 plan)
While on Cambly, you are going to talk about the content you have been studying that day, ONLY! Don’t waste a lot of time talking about yourself and asking questions about the other person. You probably already know how to do this, so be brief with introductions. Of course, you don’t want to be rude, and you should develop a good relationship with the teacher, but you need to use the new content as much as possible and get their feedback and corrections on your speech.
Step 4 – Listen again to the same audio for review. Burn that information into your brain forever!
That is one excellent way to spend a day training English. And I promise you will see quick results. The best thing about it is that none of this is difficult, it just requires persistence and a little bit of courage to talk with native speakers you’ve never met (and a little $$, of course)
However, if you do this for even just one month, I guarantee the results you see will be impressive. And very likely they’ll be even bigger than the results you’d get from going on a study abroad program, i.e. drinking beer with other Brazilians at a bar in San Francisco.
The Benefits of this “at-home” Immersion
1) $3,900 less than traveling to the US or Canada
2) You will study real content chosen by you and not content from boring textbooks
3) You can focus on English instead of the trip and all the distractions being in a new country brings
There are obviously other great tools you could use and still get the same results. Sites like www.italki.com and www.paltalk.com are great places to practice speaking and chatting (with your new content from the day) and there is an endless amount of sites for good content. A couple good ones; www.ted.com and voanews.com are super. *It’s important to have the transcript or blog post available so you can read what is being said.
You can now implement English into your day, every day! Listen to English all day long on your headphones, and talk to a native speaker about what you’ve been listening to so you can really learn and use that new content.
That is an “at-home” immersion program!
What’s your thoughts on that? Try it out and let me know. And if you have any other tools you could use to get the same effect tell me about it.