How To Practice Speaking English Online With Skype

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How to Practice Speaking English Online With Skype in 2020
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How To Practice Speaking English Online With Skype

Online English learning is continuously growing, and in 2020, the Covid-19 outbreak has accelerated the demand even more. Due to the current social distancing measures put in place by many countries around the world, more and more English learners are looking into how they can practice their English speaking online with Skype.

I've been teaching English for many years, and I have often seen students' lack of enthusiasm when it comes to learning English online. Learners' thinking is now shifting as people are concerned with social distancing. 

With an increasing number of students wishing to improve their English skills from home, I thought it would be beneficial to give you a few tips on how to get started with learning English online.

Let's look at the different questions you need to ask yourself before you start learning English online.


  1. Group or private?
  2. Which accent do you prefer?
  3. Your teacher's qualifications and experience?
  4. Paid or free?
  5. Skype or Zoom, is there a difference?
  6. Check the timezone


Group or Private 

When deciding to learn English online, you have a couple of options. The first decision you need to ask is whether you want to study English in a group or in private. In a group, you have the advantage of meeting people from all over the world while learning English online. You'll be able to make new friends, discover more about different cultures, and improve your English at the same time as your virtual classmates. Studying in a group is good because you're with other students who are in the same situation as you. Nothing is stopping you from meeting your virtual classmates outside of the Skype lessons to continue practicing your English speaking skills.

If you study English online in a private class, this will be extremely helpful as long as you're learning with a great teacher. Private lessons are usually more expensive than a group. Still, they are often more beneficial as the teacher focuses only on you and helping you improve your English. 

You need to weigh the pros and cons and see if studying in an online group or private is your best option according to the results and experience you're looking for.


Women studying English online with Skype
Learn English Online with Skype or zoom


Which accent do you prefer? 

Think about why you want to improve your English speaking skills. If you're taking online speaking classes with Skype or Zoom because your husband or wife is a native English speaker, you'll probably want a teacher with a similar accent. This will help you understand your husband's or wife's English quicker. For example, if someone is married to an Irish person, you might not want to study with an American, Canadian, or Australian teacher. The accents are too different compared to the Irish accent. If you need English because you work with international clients or colleagues, consider a teacher with a  British or American accent depending on which accent you hear the most. 

Your teacher's qualifications and experience. 

They are thousands of English teachers online, and they are not hard to find. However, be careful as a lot of online English teachers do not necessarily have the qualifications or experience to teach English. Many native English speakers think they can teach English online via Skype or Zoom because they are native speakers. This is certainly not the case! Teaching English is a job that requires training and experience. Teachers need to know how to manage groups and adapt to different learning styles. English teachers also need to understand the learning process to help students take their English skills to the next level. 

Paid or free

This is a difficult choice when it comes to learning a language online. There is so much information online that you could study English online for free for the rest of your life. However, it's not necessarily the most beneficial. Most people need a teacher to help them identify and correct their mistakes. No one will properly correct your errors unless they are paid. Some friends might correct your errors from time to time, but that is not enough to really improve your English language skills.  

Find an online English teacher who is qualified, experienced, and who you like. Some online speaking courses on Skype or Zoom are affordable. For example, we have an Online Conversation Club, which is only 45USD per month. You get access to 18 hours of online English conversation classes per month with a qualified English teacher. We even give students the first month for free, so they can see how good it is before signing-up. 

So my advice is to find a paid solution which is within your budget. As I mentioned above, a lot of online English courses give a free trial. Use it to your advantage and try a few different teachers to see which style of online teaching you prefer.

Learning English online with Skype
Choosing between paid or free online learning can sometimes be a scary task!


Skype or Zoom, is there a difference? 

In their essential function, they are very similar. Both are great to practice your English speaking online. However, Zoom does offer a few more advanced features compared to Skype. If you study in an online group, Zoom has a feature called Breakout Rooms. This feature is fantastic for teaching, as it enables the teacher to split the group into smaller groups. So if there are 8 people in the online class, the teacher can make 4 groups of two students. Students can then talk to their partner without anyone else hearing. The teacher can go in and out of the smaller groups to provide support and correct mistakes. 

So if I had to choose between Skype and Zoom, as a teacher, I would go with Zoom. It offers a few more features which makes teaching English online an enjoyable experience for both the student and the teacher. 

Difference between Skype and Zoom for learning English online
When it comers to teaching English online, I prefer Zoom.


Check the timezone

Classes will be live if you're going to practice your English speaking skills online with Skype or zoom. So you need to find online English teachers who work in a similar timezone to yours. If you live in China, for example, studying with an online English teacher in Canada might not be the most practicable when it comes to the time difference. So make sure that the website/teacher you choose for improving your English online offers classes in different time zones suitable to you. We had this issue before with students, which is why we now offer online conversation classes at different in different time zones.

Paid or free course for learning English online with Skype?
Check your timezone. Remember that your teacher can be anywhere in the world.


So there you go, guys and girls. I hope that the information in this article helped you when it comes to practicing speaking English with Skype. 


Do you have any questions?  

Would you like us to write an article or make a video about a specific topic or grammar? 

Send us an email with your questions. (hello at spokeneglish.courses)


Author

15+ years working in the ESL industry. You'll love him!
Jake Borland
15+ years working in the ESL industry. You'll love him!
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Jake Borland

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