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finding locals who would like to talk English with a native speaker

I've heard about the various language programs that offer native English speakers free room and board at nice hotels/resorts in return for their participation in week long or more intensive English speaking classes for local people from the local country who want to learn English quickly. Based on the descriptions and reviews it sounds like literally a lot of talking and for most of the day, not something I'd be interested in personally.
However, I've also heard about opportunities to meet with locals in a more casual setting like a restaurant or café who would love to improve their English skills by chatting with a native speaker. That sounds much more appealing and I wonder if anyone on the forum has participated in anything like this and what's the best way to find out more about this? This is something that wouldn't apply for a relatively short Europe trip but more for a longer, slow travel type trip that hopefully my wife and I will be able to take in a few years from now, when we would have time to do these type of activities. It sounds like a nice way to meet people and help them out in developing their language skills, though of course so many people in Europe already speak English really well.

Posted by
96 posts

An Aussie acquaintance of mine is a solo world traveler who enjoys meeting English-speaking locals (not expats). He is a member of Toast Master club in Australia. People join Toast Master International to improve their public speaking skills (in English). He checks destination city's Toast Master club web site to find their meeting/meet-up schedules. He has always been very well received and enjoys the opportunity to chat with a lot of locals.

Posted by
3005 posts

You might look to see what Meet-up may offer for an area...or, f you are staying put for a whike, list your own Meet up for a couple of dates to meet and chat casually.

Posted by
1567 posts

I don't know of an in-person option, such as you are inquiring about. For a remote option, years ago I used www.conversationexchange.com to meet a native Italian speaker with whom I've been practicing Italian/English via Skype for years. I think of it as a "dating site" for language learners: enter your details, the language you can hep with and the language you want to learn, and you can search and respond to potential partners.

After years of weekly Skype chats, we met in person 2 years ago when I was in Rome (where she grew up) and she took me to some places I hadn't been on prior visits. We still Skype nearly weekly.

Posted by
350 posts

Thanks for ideas everyone. I especially like the Toastmasters idea. I actually might look into joining a local one here at home when things get back to "normal".