This week I decided to do some serious research into a topic which I am questioned about on an almost daily basis. This question is generally asked by students who are returning to their country, and briefly experience a degree of panic when faced with the problem: “How will I practice spoken English in my country?”

I feel that the most effective way to continue practicing English conversation, when living in a country where the first language is in fact not English, is to make use of the incredible, digital, communication technologies which currently exist. It was with this in mind that I set out to find the best websites and social networks geared at encouraging users to speak English. I was somewhat overwhelmed by how many community platforms actually exist but below I have listed my top three:

English Baby! – (aka EBaby!) This English language learning community makes it easy to learn English with downloadable audio lessons and other learning materials. Community members can also use the site to find pen pals and language partners.

The Mixxer – This free educational website was created for language learners who want to practice their writing and speaking skills with other people around the world. Mixxer users can write a blog post and have their writing corrected or chat with other users via Skype.

MyHappyPlanet – ESL students can practice their language skills with native speakers on MyHappyPlanet. Other site features include free videos and English lessons.