Language Exchange

Probably the best way, if possible where you are, is to meet with a language exchange partner face to face. For those who don't know, "language exchange" is a sort of partnership usually between two people in which both people agree to trade their native languages. That means that if you are a native English speaker and you want to practice Korean, you will need to find a native Korean who wants to practice English. If you speak another language as well, this can also be something you "trade." Now since the way to go about doing this can be different depending on where you are, here are a few options for how to go about finding a partner: 

If you're outside of Korea,

Google, as usual, is a good place to start. Search something like "***** area Korean language exchange" where ** represents the place you live. There may be Korean language schools, churches, or community organizations in your area that you simply didn't know about before. Korean people often form tightly knit communities wherever they are, so if there is a Korean community near you, there's likely to be someone who may want to do a language exchange! 

  • iTalki - is an online community where you can find language exchange partners all over the world and practice either face to face or on Skype. There are also tutors listed on there that you can pay for more intense lessons. 

If you happen to be in Korea for an extended period of time, then lucky you!

There are, of course, Korean people everywhere so there will be a lot more ways for you to find partners. If you happen to work or study here then doing language exchange with a Korean coworker or classmate is a great way to start. But first, you have to make sure this is someone who is as serious about learning English as you are about studying Korean! If you have similar motivation levels and similar goals, these kind of partnerships can easily turn in to friendships. 

  • Language Exchange Cafes : there are a lot of these all over Korea, so you'll have to search your local area. Facebook is probably the best place to start since it is something both Koreans and English speakers use frequently. Search for groups in the area you live and it is highly likely there is one nearby! If you happen to live in Seoul, then here are a few you can check out! 

    • Culture Complex : "Culcom" as it has come to be called has locations all over Seoul. You sign up for a language exchange partner here and in exchange you share your English. But the best part is, it's free for expats in Korea! They have paid classes and tutors they can set you up with. But it's a great free way to get started. 

  • HelloTalk - This is a very useful app designed specifically for people who want to find language exchange partners. If you have a smart phone and download the app, you can search for Korean people learning your native language and practice with them over through the app. You can message, correct each others messages, and send voice recordings back and forth. This is an extremely useful app if you can't find a partner to meet face to face with. Here are some direct links: iPhone | Android

If for some reason these options are unavailable to you, have no fear!

There are ways to practice on your own until the right opportunity comes along. The best way is to listen everyday! If speaking is the house, listening is the front door. You can practice what you hear by copying what you hear and saying it out loud as you go along. For more about this, you can head over to our listening practice page or check out our blog for more listening tips.