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[ Language Learning Tips ]

Finding Friends on the Internet

Think about these questions before you start listening and then find the answers in the recording:

  1. What tips should you keep in mind when communicating with people on the Internet?
  2. What three Websites can you find online that are best suited to language students in your situation? Find the sites and then explain your reasons.

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Many students want to find friends on the Internet as a way of practicing their language skills and learning more about new cultures. Traditional pen pals were the primary source for such contacts, and students could write each other letters. With the Internet, finding friends has become much easier, and such relationship are called keypals.

However, care and consideration should be given when finding friends on the Internet:

  • Search the Internet for reputable services. Look for reviews of such sites to learn more about other students' experiences. Don't join a service until you have done your research.

  • Check to see if you can use a nickname, rather that your real name, to protect your identify.

  • Never give personal information to anyone, including your home address, phone number, and birthday.

  • Stop contact with others if you feel uncomfortable with the topics of conversation. Again, if you protect your identity, this will be easier to do. Tell your teachers, parents, or even local law enforcement if problems arise.

  • Try to use the language you are studying in the classroom in your communications with others. Ask appropriate questions that will also help you learn about other cultures. Remember that one's personal experience might be just that: To understand a whole culture, you have to talk to many people, but this will get your started. Good luck.

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