Thursday, January 18, 2007

KanTalk

AJ mentioned a new language exchange site called KanTalk on his blog. I registered, and it looks pretty good.

http://www.kantalk.com

I've been chatting on Skype once a week with a couple of Thai people I met through Mixxer, which has been great.

I believe the research that shows the benefit of an initial silent period in a second language. More generally, I don't think conversation practice contributes to fluency. Spending time listening is the best way to develop speaking ability.

However, if a student has acquired enough of a language to speak without having to think about it, and conversation is done in a relaxed way, it can build confidence and give a checkpoint for progress. And, of course, conversation is fun. For most of us, it's one of the reasons we study a second language.

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4 comments:

david said...

Scott,

Glad that you found Kantalk through AJ and like it. It's just out last week, so you are one of the early birds who signed up. Please keep us posted about your experience at Kantalk. We'd love to hear how it can be improved in helping you learn Thai and many other language learners.

David

Scott Imig said...

The KanTalk site is great. I'm looking forward to participating!

Languagelearner said...

Conversations are good ,if you know what to say, but the main reason for me is to understand what is being said.I was hoping that this site would have a non-voice chat room too

Scott Imig said...

Hi, Language Learner,

I agree. The best part of language exchanges for me is that I get to hear Thai being spoken.

It would be nice to try "cross-talk" with these sorts of exchanges, where each participant speaks in their native language. That way both participants get listening practice with comprehensible input.