Saturday, March 16, 2013

Practicing with Google Hangouts

Practicing language skills with native speakers is now easier even if you don’t know anybody who speaks your target language – thanks to Google Hangouts. I tried it several times and I think it’s a very cool idea!
Google Hangouts are available from a Google+ account or from a Gmail inbox. All you need is an Internet connection, a microphone and a camera – well, you can do without a camera, but that’s what makes it more fun.

Hangouts are similar to Skype videoconferencing tool but otherwise than in Skype here in one session you can have up to 10 persons for free. Apart from talking you can share what’s on your screen with others. You can edit your documents stored on Google Docs or work together on shared documents. There are several other apps you can use during a connection.

A hangout may be set to be public or private - where only invited persons can participate.
Hangouts are a fantastic way to talk to people from all around the world (of course not only to practice languages). At present there are hangouts for more popular languages organized, others (like Hindi and Swahili) are still waiting for someone ready to host them.

For the time being I participated in Portuguese and Italian Hangouts. I hope to join other language hangouts in the nearest future, especially French, Spanish and Turkish. I really hope that there will be someone willing to host hangouts in Swahili. We’ll see…

To get to know more about Language Practice Hangouts go to the Community Page on Google+

About video chatting as a way to practice a foreign language - in Polish

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