Today we looked at several social sites for language learning and decided to sign up for and explore xLingo. Alan was kind enough to type up our observations! Here they are:
xLingo allows users to create a profile in order to connect with speakers of other languages. You can present the languages that you speak and the types of communicative activities in which you’re interested in participating like email penpal, skype partner, etc. The website matches users up with people who have reciprocal language learning goals. That is, you can say you want to learn Arabic and you speak English, and the site will find someone who speaks Arabic and wants to learn English. Users can select their proficiency level. The site is free, but there is a premium account for $20/year.
- Site has built-in messaging abilities, chatrooms, blogs, avatars, and flashcards.
- There appear to be speakers of a wide variety of languages beyond English.
- You can select communication partners that fit a specific profile (i.e., if you want to talk to a woman, you can specify that criteria.)
- You can select whether or not you want to communicate with a teacher or a learner.
- Site seems to have fake profiles created by commercial companies for spamming.
- There seem to be few users online.
- The site may be trying to do too much (see the first advantage).
- It might be difficult to learn a language; that is, the site may be better for general communication in a conversation partner capacity.
- The platform language is only in English.
- If a person says they speak all the languages that start with A and are from, say, Berlin, it might be a spammer.
- If you were planning on moving to another country, you might use this site to learn the language beforehand.