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The Pros and Cons of Chatting to Get Better English

Updated: Nov 24

a bearded and well-groomed young man wearing longsleeved short and chinos sitting on steps using a laptop
Text-based Chatting Online

Introduction - Can you get better English by chatting online?

Many people think that chatting online in English is a great way to practice their English. In part, that's true.

But, in this article I will explain why chatting in English is ONLY good practice when first you have mastered grammar and practiced writing in grammatically-correct sentences - because chatting IS mostly text-based - and reading comprehension as well as listening (if you're practicing speaking with someone) are also important skills.

First of all, what do we mean by chatting? There is face-to-face chatting. There is also chatting online. There are two kinds of chatting online: text based (typing) and video chatting (speaking to someone using Zoom, Skype or Messenger).

Interestingly, while searching online for an appropriate image for this article, and using the search term 'chatting online with someone', the vast majority of images were of people doing video-chatting. I did a second search using 'text based chatting online with someone' and decided to choose the one (and there was just one image) above that portrayed text-based chatting.

So, whether your chatting is text-based (typing) or oral (video chatting), if you haven't learnt grammar, then your English will stay poor, and your chatting (typing or speaking) also will remain poor.

With oral English, listening skills are important; with text-based English practice, written English is important. So, think about what you want to practice. Do you want to practice your reading and writing or your listening and speaking?

As I have explained in another article about chatting, it is pointless and a waste of your time and your fellow chatter's time (or mine) if you are not proficient in these English skills.

Your English will stay poor from chatting in both its forms?

Why do I say that chatting online in English is not a great way to practice English?

Well, by practicing poor English, and with nobody correcting your mistakes, you will think your English is good enough when it isn't.

Practicing by chatting with someone from your country whose English is also ESL (English as a Second Language) does not help your own English because their English might also be poor.

If you are lucky enough to chat with a Native English speaker they may or may not be willing or able to correct your errors. They may not want to make you feel ashamed of your English so they don't try to correct your poor English.

Worse still, if you decide to pay for each session, your money will be wasted for the reasons I have explained above.

So, whether you pay for your sessions or whether you chat for free, the cons outweigh the pros. Your English will just not improve. You will not get better at writing or speaking English. Your reading or listening comprehension skills will not improve either.

So, what do you need to do to prepare for more effective chatting practice?

From my perspective, the best way to prepare yourself for more effective practice by chatting (either with a native English speaker or a fellow countryman/woman, is this.

Get My 'simply better' Method: Module A as soon as you can. Buy it from the Home Page of this site today!

a logo of a sun and a mountain with the business name included and white text naming the module on a dark blue background
My 'simply better' Method: Module A

I am confident that nobody else in the world offers this way to practice ALL your skills at once.

As far as practice with me goes, I do offer limited Learning Support - basically to check that you have learned the method correctly and to see if your English has improved. Only then am I prepared to talk on the phone with you (oral skills) or text-based chatting because I will be more confident that your English will have improved by that time.

While I am writing about my business model, I want to say that while many English language learning and practice websites promote the importance of practicing English by chatting, NONE of them actually teach ways to practice English. They assume that people will chat using the English they know as a way to practice to improve their English.

In fact, only Apex English Tutoring offers methods that lead to effective practice in (and outside) online chatting sites.

Moreover, few if any sites, actually test with quizzes AFTER teaching the lesson first. Only, it seems, Apex English Tutoring does it this way: the right way to test understanding of the lesson. In technical teaching terms it is called Concept Checking, a well-known practice used in classrooms regardless of the subject.

You can see the process of Concept Checking in operation at my Facebook page. I encourage you to like and follow my Facebook page here.

You can read more about this easy-to-learn and use Method to practice your English in articles on my blog. But please read about them later. Finish reading this article first.

So, when my skills have improved where do I go to chat to practice my skills?

Come back here when you are ready to chat with a very much-improved set of skills attained with My 'simply better' Method: Module A.

Why come back here?

I want you to come back here because I am about to give you the links to several worthwhile sites to practice with your new and improved skills. Then you will be practicing GOOD English not practicing with POOR English. You will get better at chatting in good English rather than chatting (and getting good at) POOR English.

And you will begin to get even better English by practicing more effectively.

So, it's time now for you to choose a practice site.

Whatever site you choose, however, you need to do one thing: teach your fellow chatter the Method of Module A so that they can help you practice good English. If you don't, you will fall back into the old patterns of using poor English - and you don't want to do that do you?

Ok, so here are my recommended sites for you:

Practice Speaking English Online Free - Language Practice Community

Here is the link to this site. Or click this:

At this site you can choose a level that's appropriate for your current level. I would recommend you join a group based on your improved English and stay with the group if you are practicing usefully. If the level is too low, consider joining a more advanced group. Remember, challenging yourself will be good for you.

There are a number of Facebook groups that you can join.

WARNING: Don't be tempted to join these groups immediately. Have patience. Every minute spent there will be wasted until you have practiced with My 'simply better' Method: Module A. You will simply be practicing your poor English.

Here are some sites (They are current at time of writing this and all links take you to the sites).

English Conversation - on Facebook.

This is the link.

This Facebook page is run by 3 people, all of whom are non-native English speakers.

English Learning Group

Go here to join this group on Facebook.

This page is located in Los Angeles California in the US. Most of the posters/members are non-native English speakers posting requests for partners to practice English.

As with all these sites, try and choose a poster whose English grammar in their post is good. You will recognise the good from the poor English speakers/writers from the number of errors (or not) in their posts.

Do not feel forced to stay with them if their English is poor. Move on! Choose someone else, especially if they do not agree to learn the Method you have learned and want to practice with. Remember that you will be helping them improve their English while improving yours.

It can be a win-win situation.

Your aim is to practice the skills you've learned in My Method to improve your English with better practice.

Speak and Learn English (Live) GB on Facebook.

Here is the link for you to check out the group's page.

This page is run by mostly non-native English speakers as well as one or two native-English speakers.

English WhatsApp on Facebook

Visit this group here.

This one is run by a non-native English speaker whose English is not that great. With many frequent examples of poor English used on this site, I leave it up to you to decide to join.

There are hundreds and thousands of English language learning and practicing sites on the Internet. The ones I have given you the links to are good ones to start with. So, feel free to choose others to join. Use your discretion when choosing. Ask if you feel comfortable in the groups. If you don't remember that there are others that may be better for you.


Here is an update to this article.

If you want to learn languages other than English (but English as well) click the link below. It will take you to an article that provides over 30 sites that offer ways to learn languages. Many are not free, but some are.

I cannot vouch for their effectiveness so, again, I urge you to take care.

Click here to take a look if you're interested.

Finally, please tell me of sites you would like to recommend, and I will tell others if I agree with you.


In this article, I have outlined the differences in the kind of chatting out there: text-based and video/oral based. Knowing the difference allows you to choose which English skills to practice. Practicing with one type exclusively, that is using one kind all the time, does not practice the range of skills you need to get better English.

And I hope I have been successful in pointing out the Pros (the positive benefits) as well as the Cons (the negatives or limitations to effective practice if you're not properly prepared).

I have given you several online sites to visit to see which one is the right one for you to practice your English. I have alerted you to free as well as paid options in some of these sites.

I have told you that my aim is to show you a process - working with your current (poor) English and showing how you can practice more effectively, using My Method to develop your skills, then to point you to sites where you can get much-needed practice to improve your English easily.

I urge you to follow the simple plan I outlined above. If you do, you will be successful. Guaranteed! Always remember that I've got your back in your aims to progress your English fluency!

Finally, here is a reminder to you to return to the articles I urged you to read and learn about My 'simply better' Method: Module A.

You can buy this Module by clicking on the Home Page tab.

Finally, if you enjoyed this article, please share it on your socials with your friends. It's easy: just copy the URL and post.

(c) Apex English Tutoring Feb 2023 - Updated Nov 2023

Man in long-sleeved striped shirt talking on mobile phone

About the Author

Michael Finemore, MA (Research) CQU, TEFL/TESOL Certificate, an experienced English Teacher, is the Owner-Operator of Apex English Tutoring.

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