I think so!!! I met my wife chatting in a yahoo city chat. She is from Korea, and I from Canada. We chatted as friends for several months before we decided to meet. Yes our story is unique, and we are happily married and I believe that you can meet many interesting people by chatting, and not just to fall in love with. Chatting is also a huge benefit in terms of practicing your English and will cost nothing. There are a variety of people who are great to chat with and there are also many people whom you should avoid.
Chat sites, like online language exchanges could be the perfect way to improve your English speaking ability but you may want to form a strategy with regards to navigating these sites.
Your strategy could be to focus on specific nationalities you may travel to or want to do business with. For example if you are going to do business in the UK, you may want to look for some UK chat rooms. If you are planning to go to America, then focus on chatting with Americans.
Here are several sites to check out.
Pal talk is a large chat site that consists of over 5000 chat rooms, with over 100 000 people chatting at once and works in multiple platforms. There are chatrooms for every topic and the site promotes using video web chatting. The site allows you to create an instant messenger and you can even create your own chat rooms.
ICQ, has been around for a long time. It is similar to paltalk in that it is a messenger program that hosts chatsites. To access the chat websites you do not have to make an account, unless you want to have another instant messenger Like kakoa talk. Some of the features include free daily-limited SMS sending, file transfers, greeting cards, multiplayer games and a searchable user directory.
These 5 chatsites are not as big as Paltalk or ICQ but may offer you other varieties of chat.
Once I find a chat site-what should I do?
Go into a chat room and initiate a private text chat with a variety of people. Ask their gender, age and location. These questions are a good start when chatting with different people. Many people may not answer back but you can start a conversation with the ones that do. It’s good to ask many questions and answer as honestly as you can without giving detailed information about your life. Do not give your full name, address, but it’s ok to talk about the work you do, your geographical location, and your age and gender. This is important in building trust with whom you are chatting with and will help move the conversation into a more meaningful chat. If you are not willing to disclose your gender, or age or country you live in then people you are trying to chat with will most likely discontinue that chat, and you should reconsider chatting as way to practice your English.
What should you chat about with strangers?
Your chatting will go better when you can ask a lot of questions. Ask about their work, how do they like living in their country, their culture, what do they do on the weekends, their taste in music, and their favorite foods. This is a good start. If the text chat is going well, then ask more detailed questions like their beliefs, ambitions and politics. These conversations can be unpredictable but can lead into very interesting conversation, that can add to If you don’t like the person you're chatting with you can say bye and possibly put them on an ignore list if they become rude.
Please remember that your Goal for you is to initiate a video or audio discussion, because you want to improve your speaking skills. Once you find a person you enjoying chatting then ask them if they would like to talk on VOIP like Skype. Most chat programs have the ability go into audio or video as well. This is where you want to focus on the most. It’s a little scary at first talking to complete strangers, but remember you just spent time getting to know them by text chatting. Good luck and happy chatting!