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 “The Internet: Transforming Society and Shaping the Future Through Chat”


Dave Barry

Many people ask if chat can help to learn English. Everybody is interested, as chatting is free of charge and gives an opportunity to communicate in a foreign language.


Let us consider this question from two points of view:


On the one hand, the use of chat is obviously beneficial. Take, for example, the problem all students tend to have - the problem with vocabulary. When you learn English at school, university or with private teachers, you try to remember dozens or even hundreds of words within a week. Despite this, I am sure you have had some difficulty in conveying your ideas while speaking. When you need to explain something, your memory fails you.


Why does it happen? It is quite straightforward: there are two types of vocabulary in our conscience - active and passive. In order to make words active, it is vital to always use them in speaking. Repeat a word 20 times during chatting, and it will become your favourite active word. (Here I am talking about the repeated use of words in context, the mechanical repetition of a word will not be effective).


The conclusion is quite simple: chatting is necessary and useful. You can make a list of words and phrases you have always wanted to remember, put the list in front of you and, while chatting, use these words and phrases as often as possible. You could find pen pals via email, in this case you have enough time to organize your ideas and express them thoroughly.


On the other hand, chat should not be considered the only way of learning English or any other foreign language. The thing is that you communicate with other language learners, and if you don't understand grammar and vocabulary peculiarities of English and don't have a tutor ( to help you, you are going to absorb mistakes of others like a sponge.


To sum up, learn English with a teacher online or at school or university, expand your vocabulary and use it through chat. Where else can you take such an opportunity to communicate for a long time?


Here are some links to the websites, where you can find a person to communicate with: - a good website, where you can meet a lot of people from different countries and exchange language experiences. You give them a couple of Russian words, they talk to you in English - their mother tongue. - a website that offers the same opportunity as the first one - to participate in classes for groups. - a website for the exchange of language experience, where you can not only communicate with people from other countries, but also practise grammar in exercises.


Enjoy your language practice!

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