I’m writing to tell you about an extremely useful site that I have been using on and off for the past year or so.
The site is called Lang-8 and it’s an online language learning community.
Here’s how it works:
1. When you create your free account you select the languages you are studying along with your native language(s).
2. Next you write journal entries in whatever your target language is on any topic you like.
3. Native speakers of your target language will then see your entries and correct them for you.
4. You, then, return the favor by correcting the journal of someone learning English, or whatever your native language may be.
And that’s it!
It is completely free to sign up and use the site, although you can also get a paid premium account ($5/month) and get some extra features. I haven’t done this yet and I personally don’t really see the need to do so right now.
You can add users to your friends list to make sure someone will correct your entries. I’ve surprisingly learned a bit about English grammar from correcting journal entries as well.
If you want pronunciation practice in your language of study, you can embed sound files you have recorded on sites like Snapvine or videos you’ve uploaded to Youtube.
From my experience with using the site I would recommend that you keep your diary entries short. That way, it is more likely that more people will actually read and correct your entries.
You can watch a short video introduction to the site here.
Or, go directly to Lang-8, create a free account and give it a try, you won’t regret it.