Frequently Asked Questions

In order to help you better we are providing answers to commonly asked questions:

1.  I don't understand how the system works.  Please explain.

A: First, you need to sign up with an online VoIP system (either Skype or MSN Messenger).

For Skype:
Go to to register for their service. 
This link will take you to the latest version of Skype. Follow the instructions "Download Now" to install Skype on your computer.  In some cases, you can read the instructions in your own language. You will need to choose a "Skype name" in order for others to contact you.

For MSN Messenger:
Go to
Follow the instructions to install MSN Messenger on your computer.

2. How can I talk using Skype?

A:  You must have a headset with a microphone in order to speak. (See picture here.)

Skype works like an online telephone.  You just input the Skype name of the person you wish to call. (Sometimes you may need to do a Search in order to find out if that person is on the Skype system.)  After locating the person's Skype name, you can click the green telephone icon at the bottom of the screen.  Put on your headset.  You will hear it ring like a telephone.  When the person answers, you can talk with him or her.

Note, you may also type text messages for your partners through the Skype chat function. There are also webcam and video functions.

3. Where do I find contact information for the people I would like to talk to?

A: First, you must register with in order to join our network.  After you have registered, click "Users Online" on the left sidebar. You will see a list students who are online now.  To contact them, click on student's name.  At the bottom of the Student Profile information, you will see a two boxes.  Click on "Contact this person by Skype or MSN, and their Skype or MSN name will appear.  You can also contact partners through our online Messaging system. Just click on the Message link on the left hand side, and you will be directed to a page from which you can send a message to anyone in our network.

For more information about students in our program, see student profile list.

4.  What about time differences?

A:  To help you with time zone differences, we have established "Global Time" (GT).  Please check out the Global Time table.

5.  How do I contact conversation partners?

A:  We suggest that you send a message to potential partners first and introduce yourself.  Here is a sample introduction letter that you can copy and use to make the first contact with conversation partners.

6.  What do I say when I contact my conversation partners?

A: Here are some sample phrases to help you get started.  We also provide lots of topics at various levels that you can talk about.  (See below.)

7. What topics should I discuss with my partners?

A:  Here is a list of topics at various levels, which you are free to use in your conversations.  At the higher levels, you may wish to discuss sports, movies, books, or current events from the news.

Speaking Topics (Beginning)
Speaking Topics (Intermediate)
Speaking Topics (Advanced)
Daily Lessons (Intermediate and Advanced)
Phrases for Conversation (Beginning and Intermediate)

Good luck with your English speaking!