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Annalise Albonetti, University of Tennesse, Knoxville

28 January 2020

I absolutely love TalkAbroad! I appreciate that it gives my professor the freedom to assign her students requirements to include in their conversations, but it also gives the students the freedom to make their appointments whenever is best for them. It not only allows you to practice speaking a foreign language, but it also allows you to learn about different cultures around the world. There is a wide variety of people that you can choose to schedule your appointment with, and it even includes a bio about themselves with the country that they are from. I especially appreciate this because knowing where the person you are talking to is from, allows you to learn specific dialects and idioms from their country – this is essential for learning a language and applying it in the real world.

I used TalkAbroad for my Spanish class and talking with Julia Yerves was an absolute treat. She spoke clearly so that I could understand her and she even helped guide the conversation so that I was sure to meet my professor’s requirements. Before the conversation I was a bit nervous, however, my nervousness completely went away when the conversation started. I had nothing to worry about! Being able to choose where I did the conversation made it seem more casual for me; I was way more comfortable having the conversation in my own home rather than having it in a classroom setting. Also, Julia was extremely encouraging to talk with. Even though she did not speak English, she was very understanding and helped me when I could not think of the correct word to use. I was surprised by the video and audio quality, it was amazing! The video was just as if you were Skyping or FaceTiming someone – you can see yourself in a small box and you can see the person you are talking to in a bigger box.

I 100 percent would recommend TalkAbroad to anyone looking to improve their proficiency in a second language. Yes, talking to your peers/classmates is helpful, but conversing with a native speaker is way more beneficial. It not only helps you with your pronunciation, but also with your understanding of native accents for real-world applications.