New York is a great place to be an ESL student. You are fully immersed into American culture, exposed to the English language and get to see with your own eyes everything that makes New York one of the most exciting cities in the world. But as welcoming and densely populated as the city is, sooner or later you might run into a problem of not knowing enough people with whom to practice your English language skills. Your classmates might not be always available – after all, everyone has a lot of responsibilities to deal with on a daily basis - and your new American friends might not be always willing to play the role of English tutor due to the very same reason. Online language communities like Livemocha that we wrote about earlier are definitely a great solution, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation.

Enter Meetup.com, a hugely popular online network of local groups. The membership on the website is free and you can join as many groups as you want. Those of you interested in practicing your English, should check put these groups:

We Are New York was founded in January 2011 and has only 7 members to date. Yet, it’s very active – in less than 3 months, WANY held 2 meetups and has 6 more scheduled. The events are not only free but also are a lot of fun. Along with your fellow Meetup group member, you will sing karaoke to one of the most famous songs about Big Apple, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

New York City English as a Second Language was created in 2005 and has over 450 members, all of whom are raving about the group. If you want to make new friends, practice your conversational and reading English skills in a relaxing atmosphere and have fun while doing that, email the group’s organizer, Al, and ask to join the NYCESL.

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