Mixxer: Skype-enabled Language Exchange Site

by Rachel Smith, NMC: The New Media Consortium

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Mixxer allows individual students or entire classes to participate in a language exchange.  Once a profile is created, the user can search for a language partner, i.e. a native English speaker learning German can find a native German speaker learning English.  The site asks all users to install Skype in order to communicate.  (Skype is a free voice-over-IP program which is very reliable, has excellent sound quality, and can run on Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux; see www.skype.com.)  The site also takes advantage of the API released by Skype which allows users in the site to see which potential language partners are currently online, giving them the ability to contact any other user directly by clicking on their Skype name.

Mixxer is not the only language exchange site on the web.  However, by making use of Skype and its API, it makes it very easy for a student or teacher to speak with a language partner with literally one click of the mouse.

Questions or ideas are welcomed. Contact the site’s creator, Todd Bryant, at bryantt@dickinson.edu.

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