Ewa & Francesca’s Story: From Speaking Partners to Best Friends

By Jaimie-Lee Elvery
“We met in a Conversation Starter at the beginning of 2021, and we’ve been meeting each other every week since then. When I met Ewa, I knew I’d found my best friend.” - Francesca, Italy

👀 Are you searching for a speaking partner?

📚 Someone who you can practise and study with regularly?

💞 Someone who you “click” with and feel comfortable speaking English with, freely?

👯‍♀️ Someone to not only study with, but who could become your genuine friend?

If you answered “YES, that’s me!” to any of these questions, this article is for you!

Find out why Ewa & Francesa joined our community, when and where they first met, how Hey Lady! helped them to find each other, and what tools they use at Hey Lady! to keep practising, studying and improving their English speaking skills, together!

Why they joined Hey Lady! 

Ewa (from Poland) & Francesca (from Italy) joined our community at the start of 2021. Having both studied English when they were younger, they joined Hey Lady! to “refresh their English skills” after putting it “on hold” for many years while focusing on their families and careers. 

“When I was younger I had a dream of speaking English fluently. But I ended up putting my dream aside for a while because I got married and had children. Then in 2020, during the pandemic, I decided to refresh my English, so I started watching Emma’s YouTube videos… Which brought me to joining her community,” Francesca said.

“I stopped studying English when I was younger too,” Ewa added. “ I got married, had two kids, and just didn’t have the time. After I finished my PhD, I decided to refresh my English. And here I am! I think Hey Lady! is the perfect place for me…”

When Ewa & Francesca first met

“We met each other about two months after joining Hey Lady!” Ewa said. 

“Yes, we met in a Conversation Starter in April 2021, where we talked about the topic ‘Our Communities of Place’," said Francesca. "We spoke together like friends who had known each other for a long time. In the first meeting, I thought Ewa was an amazing lady - I thought, ‘she’s very sunny and very nice’! After the first meeting, Ewa messaged me a few days later and we organised our first one-to-one conversation. And we’ve been meeting each other for 40-45 minutes every week since then!"

Prior to meeting each other, Ewa and Francesca joined as many English conversations as they could at Hey Lady!; each one an opportunity to practise their speaking skills, while keeping an eye out for women who could become their regular speaking partner. 

“Before you find the right speaking partner, you can join lots of Conversation Starters and other events, where you’ll meet lots of different ladies, Francesca said.

“In the beginning, it’s good to join as many conversations as you can, because with time we speak more and more fluently,” Ewa added. “So, as you join more events, it gets easier to communicate. When you speak one-to-one with a speaking partner, you need to use your vast knowledge of English to speak for one hour, so joining group events first is a good way to get used to speaking with others - it’s good training!”

Finding a speaking partner is a little like online dating, would you agree?

While it’s definitely possible, it’s unlikely that you’ll find the perfect match for a romantic partner on your very first date… Right? Though I’m sure you’ve all heard stories from friends about how they met “Mr/Mrs Right” on the first date, that’s definitely the exception!

You have to put yourself out there, find new ways to meet people, and keep showing up until you find the right person! Not just someone who you think you could like… Eventually. 😅

But someone who you actually “click” with from the outset - someone you feel a connection with! (or as we say at Hey Lady! - a spark!) 

And the same goes for finding speaking partners!  

If you want to find “your person”, you need to expose yourself to as many different people (potential speaking partners) and as many conversations as possible!  

After all, the more conversations you join, the more likely you are to come across your perfect match!

And this is exactly what we help you do at Hey Lady! 

Hey Lady! makes it easy (& fun!) to meet English-speaking friends and find speaking partners to study and practise with! Our Coaching Team, Community Experience Team and Big Sisters host a range of conversations that are specifically designed to introduce you to different women in our community, who could become your regular speaking partners & genuine friends!

The 3 Best Events to Find Speaking Partners at Hey Lady!
  • Conversation Starters: Meet a small group of women in a breakout room to discuss the current Conversation Topic (your Coach will be on hand to guide & support you!)
  • Speaking Partner Speed Dating: Inspired by romantic speed dating events, you’ll get the opportunity to speak one-to-one with three different ladies in 45 minutes!
  • Speak in Pairs events: Speak with one lady the whole time! Our Community Experience Team (CXT) and Big Sisters often host Speak in Pairs events for any members who prefer to speak in one-to-one conversations!

Click here to find out more about the different kinds of conversations available at Hey Lady! 

“My advice for other ladies who may be new - or if you’re looking for a speaking partner - the most important thing is to join many different group conversations (like Conversation Starters or Speed Dating) and just actively listen to other people. You’ll know pretty quickly if they’re your person!” - Ewa 

How Hey Lady! makes it easier to find speaking partners

After meeting each other for the first time, Ewa and Francesca both looked at each other’s Hey Lady! profiles to find out a bit more about the person they’d just met! 

Again, it’s like online dating… You’ve got to do some ‘harmless stalking’ to find out a bit more about the other person and see what you might have in common! 😜

“I think it’s very important to look at different Hey Lady! member profiles, because it shows their English level and their interest,” said Francesca. “If you meet someone in an event, you can have a look at their profile after you finish speaking! In our case, Ewa and I have lots of interests in common, because we both have children, we live in Europe, we’re both working, we both love dancing - Ewa loves my Zumba lessons - and we have similar English levels! So, we have lots of things to speak about together.”

In fact, this harmless stalk is what led Ewa to message Francesca a few days after they met! She saw on Francesca’s profile that she lived in Venice. Having visited Venice several times herself, Ewa had always been curious about one thing… “How do they clean the sewage around the houses into the water? How is it possible to live in houses on the water?”

This gave Ewa something to message Francesca about, and something to discuss in their first one-to-one meeting! 

“So, I asked Francesca about it - it’s actually how we started speaking! I messaged her about this question in the chat and we organised a one-to-one meeting!” 

It was the question that started their lifelong friendship… And, as they say, the rest is history!

“I am really sure that everyone can find a friend here on the platform, because there are SO many women here with different interests!” - Ewa

💡Have you heard about the Hey Lady! Speaking Partner Matching System?

We know how frustrating it can be to find genuine speaking partners to practise with regularly, but now you don’t need to worry! 

Our Matching System helps you quickly & easily connect with women who: 

  • Are available to talk when you are;
  • Have a similar English level as you; and
  • Share similar interests to you.

Say “Goodbye” to scrolling through endless profiles online to find suitable speaking partners, and let our platform do the hard work for you! From the moment you join Hey Lady!, we help to connect you with the right people, and show you suggestions for people you “match with” based on availability, English level and interests! You will see the details of your Match, including  a “Match rating”, the exact times you’re both free, and the interests you share! 

This makes it super easy to send the member a message inviting them to a one-to-one conversation, at a time you’re both available, about a topic you’re both interested in… Amazing, right?! 😍

What tools Ewa & Francesca use to study & improve 

“When you first meet your speaking partner in a one-to-one conversation, it’s a bit like you’re on a date!” Ewa explained. “You’re with a person that you hardly know, and it can make you a bit nervous!” 

“So, at the beginning, we just used the resources from the current Conversation Topic at Hey Lady! and used it to spark conversation! It was really useful! We started off by using a lot of the prompting questions that are included in the Topic Overviews.” 

This is exactly what our Hey Lady! Conversation Topics are designed for - to give you the tools you need to spark a conversation and help you put the new vocabulary and knowledge that you learn in the lessons, into practice! 

“When I went to English school when I was younger, I only studied grammar,” Francesca said. “I don’t remember having any opportunities to speak with the other students or get to know people from other countries.”

“But, at Hey Lady! you can find a complete system to learn English - the tools are all here for you!” 

💡Want to know a bit more about our Conversation Topics? 

Every two weeks, our Hey Lady! Coaching team focuses on a specific topic. They prepare structured learning materials about each topic so that our members can learn relevant vocabulary, practise their grammar and pronunciation, and prepare to share their thoughts about that topic in real English conversations. You can learn more about our learning materials in this video on Instagram!

If you’re curious about our Conversation Topics, you can sign up for a free 10-day trial of Hey Lady! and explore the lessons for yourself! Our Coaches also host regular Conversation Starter events and Workshops about each topic, where you can put what you learn into practice with other members! 

Where are Ewa & Francesca now? 

After meeting every week online for over one year, Ewa and Francesca have created a lasting bond and friendship like no other! 

“And now, I can say it in one short sentence: We are soul mates. We are soul mates. We have such a strong connection. It just… Happened,” Ewa said.

But they haven’t just created a lasting friendship together; by meeting every week together at Hey Lady!, they have also created lasting fluency

“I am improving my fluency here!” Francesca said excitedly. “Now I speak English without problems, and without translating it in my mind! And with the Hey Lady! tools, I have improved my vocabulary. I am better at speaking because of this platform, and I am improving my English everyday!” 

By finding someone to practise with regularly, and discovering new and different ways to study, their English journey has been much more enjoyable and rewarding than when they were studying English in traditional schools and courses many years ago.

“Sometimes I joke that I’m not learning,” Ewa laughed. “Because the time I spend each week with Francesca is so much fun - it doesn’t feel like studying! It’s the perfect way for me to keep improving because I don’t like studying with boring books!”   

Ewa & Francesca aren’t just speaking partners now - they describe themselves as “best friends” and “soul mates”.

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