Benefits of language exchange
You know a language, but you don’t have the chance to speak or write in this language and you are worried you might lose it. Well, that is where language exchanges are great. Two people in the same boat. Language tandems work when one person wants to practise another’s native language and vice versa, or two or more language exchange partners coming together to practise one foreign language.
With all the amazing technology we have today, the world is a smaller place and you can find a language exchange partner not only in your city or country, but from the country where the language is spoken. A native speaker. A real opportunity to test your language skills and get to know if something sounds natural or not, if something is actually useful, and to find out about the culture of the country too.
There are different ways you can practise your language skills depending on your needs and we have listed a few below just in case you’re not sure.
- Online: Meet on Skype or Zoom for your language exchange meeting. Meet once a week or more if you have the time. Have half an hour in one language and 30 minutes in another, giving you both a chance to speak. Of course, if you’re both learning the same language, you’ll have the whole hour in one language. Great practise and a great way to keep up your language skills. We recommend choosing a topic before you meet, this way you won’t be stuck when it comes to what to speak about. Topics like travel, your country and culture, or hobbies and interests are usually a good starting point.
- In Person: Why not meet and go for a walk and talk in your own city. If you’re from a larger city, it could be a good idea to arrange a speaking club. This is a great way to get a group of people who want to practise English to meet once a week somewhere in the city like a cafe or pub and have some real speaking practise in Spanish, French, Japanese, or whatever language the group is learning.
- Pen Pal: Old skool, why not practice your writing by sending a good old-fashioned letter. Of course, you don’t have to, weekly emails are just as good, and much much quicker. When it comes to writing emails or letters, you will have the time to reflect on what has been asked and think about what you’re going to ask before replying. This way also isn’t a rush.
- Messenger: Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Instagram, Telegram? We have lots of messengers these days and almost all of them provide not only text messaging, but also sending voice clips. In fact, it seems the younger generation now much prefers to send voice clips over text messages, but that’s the great thing about messengers, you can do both. If you like to keep in touch with someone on a regular bases beit short messages or voice messages then this is a great way to get started.
- Phone: Sometimes it’s better to just call someone. We also don’t need to worry about the price of a phone call either nowadays as it’s relatively cheap, and if someone is in another country, we have many messengers that also have a calling feature.
Language exchanges are also a great way of meeting people, making friends, and learning about different countries and cultures.
Above everything, language exchange meetings should be fun and a chance for us to use, practise, and develop our language skills. If it’s not fun, stop.
Use it, don’t lose it. Start speaking today.