Online Language Exchanges
Sometimes our goals are just around the corner, but even so, we tend choose to take the long route. If you ever want to learn a new language or practice it with another human being without having the pressure of passing tests, going to class on time, being judged by your teachers, or having to pay hundreds of dollars to someone to help you in your journey, maybe a language exchange partner (or Tandem language learning as it’s also referred) is just what you need.
A language exchange consists in teaching someone a language they’re eager to learn and in exchange they teach you a language that you want to learn
It’s a free method that has been successful since the 1800s and has continued to been used up until this day. Thanks to this, it has been adapted all around the world and thanks to its simple concept, it’s one of the best ways to learn a language for free.
Having a language exchange partner is having someone who knows the language you want to learn, and have conversations with this person in its native language all while he/she helps you hone your speaking/writing skills, you then return the favor by teaching this person your native language. You are basically helping each other out by just talking, and in the process, you can even be friends.
It all sounds good and dandy, but you’re probably asking yourself “how do I start?”, well, fortunately for you, we live in an age were communication is present in every aspect of our daily routine.
We could be ordering a glass of wine all while talking to our mother who is on the other side of the world at the same time, human beings have evolved in a way that they’ve developed the necessary tools to communicate to anyone (be it a relative, friend or complete stranger) easy, seamlessly and all done in the blink of an eye. So, if you want to start this journey and gain a skill that will most likely open doors for you around the world, here are a few suggestions on how to start.
How to hit the ground running with Language Exchange
Do you have bilingual friends? Call'em!
Before exploring the world around you, you should check next door just in case you find what you’re looking for. Having friends, relatives or people in your vicinity with that know other languages, might be the best option for some to start talking in another language.
Can’t get enough of your smartphone or computer? Try online language exchanges!
When you think of it, it’s incredible how far we’ve come as a species. Right now, if you want to meet someone, you don’t have to get out of your house, you just have to have a stable internet connection and be open enough to talk to people.
This can be done by joining groups in social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, and if that isn’t your thing, you can always look up dedicated sites for Tandem language learning (like Langademy 😉) and join a community of people that are looking to help each other learn other languages or even search for forums made by the people that want to chat and learn from others using language exchange. Are you this kind of person?
Don’t like online conversations? Go old school!
It’s fair game if you want to try something that used to be the go-to method in language exchange and have a pen pal. There are a lot of communities out there that encourage this, since not only are you practicing French, Spanish, English or German, but you’re also polishing that handwriting too! Muscle memory and have a role in how easy it can be for you to adapt to another language and for some it’s exactly what they’re looking for.
Sick of the same four walls that make your home? Pack your things and travel!
Up until now, the options recommended were basically free and convenient, but I understand that sometimes one wants the full experience of learning not only a new language, but a new culture all together.
Talking with someone be it as a pen pal or online chat, can give you glimpses on how people of that country behave, what they eat, and how they are as a culture, however, if that’s not enough for you, you can have a first-hand understanding of everything referring to the language you want to learn by planning a trip.
Itching to study Spanish? Madrid is your best bet! In the mood for some French? Travel to Paris and try exquisite cuisines! Care for English? Serve yourself a cup of tea in London! The options are endless. And the best part is that not only you’ll be meeting new friends, but you’ll also have incredible and unforgettable experiences in an undiscovered environment.
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Wanna exchange conversations? Langademy is your first option
These are some of the most popular options you have when attempting this method, but the best part is that it doesn’t stop there. Right now, you have the basic guidelines to start this journey but since this is a very flexible tool and it really doesn’t follow any other rule other than its own concept, which is the “mutual teaching of partners’ languages”, then in Layman’s terms, the sky is the limit when it comes to how you want to apply this helpful tool to learn a new language.
Using a dedicated app as Langademy and video chatting with another person are other examples you have to make Language exchange, your own.
With all that said, it’s really not that hard to learn a new language without spending a dime, and not only that, but schools and institutes could only dream on giving you the experience you’ll have with your future partner. At the end of the day, whichever style you choose, be it by talking face to face with a next-door neighbor or chatting with a person you met online halfway across the world, it’s really hard to go through Tandem language learning and leave without learning something new.