Learning languages is an unresolved matter for many people due to lack of time, resources or places to practice. That’s why the language exchange with native speakers is an entertaining, informal and effective option to learn and, above all, to enjoy it!
We tell you all the tips that you must consider to make the most of the language exchange in Barcelona, there’s no excuse!
1. Prepare the topics to cover in advance
For a linguistic exchange to work, the participants must have a similar level of the language they wish to learn, so in this way the vocabulary will be equivalent and the conversations will be enriched.
If you don’t know where to start, we advise you to prepare some topics to practice and review what you need. Try these examples:
- Introduce yourself: who you are, what your origins are, where you live. It explains all the basics that the other person should know to know you.
- Explain what your job is and what you like to do in your free time…your profession and your hobbies say a lot about you.
- Talk about the language you want to learn: why you do it, which your weak points are, which tricks you use to improve it, etc.
- Tell them things about your family and your pets. Surely you have interesting anecdotes and funny stories for your listener.
- List your favourite tastes and hobbies: movies, series, books, records … surely you’ll have one in common with your language exchange partner.
- Discuss the trips you have made or would like to make. Talking about countries and cities will also give you the opportunity to talk about different habits and cultures.
- Gastronomy: explain your culinary habits, your favourite dishes, recommend restaurants or products. Everybody eats many times a day so we’re sure that exchanging tips will be very useful.
2. Listen to podcasts before the session
To improve your understanding and accustom your ears to the different accents, try listening to a podcast before a language exchange session, this way you’ll improve listening and prepare yourself mentally to adapt your language. Search for radio programs, narrated books or do a marathon of your favourite English-speaking series in original version. Practice pronunciation and check the most frequent expressions and informal jargon. And remember, the more you like the topic, themore fun you’ll have!
3. Take note of the corrections
Take note and review all the corrections that your interlocutor points out about your speaking, because the faster you memorise them, the fewer times you’ll repeat your mistakes. Also keep in mind which your weak points are and try to face them and review them as many times as necessary. And above all don’t worry about making mistakes, because as the poet Goethe says: “The only man who is not wrong is the one who never does anything”.
4. Try to make the exchange reciprocal
Make an effort so that the learning process is mutual and equitable. It’s important that half of the session is in one language and the other half in the other, for example in sessions of 15 / 15 minutes or 30 / 30 minutes. As the time passes and you feel more comfortable, you’ll increase the difficulty of the topics and the registers. In this way you’ll progress safely!
5. Reinforce it with technology
Technology is your friend when it’s time to learn a language: it will allow you to check contents, connect with other people, record and listen to your conversations or use apps or websites that allow you to learn while playing.
Internet is a great source of didactic material and you can went to websites like Busuu, apps like Duolingo, or join social network groups where there are people with your same interests, you’ll see how you find a lot of information!
Practice, practice and practice
Read books or magazines in the language you want to learn, watch original untranslated content, attend Meetup events, find out what your city’s exchange options are, or enjoy relaxed chats at one of the language exchange bars in Barcelona that we offer. The key is practice!