Planning to learn a new language? Think about how you learned your first language, even before you knew anything about grammar. You listened and repeated what you heard. For this reason, it’s a good idea to start practicing a language as soon as you know some basics.
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Alandum to the Rescue
If you want to learn Spanish or Catalan, finding people to practice with in person is very useful. You can try one of the many Spanish language exchange available on Meetup. However, if you want to learn another language or prefer a 1-to-1 experience, the answer to that is Alandum! This site lets you advertise the languages you speak and the ones you’re looking to learn. This is becoming increasingly popular with foreigners who speak all sorts of languages.
Here are a few tips to getting the best out of your language exchange experience.
The first step is to create a profile and post an ad or search for a language you wish to practice. It may take a while to get a response so it’s good to contact a few people. After exchanging a few messages, set up a meeting! A good choice is meeting in a quiet café. Ideally, choose a time that would work on a weekly basis.
Matching & Choosing an Arrangement
Just like making friends it’s good to choose a person who shares some interests, as it’ll be easier to have something to talk about. More importantly, if there is an enormous difference in the fluency between the two of you, it can become difficult to communicate. Try to find a partner you get along with, ideally a native speaker of the language you want to learn.
Also, everyone has a different idea of how relaxed or structured the exchange sessions should be. It’s best to do a language exchange while you are learning on your own or taking a course online or in a language academy.
If possible, agree on a frequent schedule to meet. This will help motivate you to keep learning a language, especially if you’re learning by yourself.
It’s important to remember that both of you should bring something of value to the table! If you’re rusty with a language or it’s not your native tongue, you may cause learning problems for the other person. Also, make sure to be respectful of the other person and their differences. After all, this might be your chance to make a new friend!