The Benefits of Language Exchange Partnerships
Language Exchange Defined
Being interested to learn a new language isnít enough to pursue proficiency.
It takes practice to develop skills in the target language and often, it is
difficult to find inexpensive ways to achieve the goal. A language exchange
program is one of the most comfortable and collaborative methods for language
acquisition. It is a program which involves two or more people who speak
different languages coming together to practice the language of the other
participant. For example, if American students are interested in learning Korean
before going out of the country as exchange students, they may find Koreans who
are studying English in America for a language exchange partnerships. Generally,
language exchange partners wanted to develop the speaking skills in the target
language outside of the classroom. It is known to be effective in
confidence in the language by increasing vocabulary, knowledge of the common
expressions and overall fluency.
Finding Language Partners
There are several ways people can get involved in a language exchange
programs. Traditionally, ads in the newspaper or magazines would make personal
meetings with possible language partners possible. Furthermore, with technology
reaching even the furthest corners of the world, there are plenty of
opportunities to meet language partners. It made electronic meetings possible
despite the distance, or even the rarity of language one wishes to learn.
Commonly, language exchange partnerships are done through emails and chats.
As partners become familiar with common expressions of the target language,
video and voice chats are utilized to get exposure for listening to proper
stress, intonation and phrasing.
There are websites that help connect people interested in language exchange.
Although most would like to find native speakers for this partnership, many who
seek language exchanges are of different nationalities who, in most cases, are
multilingual. The popular languages that people are seeking to learn include
Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and English. It is wise that one should check
many websites and online language partnership communities to find suitable
language partners. You might even find one in your area for face to face
sessions by searching on Craigslist or Facebook.
Language Exchange Partnerships Benefits:
Getting Along With a Motivated Learner
Learning a language isnít limited to mastering the skills in reading,
listening and speaking in the classroom alone. Most often, in language classes,
students get to communicate only with their classmates, or the native teacher
does all the talking. The classroom setting is good when members actively
interact and help each other towards the goal of fluency, which is not often the
case. Language exchange partnerships, in contrast, provide unlimited chances to
speak and practice in the new language. This is true as members of this
partnerships share a common goal to learn with the same level of motivation.
2. Unlimited Chances to
Unlike the classroom setting, language partnerships, though structured in some
ways, focus more on communication through conversations. Consequently, since
people need skills on listening, grammar, vocabulary, and common expressions to
carry a good conversation, this is a good chance to put into practice what one
has learned in language classrooms. With topics greatly dependent on agreed
issues or area of interests, partners will have something to talk about. It also
encourages equal talking and listening time that seldom happens in classrooms.
Additionally, in the absence of penalty, marked papers or score sheets, and
language level evaluations which are language schoolsí routines, partners are
more relaxed and enjoy the practice more. When both parties are collaborative,
language learning is easy.
3. Friendly and Informal
Most formal language classrooms may be too business-like in nature. This creates
doubt or fear for students to join discussions, and makes the learning
atmosphere cold and unproductive. Language partnership, in contrast, makes
people feel more social as it enables communications in a more meaningful way.
Participants are likely to develop mutual trust towards the goal of language
learning. Because it can be done one-on-one, it provides enough chances to talk
about subjects in a variety of context depending on each partnerís set of
interest. This makes conversations enjoyable, fun, full of humor, and mixed with
nuances specific to a language in its natural setting. Most commonly, language
partners build stronger relationships and thus develop friendships that make the
communication going even after the language exchange tandem ends.
4. Personalized Language Focus
Educational research found out that personalized or individualized trainings are
more effective in acquiring skills. This can also be applied to language
exchange partnerships where each member get to choose the kind of activities
deemed necessary for practice and exposure. With partners being
the chance for improvement on social, intellectual and personality needs to live
in or understand a culture where the target language is spoken is faster. The
phase of learning can also be properly adjusted to meet oneís abilities,
interest, and needs. Because both partners are tasked to help one another learn
the language, it enhances independence and sense of responsibility which leads
partners able to confront ideas out of first-hand, real-life experiences. As
they are co-dependent on each other, they have no choice but to verbalize their
ideas to get understood. This process makes interactions meaningful and natural.
5. Native Speaker Exposure
Technicalities of a language can be learned from textbooks but understanding
colloquialism and even slang of a language is something else. Since most
language partners are privileged to learn from native speakers, issues connected
to language use like culture, customs, and modifications in speech can be
clarified. With deeper understanding of these factors, it is easy to model
language use in different contexts at its most natural accent. Native language
partners can also engage one another in real everyday language usage of common
phrases or words. With knowledge of speech patterns, instant feedback is
available. This is helpful as it introduces correct practice from the start.
Anyone can take part in language exchange opportunities. With many
free websites offering information on how to find language tandems, being fluent
in a foreign language is close at hand. Since you will be in an exchange deal,
you donít need a lot of money to keep going. Instead of meeting personally, you
can even stick with online based language partnerships that are a lot safer.
When looking for more
authentic text language practice, additional information
on culture and practices can help you understand why such usage in a language
exists. As soon as you find a good prospect, be creative and make your goals
clear. Remember to contribute as much as your tandem does. This way, you get to
learn each otherís language in a mutually beneficial atmosphere.
To start, you can even let people know you want to learn a certain language.
Who knows, this might start referrals without having to spend much time fishing
for a good prospect. Otherwise, become a member of language exchange communities
to establish ties. Language learning need not be expensive. All that is needed
to enjoy the benefits of language partnerships are creativity, independence,
self-direction in learning, and an excellent skill in your first language to be
offered in return.
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