Language exchange: possibly the first and only step to becoming a master of any language.
There’s just one problem:
Learning in a classroom is difficult enough, will learning peer to peer be truly easier?
How do you reap the benefits from tandem language exchange fully?
Defined as a method of language learning based on mutual language practicing by learning partners who speak different native languages.
Besides learning a new language, you also get to delve into a different culture and make new friends.
A rookie mistake for beginners is going by intuition –
In contrary, a systematic approach and a structured set of goals for yourself is vital to achieve maximum profit.
Here are 5 pieces of advice to help you learn a new language via tandem language exchange:
Don’t understand? Try this:
Ask for your language exchange partner to repeat themselves in a slower manner – it’s your responsibility to do so.
You can ask for further elaboration on the specific word or sentence in a different context to increase your understanding.
Each language foreign to you has its own unique quirks which make mastering them even more rewarding.
Don’t be marred by a recurring need for reiteration!
Your aim should be to develop familiarity with the language, and later on, aptitude.
When do you reformulate, and why?
When encountering a new word or phrase during a conversation exchange, try to reformulate what your language buddy said in your own words, as per how you understood the meaning.
This is to check if what you understood was indeed correct as there might be nuances in how you each perceive the conversation and you can learn from any mistakes.
Reformulating drives you to go over what you just heard, thus reinforcing the words in your memory.
Use the new words learnt in your next language exchange session!
3. Keep a record of your new vocabulary
This makes it easier to revise on your own and also look upon your flourishing progress in language practice.
You may find tools like Excel spreadsheets to be useful.
Keep a growing document of your newly learned words and phrases from the online language learning community.
Furthermore, keeping notes allow you to set personal goals or targets on a weekly basis.
Practice reading and writing:
Besides the listening and speaking practice your language buddy provides, taking notes physically into a notebook lets you practice reading and writing
This gives you a multi-sensory all-rounded experience!
Who needs a classroom?
4. Accent is key
While you are listening, train your own pronunciation:
Try to duplicate your partner’s accent in forms of tone and emphasis of different words.
As a native speaker, he has the desired accent you should reproduce.
Additionally, try to clamp down on your own accent while speaking a different language to your own.
This speaking practice online will help your confidence grow, and you will find your prowess in the language advance as you pick up the general tone of speech.
After all, the perfect accent is key for any language speaker!
5. Use Bilingua app
Learn from the comfort of your own home:
With the rapid growth of technology and online language exchange, virtual pen pals are becoming commonplace.
Grammar, particularly syntax, is one of the most difficult areas to master in a new language.
Shiro the bot in this language exchange app guides the conversation and also helps you to develop your grammar by eliminating your mistakes while helping you memorize new words.
To conclude, discipline is paramount to success in learning a language, but that doesn’t take the fun out of it!
A reliable language partner can make you more comfortable and increase your interest in the language.
Find yours today!