Build a Language Exchange that Works

I love online language exchanges. They’re a great way to meet like-minded, motivated language learners and immerse yourself in the language from the comfort of your own home. But that doesn’t mean they always go exactly to plan. Here are a few tips to troubleshoot when things start to go wrong.

In Praise of (Online) Language Exchanges

Language exchanges are the reason that I speak Portuguese today. If I hadn’t started my language exchanges back in March 2020, I wouldn’t speak a word of Portuguese, I wouldn’t have met the most amazing people who live on the other side of the world from me, I wouldn’t have written an e-book, and this website wouldn’t exist.

Do I need native speakers?

When many of us start out trying to find language partners, we cross our fingers and hope for native speakers. After all, who could possibly know more about their language than a native?

You are not your grades

In school, we’re programmed to think that the really talented people get the top grades. And when we don’t get the grades we were hoping for, it can feel like a sign that maybe that subject just isn’t for us. We start to tell ourselves that we’re “just not good at French”, and we carry that around as part of our identity long after we leave school.

If this sounds like you, then I want to offer you a new perspective.

Five ways to start speaking

It can be really easy to tell ourselves that we aren’t ready to speak to native speakers until we’re already fluent. The problem is, that’s a bit like saying you’re going to start running once you’ve got fit.