What should you make clear before the first meeting?
Be sure of the aim of your language exchange and what you expect from your learning partner. Are you interested in speaking freely or do you want to learn specific things? At the first meeting things like this can be discussed. It’s worth saying in your description what level you’re at in the language and any expectations you may have.
How often should we meet?
Progress requires regular meetings. It’s also worth discussing this topic before you meet each other or at the first meeting. We recommend meeting once per week, although two sessions a month is also fine. The most important thing is that you both have fun.
How long should the language exchange last for?
We recommend at least one hour. How you want to divide the time is up to you. The easiest way is to speak only one language for half of the time and then swop to the other language.
You can use a timer to make it easier. An advanced variation is that both speak in the foreign language to your partner. This means that you don’t speak your native language at all and therefore requires a lot of discipline.
Where should the meeting be held?
Think about a suitable place before you meet each other. A public place like a quiet café, a bar or a park is highly recommended. To encourage new discussion, you might try to go to a museum or visit an exhibition.
Do I need some basics in the language I want to learn?
A language exchange can’t replace a language school and a basic knowledge is an advantage. Ideally a language exchange is used to apply a previously learned language in conversation and for this you need some vocabulary and works best when the level of you and your language partner are similar. This way no one will be advantaged or disadvantaged. If you feel a little left behind, it’s important to discuss it and don’t forget, making mistakes is part of the learning process.