We all know that the best way to improve your English speaking is to get out there and practise with native speakers. And language exchanges are often the best way to do so. But, how do you go about finding a language partner? And where can you attend a language exchange meet-up? Luckily, we’ve created a guide to finding a language exchange partner to help you on your way.
Where to Find a Language Exchange
What is a language exchange?
Simply put, a language exchange is a conversation between two people of differing native languages. If you are from France, you might organise a language exchange with someone from the UK who wants to learn French. So you meet up to have a conversation and you have a chat, first in your native language, and then in English.
How is it different from a normal conversation?
A language exchange is different from a normal conversation with a native speaker for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the purpose is to learn to help each other learn the language so you can feel free to make mistakes and explore vocabulary without annoying the listener. And secondly, since you both benefit from the exchange you are happy to correct each other’s mistakes.
How can I find a language exchange partner?
Actually, it’s really easy to find language exchange partners. You can meet people in real life, or you can do a language exchange over the Internet. To find someone online you can use sites like Speaky and Italki. Alternatively, you can go to a language exchange meet-up and meet people in person.
Where can I go to a language exchange meet-up in the UK?
London Language Exchanges
Photo credit: Mundo Lingo Shoreditch
Mundo Lingo organises weekly language exchanges in Clapham and trendy Shoreditch. Both of these take place in lively bars and usually draw in a young and diverse crowd.
Photo credit: Mammoth Language Exchange
If you’re new to London and looking to make new friends, perhaps there’s no better place than a Mammoth Language Exchange. Mammoth was started in 2011 by UK-native Chandresh when he was looking for someone to practise German with, the group now has over 10 000 members and even organises sports clubs, walking tours & pub crawls.
Photo credit: Babble Language Exchange
Manchester Language Exchanges
Manchester Language Exchange
The Manchester Language exchange group on Meetup has over 4000 members and organises a diverse range of events according to language. As well as traditional ‘drinks and socialising’ events, the group also organise outings to local cultural events like the Manchester christmas market.
Brighton Language Exchanges
Brighton English-Spanish Intercambio
A number of language exchange meet-ups are organised within Brighton and Hove but perhaps one of the most popular is the Spanish-English Intercambio. This weekly event is held in a variety of different locations every Thursday and always ends up feeling like a bit of a fiesta.
British Study Centres also runs conversation clubs in many of its year-round English language schools. Find out about conversation clubs at BSC Manchester & Edinburgh. Need to improve your English first? Check out these tips for learning English fast.
Want to learn English in the UK? Check out our English language courses in the UK & Ireland.
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