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What is a language exchange

A language exchange is two or more people who speak different languages practicing each other's language. For example, an English speaker who is learning Spanish will do a language exchange with a Spanish speaker who is learning English. There are many ways to practice in a language exchange.

In this method, small mixed groups or couples of native speakers of two languages spend half the time speaking in one language and half the time in the other language. Activities are structured to ensure all areas of language acquisition are exercised such as vocabulary, pronunciation and listening comprehension. In addition, the activities are designed to enable students to discover the "conversation culture" - how native speakers of the other culture interact. The method relies on ensuring the students have fun and are relaxed to make language practice more enjoyable and therefore more effective.

In a language exchange, however, you practice more than you would in a class, talking with native speakers of the language you're learning, in a relaxed and supportive environment where there is patience and time to understand. A language exchange is also a wonderful way to learn the real spoken language of the culture, with all its "incorrect" grammar, informal expressions and slang. Therefore, a language exchange is the best training to bridge the gap between classroom learning and communicating in the real world!

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