Advice: Language Exchange

Within the past month or so I have gotten several requests for language exchanges. I really appreciate the requests, and am excited, but also very scared. :slight_smile: I am confident in my writing ability in the language (Spanish), due in great part to my corrections and encouragements by my great tutor Berta. However, I’ve never had a conversation in Spanish yet, so I not at all sure that I could have a conversation at this point. My questions are:

  • Should I jump into this, or wait until I’ve had a few conversations with a tutor?

  • How do I prepare myself for a conversation with a native speaker? Or is it just a matter of practice?

  • How do language exchanges usually go? Is it just talking in the languages for the same amount of time? Is the native speaker supposed to correct the learner? What will we talk about?

Hi Angela, Do you refer to conversation with or without tutors when you say “language exchange”?

I think it is fine to have the first conversations as 1 on 1 with a tutor. At the beginning I prepared myself for a conversation. I thought about a subject I want to talk about, and I looked up some vocabulary that could be useful. But conversations on LingQ are not ruled. You can do it in a way that you like. Tell your tutor what you prefer. That’s what I did.

I am speaking of conversations without tutors. By language exchange, I mean perhaps 15 minutes in English, 15 minutes in Spanish.

I have no idea how language exchange works. I only use LingQ. I’m a tutor and a student. So it could happen that I’m a tutor for student A. I use the points that I earn to speak with tutor B. Maybe B is a student of A. So there is no need to have a direct exchange partner.

Also I have some tutors to whom I speak English. At other times they are my students, and we speak German.

Thanks for your responses, Vera. I think that I will start with signing up for conversations here at Lingq. It will be more comfortable for me right now. As I said before, I have been receiving requests to chat via Skype, but I think that at this point it may degenerate into awkward silence after a few minutes


I suggest you sign up for a discussion with your tutor. You will find it a pleasant and rewarding experience. You will receive a report with the words and phrases that you need to work on. I personally find my discussions with my Russian tutors both helpful and a stimulus that keeps me going.

Once you have done a few discussions in Spanish, maybe you will want to tutor in English so that you can earn some points.

I would like to promote more language exchange this way at LingQ. I think that this more structured approach has many advantages.

I would like to see more people make friends on our Community and then take turns scheduling discussion times and exchanging languages.

aybee I’m flattered! Hey you’re a really good student. Your writing is excellent!. I find it hard that you can’t do well too with the speaking. Maybe struggle a bit at the beginning (mainly because of nervouness) but you’ll get through it. Your spanish is very solid and that’s what counts.

I have now a bunch of points from lessons I shared to the library and I should use them before they expire. And I’m scared too to speak in french!. A mix of terror and lazyness :wink:

But I have to give it a try. I’ll do it this week!

Yes, Steve. I think the structure would be good for me at this point. You do realize, though, that most people just want to talk with other people. They don’t think they need the structure, or won’t want to pay.

Thanks, Berta! I hope you’re right. I’m a little shy in conversation in English, and sometimes search for the word I want to say, so I know that in Spanish it will be even worse in the beginning.


I realize that, and nothing prevents people from making contact with other members here and just talking to each other. The more structured approach is just another way to go. Good luck with your studies at LingQ.

Go Berta, a little audacity! You can make it!

This week, I promise :)))