Speaking practice method

So this morning I was chatting with one of my speaking partners and she asked me what I thought of the idea of simply staying in our respective target languages throughout the duration of our conversations. This way we don’t have to spend 20 minutes on one language and 20 minutes on another… We’d simply each reply to each other in the target language and correct as needed.
Has anyone out there tried this method? Is it useful?
Granted I’m aware that part of the goals in speaking with a native speaker is to hear how they formulate clean sentence structure and to listen to the pronunciation, but from a purely quantity over quality standpoint… it might be worth it huh?
What do you guys think?


I agree with your idea.


I’ve done it. It’s not a bad way to go sometimes. Anyway, it helps to mix things up - keeps the language exchange interesting.

You can also try letting your partner tell a story in English, which you then translate orally into your target language.

I think people should do what they like in their personal path to learning. If you ask me personally, though, I would not do this. A big part of my discussions with native speakers consists of focusing on how my partner uses the language I am learning. When I am teaching English, I focus on what the learner is saying, and how to keep the conversation going, and which words and phrases to type into my conversation report. I could not at the same time be preparing my answer in the target language, unless I was really very advanced.

ad alexandrec: (…) You can also try letting your partner tell a story in English, which you then translate orally into your target language. (…)

That sounds like a great idea. I’ll try that out next time I talk to one of my language exchange partners.

ad RickyRuffcutt: If I don’t feel like staying in my target language for whatever reason (too tired, not having prepared for the conversation etc.) I prefer it the other way round, meaning I speak to my partner in German and he answers in Russian for example. In doing so I get lots of native input while training my listening comprehension. Since I have to interact with my language partner this exercise is somewhere in between just listening to native content on a CD for example and having a complete conversation in my target language.


I think that kind of exchange would preclude typing up a conversation report. But for a regular language exchange, ie where you meet regularly, both people are learning the other’s langauge, and nobody is paying, it’s a way to spice things up. Sometimes it’s a nice change.