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After someone has become your language partner...

Your chat log goes like this:




It usually happens to me that someone sends me a message on italki, showing his/her willingness to be language partners. Then we add each other on skype but end up just saying hi. Normally I would try to start a conversation. No reply... So what's the point of adding me...

Is there anyone having done this before and willing to share with me what you are thinking? I don't really get it.

Aug 6, 2016 9:00 AM
Comments · 23
Hi Ethan, I tend to agree with you, and that's the reason why I think that people who REALLY want to learn effectively should consider choosing a professional teacher. Often casual language exchanges don't work so well in the long term for many reasons. One person is more active, you run out of things to say, the exchange partner doesn't really know how to explain or to correct your mistakes. This is why  certainly for beginners or intermediate, a teacher is more effective. Of course if you have time to waste online then by all means continue looking for an exchange partner. But don't expect to make a whole lot of progress.
August 6, 2016

How come it's always the teachers that say that learning with a teacher is the most effective way? Could they be just advertising their services? Just wondering.

August 6, 2016

I'm so glad and feeling extremely honored that I do have an adorable language partner whom I got to know about from Italki!!!  He's become my good friend even though we're living on two different hemispheres and there's a 15 hour time difference between us. We've been friends for more than a year and we even really met in person once which was amazing!! He helped me prepare for some languages tests, shared his thoughts and anything interesting in his life with me, and also encouraged me to achieve more. I just wanna say, thank you, Dru! You're definitely the most wonderful person!!! -  Candy

Ethan, keep looking and don't just give it up easily!

August 8, 2016

I think language partners can be really useful if you find the right person, and if you have the right expectations. They are just perfect for conversation practice, you don't need a professional teacher for that. So far, I have had good experiences with language partners. When it doesn't work, it is still not wasted time, because I communicate with them in my target language, and usually you can see very quickly who is serious. The only downside to having a language partner is that you have to spend time teaching, but I enjoy teaching and find it gratifying, and it is teaching experience for me. If you see teaching your own language as wasted time then by all means, just get a teacher. I'd also like to mention that teachers and language partners are not necessarily competition. A serious language learner can very well use multiple learning methods including teachers, language partners, and self study. And a good teacher should encourage her students to learn independently as well.

August 6, 2016

I have been a 'friendly Italian tutor' for several learners.

I completely agree wih the wise opinion that  Ruthi expressed with polite words.

Words that should not trigger angry or aggressive responses.

It is truth that a good language partner is hard to find, and a good teacher is easier to find.

It is also true that time is more precious than money, so what Ruthi says is in behalf of all

of us learners, even the one who could use their time to earn the money needed for proper


Now I am ready to hit the record of negative points from the people who are not capable

of making sillogisms or lack strict logic capacities.

August 6, 2016
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German
Learning Language
English, German