Community Web Version Now Available
Celine Gavin
Help! How to get the best out of an iTalki SKYPE exchange with language partners Hi, My italki teacher won't be available for the month of November, and I want to keep up my French conversation. I have found a few people who want to learn English, and have offered to do French with me. So, I am wondering if anyone can give me advice on how to proceed when we SKYPE. Should we do say 15mins in just French or English and then change, or we both speak in the language we are learning? Either way, do you stop the conversation to make corrections? or do you correct mistakes afterwards? Any advice would be appreciated. Celine
Oct 20, 2016 7:05 PM
Answers · 7
I strongly recommend speaking half the time (say, 30 minutes) in each language. Some people also do the whole hour in one language, and then switch the next time they talk with their partner. Corrections should be kept to a minimum, in my opinion. Even a language teacher should give minimal corrections - your aim is speaking practice, gaining confidence, and hearing your partner speak his or her native language. Research has shown that mistakes slowly correct themselves over time. A few people are able to activate their internal "monitor" and remember their previous mistakes, but most people will just feel stuck if they're afraid to make the same mistake again. Unless it's a major mistake, I would recommend to just keep talking! :) I hope this helps! Bonne chance!
October 25, 2016
Hi Celine, when I do language exchanges we decide together on how long we both will speak each language. I've done 45 min each or 30 min each, it depends on how much time you both have and how comfortable you are in speaking the language. It's better not to mix both languages because you'd easily fall back on the language you know better, plus it confuses your brain as it's receiving information in one language and is supposed to answer in a different one. About corrections, it's better to take breaks every 5/10 minutes or so in the conversation then correct mistakes. If you wait until the end you'll need to be taking notes while the person is speaking and that may not help them to concentrate if they see you are writing down things all the time. A few more tips: - It's hard to find people who are really committed to improving on the long-term, often as soon as life gets busy your partner will naturally want to focus on his own work/family. Reserve a specific moment each week so that there's no risk of forgetting the appointment or any trouble with picking a date. - Look for exchange partners who have a few similar interests so that the conversation will not wither away after the first few meetings. - If you can, it's much more fun to meet in person with a language exchange so that you can actually do something together like going for a walk in the park, visit a museum or any other activity you both enjoy. - Finally, try to find someone who has a similar level to yours so that you can have conversations in a similar manner and learn from each other how to correct grammar mistakes or not feel frustrated about each other's level. Hope this helps, enjoy your time speaking French!
October 21, 2016
I have used Skype for 2 years; French / English. English is my native language. I usually talk for an hour. I find reading some form of language textbook / phrase book to each other is helpful. I text in English and read out the text. Both my French language exchange partner and I can read French / English. The main object is correctly speaking the language. I do stop for corrections. I do not speak in 15 minute blocks and change language, I find we speak French / English, English / French in a mixed format. I an new to Italki, I found my language exchange partner on a different website.
October 21, 2016
Great question. I also want to know about it.
October 20, 2016
Celine Gavin
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language