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Language Exchange

What is a language exchange?

A language exchange is two or more people who speak different languages together to practise each other’s language. For example, an English speaker who is learning French will do a language exchange with a French speaker who is learning English.

Why should you do a language exchange?

A language exchange can be a great complement to language classes and a good preparation to cultural immersion. In a class, there isn’t always enough time to practice speaking because the class may have too many students. Also, there is no native speaker except maybe the teacher.

In a language exchange, however, you practice more than you would in a class, talking with native speakers of the language you are learning, in a relaxed 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 informal expressions. Therefore, a language exchange is the best training to bridge the gap between classroom learning and communicating in the real world!

How can you make it work?

It is a system that can only work if there is a mutual regard for the fact that both of you must benefit from the arrangement. So, whether you decide to meet and alternate between the two languages, or devote every second meeting to each language, be careful to ensure that both of you are getting an equal chance to improve your language skills. Bear in mind that the object of the language exchange is to improve your language skills and increase your language ability to communicate and discover the “conversation culture” – how native speakers of the other culture interact.

Use the LLH!

Feel free to use the facilities available in the LRA for your language exchange meetings.
Here are some activities you can do together to start off a discussion:

  • Watch satellite TV
  • Watch the news
  • Watch a movie or a documentary
  • Work on a language-learning package in the CALL lab

In the event that your language exchange partnership does not work out, just leave your name at the LLH main office (LC1-008) and we will try to find another partner for you.

How to register

To register, please attend the Language Exchange meetings in week 3 – details of these meetings are posted on oure notice boards, website and facebook page.

Other ways of meeting students

Attend language-related events:

  • The UL Arts Office shows foreign films regularly.
  • Latin America week.
  • Join one of the following societies:
    • French society
    • German society
    • Hispanic society
    • Irish society
    • International society
  • Check the Clubs and Societies website: www.clubsandsocs.ul.ie