Language exchange is a free of charge, yet very useful and usually effective way of learning languages. It takes place when you're offering a service to exchange your knowledge of a language with someone else's knowledge of another language you'd like to learn. It's also a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends! It's also a great opportunity to perfect your level of knowledge in only certain areas with a native speaker maybe. You, or the partner, can also practice and learn about teaching this way. Methodology and pedagogy of teaching is also a great field to understand, dive into and develop upon. The only drawback is that sometimes it is not constant and/or irregular, since it is free of charge and it can loosen its intent, or because both sides are not certified or specialized teachers, so it can become too unprofessional. It is also usually remotely done and private, so it can miss on the benefits of direct contact and evaluation, as well as group commitment and practice.
I know that this site offers an opportunity like that too, and I am very grateful for it! I am a huge proponent and believe internet has made this possible like nothing before. We are living in a great age of information!
I was once using Skype for this with a native Spanish speaker, a Mexican girl. I found this girl on Language exchange group on Couchsurfing. She was so friendly and willing, not only that it made my day, but also taught me many stuff. I was helping her with her French.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever tried it? Did you ever have a group language exchange? What tool did you use? Did you start from scratch, or did you use it just to complement your specialized courses? Do you trust it, or would you rather pay for a specialized course? Where do you place this means of learning a language?
"It’s a classic example of how the pressures of a social situation can trump the practical considerations of actual language learning."
This is an example of a negative experience with language exchange. The quote above is from the blog.
What do you think?