How your language exchange works
Personal information in your profile
It is up to you what you would like to tell about yourself. However, similar to searching for a job or the perfect holiday: The more information you provide i.e. your age, your hobbies or your profession the higher your chances of finding a matching partner. Moreover, you should point out your motivation for joining a language exchange. This might be further practice in addition to your VHS course, a longer stay in a foreign country or a planned trip abroad.
Level of language
Learning with a language exchange partner is more likely to be successful if your level of fluency is broadly similar. Both of you should have enough knowledge to talk fluently. If you are a beginner we advice you to do a language course first.
This may sound trivial, but in fact it is the key to success. If you are engaged in a lively conversation you do not even notice how you improve. By speaking you consolidate your vocabulary and grammar, by listening you enhance your knowledge. You should try to speak for at least half an hour in either language. It is up to you if you correct mistakes or not. Sometimes it might be good to do so, but often it will interrupt the flow.
Seeing each other
Similar to exercise: you need to do it regularly to be successful. You should try to meet regularly. The type of meetings can vary: you could meet over a coffee, go to a restaurant together, visit exhibitions. Tips for busy people: meet up for every day activities which need to be done anyway, i.e. do grocery shopping together, walk your dogs together or join each other with your kids at the playground. Beneficial side effect: the relevant vocabulary will we be remembered without any extra effort. If meeting in person does not work for you, meeting via skype or other internet portals or chatting over the phone might be an option.
Addressing a problem
Ideally everything works out perfectly: The language exchange partners like each other and by talking about various things they easily learn each others mother tongues. However, it is not always an ideal world and things might happen differently. We therefore advise to address every problem directly. Does the language switch not work? Does your partner correct you too much/too little? Do the topics bore you? If things do not change for the better after discussing it, the best solution may be to finish the meetings with this partner and search for a new one.