Language Exchange
by Ben Lo | 6:14 pm

Lots of people are looking for language exchange partners online to practice their speaking. Today, I would like to share my experience of how to use an online language learning platform italki to find language exchange partners.

What Is italki?

Italki is an online language learning platform where you can find professional teachers, community tutors and language exchange partners. It is an online language learning community with more than 5 million learners now. So you can definitely find the resources that you are looking for here. In this post, I would like to specifically focus on how to find language exchange partners on italki. If you are interested in some other great features on italki, check this post out.

Tired of reading? No worries. This video clip summarizes everything for you.

How to Find A Language Exchange Partner on italki?

1. Proceed to the website

2. Choose the language that you feel comfortable to navigate.

3. Scroll all the way down and click Language Partners (circled in red as shown below) under Browse.

4. Then you can start to choose the criteria as shown below. You choose the language that you are learning / would like to practice for the first column and below you can choose your first language or any other language that you are capable of helping others. You can also filter your language partner’s gender, whether they are native speakers and which area they are from.

4-2. For example, I am learning Chinese and so I would like to find a language exchange partner whose first language is Mandarin Chinese and he/she is learning English. Then you should choose as shown below.

5. You can read their brief introduction here to see if you are interested or simply click View Profile to read more detailed information about themselves.

6. After reading their profile, if you are interested, you may send them a private message to ask them if they are interested as well and what time will be the best for both of you. But before sending messages, you will need to sign up as a member first.

7. After signing up, you should now be able to add them as a friend or send them private messages to discuss when, how and where you would like to proceed with your language exchange.

A Few Reminders for Language Exchange

Awesome Stuff

1. This Language Exchange Partner function is totally free of charge. So for learners with budget, you can still get great language teaching and learning experience even though it is free.

2. You can have real experience of talking to native speakers online without even traveling to that country.

3. If you and your language exchange partners have fun talking to each other, you may even become good friends online or in real life. You can even visit them when you travel to their country.

Things that You Should Know Beforehand

1. As it is free, some people might not take it very seriously. Let’s say you might have an online appointment with your language partner but they might not show up on time because it is free and they do not take it seriously. To avoid this, you will need to be extremely careful when you pick your ideal language exchange partners.

2. As they are not necessary well-trained professional teachers, they might not be able to answer all your grammatical or some other language-related questions. In my opinion, the best help they can provide is to practice conversation with you and maybe answer some questions that you have while learning. Or maybe they can share some learning tips with you. But who know? Maybe you happen to have a very professional teacher as your language exchange partner. That is also the fun of language exchange as you never know who you will be interacting with.

3. In my opinion, if you or your language partner’s language proficiency is too basic, there will not be much you can do to help them improve and vice versa. So my suggestion is study and reach at least high end of beginner (when you can conduct basic daily conversation). That will be the time that you feel you do benefit from language exchange. Ideally, if you are an intermediate learner, you will benefit even more in my opinion.

Ready for Langauge Exchange?

So these are some thoughts that I have on the topic of language exchange based on my own experience. Hope you all benefit from this post. Language exchange can be fun, helpful and useful if you take advantage of it properly. And on top of that, it is absolutely free for learners with budget. Feeling excited to find yourself a native speaker to practice your foreign language? Let’s get started and look for a great language partner on italki now. Happy language exchange and have fun.

If you have some wonderful language exchange experience, some thoughts, comments or suggestions, do leave a comment below and share with us. Look forward to reading them.

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