How to Find a Great Language Partner

Language partnerships are on the rise thanks to the insane development of technology. Boy, has it’s changed the language learning landscape!
I remember really struggling to find people the first time round when I started with my Spanish (+/- 10 years ago). Now Spanish isn’t even my main language focus but I have short conversations in Spanish with people daily 😀
Language partnerships, both profound and superficial are an amazing tool to improve your language skills. Today I’ll share my insight about finding a great language partner.

Who’s a Great Language Partner?

Ha! It depends on your level. In the very beginning anyone will do. Having super simple conversations with as many people as you can is the way to go.
The more advanced your level, the more tricky it gets. A great language partner is someone you like to talk to… BUT if you enjoy the conversation too much you may be tempted to use another language to express yourself (usually English).
Here are some traits you should look out for in a conversation partner:

  • talkative – your conversation partner should have things to say and be easy to talk to
  • engaging – they should also encourage you to speak
  • focused – if their language goal is important to them, they will help you stay motivated
  • nice – yes, someone simply being a nice person makes exchanges much more fun
  • good in the target language – a native speaker means nothing. I’ve seen embarrassingly bad grammar and poor vocabulary from people who chuckle when they hear an accent. I’ve also seen amazing skills in people who’ve been studying for a relatively short time. A native speaker or not your language partner should have a decent level in the language they help you with.
  • NOT trying to get into your pants – probably more of a problem for female learners but a big problem nonetheless.

Having a language in common may speed the process up, particularly for beginner to intermediate levels. Even at higher levels it really helps with accuracy. Needles to say that the skills you both have in the language in common must be decent for it to be helpful.

Where to Find a Great Language Partner?

There are many places you can try to look for language partners. I’ve found language partners on Internations, Meet-Up and Couchsurfing. However, for the sake of simplicity you can go straight for places aimed at finding language partners:

  • Italki – You can advertise that you’re looking for a language partner or browse what’s been posted by others. It’s pretty cool that as a predominantly language teaching platform they allow and facilitate language partnerships.
  • Tandem – I haven’t been using this app for long but I’m already a big fan. There are countless users and you can chat to numerous people at the same time. You can have calls but you can also leave a message or a voice note and come back to the conversation whenever it suits you.
  • HelloTalk – It’s very much like Tandem but less user friendly and seems to have less people on it.

I’m sure there are some other great places and if you know them let me know in the comments’. More isn’t always better, though. If you just use the ones I’ve mentioned you’ll be covered for your language partner needs.

Have you tried out language partnership as a method of language learning yet? Let me know your thoughts 🙂 Multumesc pentru citit! Do zobaczenia!

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