Three language exchanges!

Hi all,

I arrived in Taiwan about three weeks ago to study Chinese at NTNU’s Mandarin Training Centre and have just signed up for the school’s language exchange program.

In a wonderful stroke of luck, when I went to the school office to see who my assigned partner was, I met two more local students who wanted to have language exchanges with me! :smiley:

My exchange partners all seem very nice, and it won’t be a problem arranging suitable times to meet with them, but never having done this before I’m not quite sure how to get the most out of it. There are lots of things we could do, like conversations over coffee; going out for lunch some days, etc. Apart from those obvious things, can anyone suggest any interesting things they’ve done on language exchanges?

Hahaha. :wink:


Umm, other fun things to do on language exchanges – depending on the time frame – include going to restaurants for dinner, getting shaved ice, tea houses in the 'burbs, going to the makeout spots on Alishan with your LE partner and his boys and then leave when you realize you’re all just moping about being single… going to the beach… basically anything that you might do with a friend! Unless you want it to be strictly about language.

I used to go roller blading with one LE at CKS for the free skates they had on Tuesday nights (don’t know if they still have them or not). Then of course we had to stop in at the Kaohsiung Milk King or whatever it’s called on the corner of Xinyi and – shoot, what’s the name of that road, anyway it’s the northeast corner of the CKS Memorial park…

Do museums, markets, and just normal “transactions” – going to different stores to buy different things and learn how it’s really said. Go look at rooms or apartments even if you’re not going to rent – to practice the language with your LE. Go get keys cut. Anything. If you’re a beginner it’s a good bet you can learn the right way to say a few things from almost any situation (heck, in Chinese it doesn’t matter, even if you’ve been studying for 20 years you can still learn the right way to say a few things from almost any situation with a native speaker!) And if you get to know your LE well, maybe you’ll get invited for some of the Chinese holidays to spend them with the family. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

Anyone found a good web site for language exchange?
(I’d like to use Skype: high fidelity, from the comfort of home).

I found an old posting that suggests these:

Thanks for the suggestions and links - I’ve skimmed through a few past threads on this board relevant to language exchanges and learning Chinese, and I have to say I’m probably the type that needs to improve my discipline when it comes to practising Chinese - it’s all too easy to lapse into English especially with English-speaking classmates. Since I’m at MTC, joining student clubs at Shi-da would be a useful way of finding people who I will not only most probably have to speak Chinese with, but share similar interests. Having studied Chinese for a few years in Australia this will probably benefit me more in the long run now that I’ve got a good foundation (even though it’s going to be much harder at first)

One “drawback” of language exchange that i noticed being talked about in some of the threads on here is that you spend half the time speaking English - I don’t see this as a problem, you’ve always got to give to get in life and this is no different. If spending an hour helping someone with their English is necessary to get solid practice speaking Chinese then that’s fine, and can also go a long way to making me a more patient teacher/listener/communicator in general, always a handy life skill to have :slight_smile:. It’s tough sometimes to stick strictly to the half English/half Chinese speaking rule, though! :wink:

But anyway, rather than rambling on here I’d be better served by logging off and actually doing some study and improving my Chinese… :wink:

Hahaha. :wink:[/quote]

:slight_smile: :bravo: :blush:

the best LE is no E at all.

get a significant other here in Taiwan. then all your problems are solved about what u want to do, how u want to spend your time, and needing to speak in english (u probably won’t have to).

Easier said than done! Did you read my first post?

Come on, give me a chance!!! :laughing: :unamused:

Maybe I should be posting in the Dating and Relationships forum here instead then… :wink:

No, I still think LE is a good way to meet people initially. And can be a good exercise in conversation practice. For example I’ve sussed out what my LE partners are interested in and used that as a basis for thinking of things to talk about.

Talking to other students learning Chinese with a different first language (ie don’t speak English) can also be a good way of getting uninterrupted Chinese conversation as you’re forced to communicate in Chinese. This isn’t the case with my current class, though. I guess being at a big language school like MTC at Shi-da I could always make friends with people from other classes as well.

I started a language exchange last weekend. We are located in different countries so we are doing this through Skype. Can anyone suggest good topics? Perhaps a resource with a listing of conversation topics. I went to the teach English forum but the resource lists suggested topics that seemed too contrived to work for a more informal LE (e.g., given a group of people and their profiles, which ones are saved given an end of the world scenario).

For the original poster, I once did a LE where we picked one language for the day and stuck with it as we went and did things together like going to a museum. We switched to the other language next time we met. This worked out well.

Maybe I should be posting in the Dating and Relationships forum here instead then… :wink: [/quote]

Don’t be looking for any of us to act as wingman.