Brun Ugle wrote:I would be interested in hearing more about how you conduct your language exchanges. How do you find/pick a good partner? How do you choose a topic beforehand? How do you prepare for it?
You should go to my talk at the gathering. (( Which reminds me I need to add some of the below to my slide deck!! ))
Brun Ugle wrote:How do you find/pick a good partner?
This bit is trial and error. You have to just talk to a few people and the ones who are punctual and return are keepers. Try these sites:
Brun Ugle wrote:How do you choose a topic beforehand?
Mostly when I'm starting out there are 5-6 topics already built in. We talk about ourselves. Our work, children, pets, etc. After that it becomes more difficult to think of new things to talk about. So I created a document of language exchange things to talk about which I share with people and we talk about various topics. When we get bored with that then it is time to move on to things like the above.
Brun Ugle wrote:How do you prepare for it?
Sometimes I prepare, sometimes I don't. So for the airplane thing last night it was off-the-cuff with no preparation. I know the subject, since I spent 10 years in the airforce working on flight controls so I didn't have to learn the subject. Where I went wrong was vocabulary. But this type of impromptu description really points out the holes in your vocabulary knowledge. A few of the words above I really should have known like climb, lift and wing. Because I didn't know the words, I have to try to describe what I mean with words I do know, so this was difficult for alieron and landing gear.
The subject for next time, which is to explain the recipe for a favorite dish I will prepare for and learn the words for the various ingredients. I suspect most of the corrections then will be pronunciation.
Another thing to remember here is that we aren't using this exercise to be perfect! We're using this exercise of impromptu descriptions to identify gaps in our knowledge. She had to explain grammatical differences between English and French that she had noticed. This lead to a long discussion of how to use progressive tenses, and where you use perfect tenses.
So with these impromptu topics the point is to pick something you know, but would be difficult to explain even in your native language.