Don’t feel like you have to be confined to your house in order to study, learn, and practice your growing language skills. If you find yourself far from home but still wanting to keep up with your regular language exchange work, don’t fret! It’s completely possible. All you need is a computer or smartphone and some Internet access and you have the ability to stay connected, even if you’re miles away.
This provides a golden opportunity for you to have the face-to-face interaction you love with your exchange partner no matter where you happen to be physically. In fact, many exchangers rely on video chat to bridge the distance gap between them and their partner on a regular basis, allowing partners to come together from all over the world.
Open up that smartphone or laptop and dive into your lesson as you would if you were sitting in front of each other.
If you and your partner are working on written work—anything from paragraph writing to worksheets—use Google Drive or Dropbox to upload documents and share them for review. By using these platforms to share, you two have the ability to simultaneously work on the same document. Your partner can make changes, add comments, and chat with you so that you can see and understand your mistakes clearly and quickly.
Learn on Your Own
Your exchange partner is a great guide through all the ups and downs of learning a language, but they aren’t your only resource. Use the time you have on the go to work on some practice on your own. Talk to your exchange partner about good podcasts, music, movies, books (or audiobooks), and other resources in your new language to use your time away for good! Find out what your partner is familiar with and get yourself familiar, not only helping you learn on your own, but also opening up new opportunities for discussion.
You can also start exploring online resources for practicing your language. Online games and exercises are easy ways to get practicing from anywhere without sacrificing much time.
Apps are another great tool for practicing on the go, especially if they don’t require Internet access—then you really can start practicing from anywhere! DuoLingo is one of my personal favorites. They currently offer lessons in Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese with tons of other languages in progress.
Opportunities are endless, so you can’t say you aren’t home enough to learn a language. No matter where you go or what you’re doing, you’ll find ways to connect, share, and continue learning!
Photo Credit: Jon Rawlinson