Conversation Exchange Scheme

Introduction

Find speakers of your target language on campus. Learn, converse, share, practise, exchange and improve your language skills.

New and Improved!

The Conversation Exchange Scheme is a language-sharing community for speakers of all languages on campus. Now a Facebook Group, the Scheme enables you to instantly connect with speakers of your chosen language instead of waiting to be allocated a partner. The Scheme is open to all registered Edge Hill students and members of staff who wish to improve their language skills, perfect their pronunciation, or simply connect with like-minded individuals. As this is an exchange initiative, you are also expected to share your own language with others. Win-win!

Overview of the Scheme

  1. Join the Conversation Exchange Scheme Facebook group
  2. Post on the group
  3. Connect with speakers of your target language
  4. Meet up on campus with speakers of your chosen language and improve your language skills
  5. Continue to contribute to the Facebook group – join conversations, share language-learning techniques, ask others for suggested language-learning tools, share articles, test each other…

Click here to view our Conversation Exchange flyer

Joining the Scheme

The Scheme is open to all registered Edge Hill students and members of staff. To join the Scheme, follow the instructions below:

    1. Search Edge Hill University Conversation Exchange Scheme group on Facebook.
    2. Request to join the group where you will be asked to provide your student number or, for members of staff, your Edge Hill email address.
    3. Once the Language Centre has checked that you are an Edge Hill student or member of staff, we will approve your request to join the group.
    4. Once a member of the group, you should write a post introducing yourself to the rest of the group. For information on how to write your first post, click here.
    5. This should prompt compatible language partners to connect with you. They can do so by commenting on your post. You should also do the same by responding to other posts relevant to the language which you can offer.

Please do not try to join the group if you are not an Edge Hill student or member of staff. You must have a Facebook account to join this group.

Using the Group

Use of the Group

The purpose of the group is to help speakers of all languages on campus to connect and share their languages but the group is also intended to promote conversation about language-learning, and to allow individuals with common interests to converse about relevant topics. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation and to comment on other threads if you have an opinion.

Speakers of your Target Language

There may not always be speakers of your target language available. If this is the case, feel free to post again after a suitable period of time as the Scheme is open all year round and new members will always be joining the group.

Entry Requirements

Your language level in your target language does not matter. There is no minimum requirement when joining the Scheme. You may be a beginner in your target language, or you may have a GCSE or A Level qualification; alternatively, you may have no qualification but may have spent time in a country where your chosen language is spoken. Just ensure you specify your experience so that your language partner is aware of your level.

Connecting with Other Participants

You may connect with more than one person. The person who helps you with your target language may not be the person who you are helping with your own language. You may therefore have a different role in different partnerships or groups.

Meeting Up

The group is intended to help you find speakers of your chosen language and then meet up to help you practise and improve your language skills. You should always meet on campus and should take necessary safety precautions. You should never disclose any information about yourself which you are not comfortable with.

Continuing to Contribute to the Facebook Group

Just because you have found a suitable language partner does not mean that you can no longer contribute the group. We welcome new posts to promote conversations about language-learning techniques and topics related to learning a language.

Social Events

We will be hosting a range of social and cultural events each semester. These events will be free and open to everyone on the Conversation Exchange Scheme. It is a great opportunity to network with other language learners of all levels and socialise in your target language.

Throughout the year, we will also arrange free workshops to guide you through specific areas of language learning. Topics might include: using the internet for language learning and using dictionaries to look up vocabulary.

Our social events will include:

      • Foreign Film Evenings (with subtitles)
      • ‘Meet and Greet’ events
      • And many more…

Participants on the Scheme will be sent an email with details of these events and their locations.

Remember to ‘like’ our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter

Meetings

First Meeting

Once you have connected with speakers of your target language, you may wish to arrange a first meeting so that you can begin to practise your language skills. You may wish to meet in a group or in a pair, it is entirely your choice.

Meeting Place

All meetings should take place on campus. If you are meeting in a group, you may wish to meet in a social, flexible setting such as the Hub. If you are meeting and plan to study and converse one-to-one, you should meet in a quiet place on campus which is suitable for learning.

Introductory Meeting

You should use the first meeting as an opportunity to get to know your language partner(s) and to discuss their language goals as well as your own. You may also wish to set targets and topics for discussion, as well as a dedicated time in the week for conducting your meetings. You should also decide on the format of the meetings, e.g. whether to spend half the time in one language, and half the time in the other, or spend one meeting in one language and the next in the other.

Below shows a checklist for your introductory meeting:

  • Introductions
  • Previous experience of each other’s language (if applicable)
  • Aims and goals
  • Set goals and targets
  • Set topics
  • Set meeting times and locations
  • Decide on how you will split the time between each other’s language (if applicable)

Conversation Topics

Beginner Topics and Vocabulary

      • Introducing yourself
      • Expressing likes and dislikes on food and drink
      • Describing your family, friends and home
      • Telling the time, days of the week, months of the year
      • Leisure activities and hobbies
      • Giving and understanding directions
      • Talking about the weather

Intermediate Topics and Vocabulary

      • Discussing your career and future aspirations
      • Talking about the environment
      • Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of social media
      • Discussing current affairs
      • Discussing the cultural differences between two countries

Advanced Topics and Vocabulary

      • Current affairs
      • Discussing a novel in the target language
      • Discussing a film in the target language
      • Discussing newspaper articles in the target language, and comparing how different papers may portray the same event in different ways
      • Talking about historical events in the target language
      • Universal debate topics

Something Different…

The Conversation Exchange Scheme is based on developing your speaking skills through conversation topics such as those listed above. However you will further develop your language skills if you vary your activities and incorporate fun learning techniques into your meetings too.  Some examples are given below.

      • Practise your reading and writing skills by sending your partner some emails in your target language.
      • Set your partner a special task for your next meeting – it could be watching a particular programme on TV in another language or reading a couple of pages of a foreign book/article
      • Play games in another language – Scrabble or Guess Who for example

 

Meeting Tips

Safety

The Edge Hill University Conversation Exchange Scheme Facebook group is a closed group which you must request to join. Only registered Edge Hill students and members of staff will be permitted to join. When connecting with other participants online and in person, you must take necessary safety precautions:

  • Always meet up on campus
  • Do not disclose any personal information about yourself online
  • Always stay safe on social media
  • Report any safety concerns to the Language Centre by contacting us on efl@edgehill.ac.uk 

Getting the most out of your Meetings

  • Prepare for each meeting and spend time after each meeting reflecting on what you have learnt
  • Organise your time with your partner or your group. Spend the first part of each meeting reflecting on what you covered last week.
  • Always plan what you will talk about in the next meeting.
  • Vary your activities. As well as speaking and listening, you can also integrate reading and writing into your meetings as well.
  • Use different resources, including authentic materials from newspapers, or video clips from YouTube of TV shows or news bulletins in the target language.
  • Be willing to correct your partner’s mistakes and encourage them to correct yours.
  • If you are studying a language module, or on the Language Steps course, let the content that you cover in class inspire what you discuss in your meetings to help consolidate what you have learnt.
  • If you are going to be late for a meeting or cannot attend, please ensure you contact your partner as soon as possible so you do not let them down.

Resources

There are hundreds of useful easy-to-access online learning resources to help you improve your language skills. Take a look at some of our favourites below!

General Resources

Suggested Conversation Topics 
BBC Languages
 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/
Light Bulb Languages – http://lightbulblanguages.co.uk/index.htm
Language Guide – http://www.languageguide.org/
Linguanet – http://www.linguanet-worldwide.org/lnetww/en/resources/learning.jsp 

Test Yourself!

Dialang –  http://dialangweb.lancs.ac.uk/ (Copyright © DIALANG Consortium)
Interlex – http://www.vocab.co.uk/
BBC Bitesize (French, Spanish, German) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/

News, Radio and Blogging

World Radio Network – http://www.wrn.org/
BBC World Service – http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/languages/index.shtml
The Guardian on Languages – http://www.theguardian.com/education/languageresources
Spotify Language Apps and Playlists https://www.spotify.com/

Dictionaries

Word Reference – http://www.wordreference.com/
Verbix 
(conjugated verbs) – http://www.verbix.com/languages/

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