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What is Language Exchange?

Language exchange sounds like something professional or business like. Perhaps hearing the words reminds you of currency exchange as it does for me. However, language exchange is far from what it  may sound like to you. What language exchange actually is, is a service that allows people who wish to learn a specific language to interact with people who speak that language. This is a win-win situation since both parties are helped. For instance, if you wish to learn Chinese, you can be introduced and work with a person who speaks Chinese but wants to learn English. In its modern context, language exchange typically refers to partners who mutually teach each other their native languages. These exchanges are thought to be very beneficial for helping people to develop a proficiency in the language they are learning. This is especially true when it comes to listening comprehension and fluent speaking.

There are many ways for language exchanges to take place. The most popular way in these technological days is online. Many people choose to do video chats, such as on Skype, to meet for language exchange sessions. If you are just working on reading, writing and comprehension, text chats are used sometimes. Since language exchange typically take place between people of different cultures, it is also a way to improve upon cross cultural communications and a better understanding of others people in the world. It is also a great way to develop lifelong friendships.

The practice of language exchange has been going on for many years. Take for instance Roger Williams and John Milton. Roger Williams was the ninth president of the colony of Rhode Island and was born in 1603. He was a lover of language and fluent in several Native American languages. John Milton was an English Poet and worked as a civil servant under the Commonwealth of England. He was born in 1608. He was once known as the greatest English author of all time. Milton and Williams partook in language exchange before this was a popular practice. Williams learned Greek, Latin, French and Hebrew from Milton, while Milton learned Dutch from Williams. This was perhaps not the fairest exchange in the world but it apparently worked for them as they kept a very solid kinship over the years.

From the first known language exchange between Milton and Williams up until recent times, language exchange has proven to be an effective means of learning languages. Students who take part in this type of exchange have been found to be more proficient, fluent, and vernacular in the usage of their newly acquired language. They have also proven to have a better grasp of vocabulary of the new language as well. Thanks to technology, language exchanging has become an even greater tool for communication and learning all over the world.

For more information on taking part in language exchange, please visit Language Exchange.


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