Language Connection empowers language learners to improve their language proficiency, make new friends and connect with a broader cross-section of the community.
Language Connection has been running weekly language exchanges for people learning English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean since 2009 and has built a reputation for events that attract highly motivated learners who want to practice and develop their language skills to supplement their language course or private study.
RSVP for events through our meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/languageconnection/
Originally the founders were university students motivated to run a Chinese language exchange because there were none available in Melbourne. The first event held at an unpopular cafe in Little Lonsdale St on Saturday 19 September 2009 and was attended by two Australian learners of Chinese, a Chinese learning English and a Korean learning Chinese. The group gathered steam after two months and started regularly having 30+ members turning the cafe into a really busy place once sometimes twice a week.
We reached a point where we were overcrowding the cafe but few of the participants wanted to buy food (or even coffee in some cases), and the owners basically told us to find somewhere else. This was actually a blessing because it forced us to think about how to run the language exchanges sustainably. The group formally registered in 2011 so that we could apply to rent venues, have joint ventures, collect money and do a range of other very grown up activities like getting insurance (woot!).
From 2012, we started running Annual conferences at the University of Melbourne and running two language exchanges weekly. We expanded to running Chinese, Korean and finally Japanese. Today these are still the languages we focus on. Since inception, there have generally been between 30 and 50 participants at most events, and close to 100 at each festival (quarterly) and conferences (formerly annually). We conservatively estimate at having at least 25,000 total participants since 2009.