What is Language Connection?

Language Connection is a non-profit organisation that empowers language learners to improve their proficiency. We create opportunities for language learners and native speakers to meet each other, practise and improve the languages they are learning and make friends. We run events such as weekly language exchanges and regular social events.

How will Language Connection help me?

Language Connection provides a social platform for language learners to meet native speakers. You will be surprised by how much your language skills will improve by regularly conversing with native speakers of the language that you are learning. Benefits include increased vocabulary, improved grammar and confidence in speaking your second language(s). You will meet and make friends with people from all over the world who are bound by the one common interest of learning one of the following languages: English, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean or Arabic. You will also learn lots about other cultures and build your global network.

What do I do if I have never been to a language exchange before?

During a language exchange, everyone comes to learn a language and meet native speakers. Generally, each language has its own table. When you come in, one of our friendly volunteers will allocate you to a table based on your first language and the language that you are learning or interested in learning. At the beginning of an exchange, it is a good idea to introduce yourself to the people on your table. Participants and volunteers are very friendly so please don’t be shy! You can start introducing yourself in the language that you are learning and then use your own first language.

This is a good way to practise language and show your language level to native speakers so they can better help you improve your language skills. A table of three to four people is generally a good size to encourage participation from all learners.

When and where are your events held?

Please refer to the Language Exchange page here.

The topics you can choose are various. You can talk about anything you are interested in – asking people questions about their language learning is a good place to start. Everyone is learning a language, so this is something you have in common. Daily life, study and work are common topics. Talking about TV shows and movies is also good. You can also talk about special festivals and cultural differences.

What if it is hard to meet people?

Sometimes people will come to you and introduce themselves, but if they don’t then it is up to you to introduce yourself. Even if people are already talking it is okay to join in, they won’t mind. If you feel nervous about introducing yourself you can speak to one of the organisers and they will introduce you to some friendly volunteers.

What do I do if I have been to your language exchanges many times?

If you have been to our language exchanges several times and have become familiar with our sessions, you may want to learn more than just introducing yourself and talking about basic topics. In that case, we suggest you find a partner who matches your learning requirements from the language exchanges.

During the weekly meet-up, you can bring your own textbook and ask your partner to help you with pronunciation or grammar. You can also recommend each other a book or film in the language that you are interested in and talk about it the following week. As you get to know each other better, topics usually become more diverse.

Storytelling is an excellent way to develop friendships because when we tell stories about our lives, people can find out about our personality and values.

What should I do to prepare?

You don’t need to prepare, but there are a few things people usually do, including writing down problems and confusions you have with your acquired language(s), bringing in specific things to show people and to talk about, like cultural games, riddles or specific cultural confusions you have had.

How do I improve my language proficiency?

Language exchanges are an excellent opportunity for you to improve your spoken language. Learning the pronunciation of a language is very important. During a conversation, you can ask the native speaker to correct your pronunciation and review your mistakes regularly after the exchange. When you learn a foreign language, gradually building up your vocabulary is also critical.

You can learn new words from written texts as well as spoken conversations. Try to memorise new words you learn and ask people who you are talking to how to use them in daily sentences. Sometimes people may not be able to understand what you say – not because of poor pronunciation – but incorrect grammar. Native speakers can help you to construct grammatically-correct phrases and sentences.

How do I join?

To become a participant, just come to one of our events below and make yourself known to one of our friendly volunteers on the day who will introduce you to other learners and look after you.

What if I don’t know if an event is on?

Register at meetup.com to receive notifications about upcoming events and changes to existing ones.

You can also find us on Facebook at the Language Connection Group and Language Connection Melbourne Page.

Have more questions?

Email us at info@languageconnection.com.au or Call us on 0423 869 800