In this series we’ve already covered some of the best and easiest ways to find an online language exchange partner, but that is only the beginning! Once you’ve met, introduced yourselves and covered some of the more basic topics, you may find yourselves searching for cues or ideas on what to cover next. Trying new activities can help to break the ice and make you feel more comfortable with your language exchange partner, help you to discover new things or new language skills that you want to work on, and keep you from becoming repetitive or lethargic in your language practise. We’ve listed some of our favourites below.
Read our last post: Why You Should Try Cooking with Recipes in Your Target Language
Activities to Try with your New Online Language Exchange Partner
This is an age-old game that almost everybody knows, but there’s a reason it has stood the test of time. In this activity, one person chooses an item, person or character (this can be either random or within a specific category depending on your language level). The other person can ask them up to 20 questions with yes or no answers to figure out who or what they are. If they don’t do it in 20 questions, it’s game over! This activity is great because you can tailor it to suit your language level.
Beginner: fruit & veg
Advanced: specific people or celebrities
This activity is great for learning new vocab, and is short enough to dip in and out of if you want something shorter or a little more relaxed. Each person makes a list of five to ten new words they want to learn, and they get ‘put into a hat’ (either literally or metaphorically!) by the other person. When you want to play, pick out a word at random and describe it to your language partner in their target language, letting them guess which word you’re describing.
Where Were You?
If you’re simply looking for a conversation starter, ‘Where Were You’ is a great idea. One partner chooses a random time in the past (although you can play this game in the future, too), and the other person has to tell them where they were. You can choose a specific date, or a longer period of time. You might have to look through your calendar or photos to figure out where you were or what you were doing, but this is a great way to get conversation flowing.
What were you doing on the 1st January this year?
Where were you in the summer of 2018?
Watch a Series
Choose a show in one of your languages and watch an episode a week. Depending on how your schedules match up you could watch it at the same time using Netflix Parties or similar software, or just agree to watch one episode before your next language exchange. When you have your language exchange, talk about what happened in the most recent episode in the opposite language to the one the show is in, to give time to both languages. If TV isn’t your thing, you could try this with any kind of activity that both you and your language partner enjoy.
Cooking Together (Or Apart)
Similar to the suggestion above, you could start this activity by individually cooking the same recipe then coming together to discuss it. You could choose one iconic dish from each of your cultures and suggest it to the other person. If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, you could cook at the same time on video or audio call, or use blind-instruction. This is where one person gives the other person directions on how to cook the dish over the phone… you could end up with some interesting concoctions!