You are probably reading this blog because you have already taken the first steps in learning a language. So congratulations, we are sure you are doing very well.
Quick question? Are you bored of changing language partner just after 2 sessions?
The aim of this post is very simple, we want to help you advance in your learning journey and quickly. And for this you need to know the basic questions not only to communicate but for you to engage in an on-going Language Exchange.
The questions you’ll find below are indispensable! Whether you’ve just met someone who you want to exchange a language with or want to start a conversation in your targeted foreign language.
Research has shown that starting a conversation with a stranger can get awkward quickly, if you’re not equipped with the right questions.
So here you go, let start with some friendly ‘Get-to-Know’ questions:
- What do you do for a living?
- Do you have a partner?
- Do you like to travel? Have you done much travelling? What countries/places have you visited?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- What’s your favorite foods?
- What phone do you have?
- Anything particular you’re watching at the moment?
- Do you have any pets?
- What’s it like where you live?
That should keep you busy for 2 hours or so. Remember, the person you’re speaking to will probably want to know the same about you so be careful what you ask!
Let’s move on some other questions:
Take an interest in why they have chosen this particular language because this is your common ground and what connects you together:
- Why are you studying this language?
- Do you need to learn a language for work?
- What do you plan to do with this language?
- Do you know any other languages?
- Where do you work?
- What does your work involve?
- Are you part of a big team?
- Do you enjoy it?
- Is your company international or local?
- What are you studying?
- Is it hard?
- Do you have lots of coursework?
- Is your school/university far from where you live?
- How much longer do you have before you finish?
Most people are very passionate about sports. if you really want to get into technical details, which can be a very interesting exercise for your listening skills and picking up words you wouldn’t normally.
- What sports do you like doing?
- How many times a week?
- How long have you been doing this sport?
- Have you taken part in any competitions?
- Why did you pick this particular sport?
- How do you feel it helps you?
- Do you need any special materials?
Some people follow a particular or many sports:
- What sports to do follow?
- Which team(s) do you support? Why?
- How long have you supported them?
- Have you ever seen them live?
- Can you explain how it works?
- Which player inspires you?
So if sports is not really your thing then I’m sure you have some musical interests?
Everyone listens to music, some say that’s how we all connect, no matter which part of the world you’re in. This is the ideal opportunity for you to share or even discover new types of music and artist.
- What do you like listening too?
- Who would you say is your favorite artist(s)
- What was the last concert you went too?
- Can you tell me about the music in your country?
- What radio station do you listen too?
So, here you have a starter list. Use this in your next meeting and see how you get on.
We tried this out on 200 of our students and got some fascinating feedback!
We would love to hear what you think and invite you to share your comments and experiences with the rest of the community here.