Practice makes perfect, or so the saying goes, but is it really necessary to practice all the time with a native speaker? Language learners need to take into account several factors when they choose the way they wish to practice their target language. As we have mentioned in previous posts, it is essential to learn in a consistent and structured way, but there are also other choices to be made.

There are advantages and disadvantages of practising with a native speaker. Know your language learning needs and work with like minded people.

On such choice is whether you would prefer to learn with a Tandem partner or a language learning partner. A tandem is when you learn with a person whose native language is the language that you want to learn and you simply exchange your knowledge of each language.Whereas a language learning partner is a person who is also learning the same language as you and also has a similar level to you. There are pros and cons, however, to each way of learning:

 

The advantages of learning with a tandem partner include:

  • You will have an native in your target language to give you examples
  • You can improve your listening skills
  • You can imitate your partner and improve your pronunciation

 

The disadvantages of a tandem partner:

  • Native speakers tend to be poor teachers and cannot explain grammar points well
  • You will need to distribute your time so that both of you have time to learn
  • It is difficult to find a tandem with a similar level to you, normally they will speak your language better than your speak theirs for example.

 

The advantages of a language learning partner:

  • You share a similar goal
  • You can spend all of your time learning the same language
  • You can motivate each other
  • You can learn from each other
  • You can share resources

 

The disadvantages of a language learning partner:

  • The evolution of your pronunciation tends to be slower
  • You do not share the different cultures

 

As can be seen, there are several benefits and drawbacks to each method. Our recommendation is that if you are unsure of which you prefer, have both and this way you will experience the best of both worlds. The most important thing is to stay motivated and enjoy the experience of learning a language. A factor that is not often mentioned is the simple issue of “Do you get on with the person you practice with?”. If you speak to someone that you can connect with and that you feel comfortable around, you will make far better progress than if it feels like a grind or a chore. Try to meet people with similar interests or even similar goals to you and you will stay motivated and encouraged to progress. Here at Intercambioidiomas, we are all passionate about language learning and wish to share this with our clients. For this reason, we have adapted our platform to make sure that all of your needs are met in an effective way that suits the learner and you are recommended speaking partners, whether they are tandems or other learners, based on your preferences.

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