Do you want to learn a foreign language but you don’t know any native speaker who could help you? You want to meet other Au Pairs but you’re new in the country and feel isolated? AuPair.com has created a new tool to support you!
You can find other Au Pairs and language enthusiasts on our platform! Just specify your own native language and which language you want to learn and we will provide you with a full list of matching tandem partners from our database. The best: our service is completely free of charge for you!
What is a language tandem?
Two people with different languages meet and talk to each other in their languages - this is a language tandem. Its purpose is to improve one’s language skills and at the same time meet other people with similar interest. A language exchange is the perfect option for Au Pairs before, during and after the stay: you can practice your target language before your departure, meet up with other Au Pairs while you’re in the host country and keep in touch after you return home.
How do I find a tandem partner?
If you meet the requirements, you will see a notification on your dashboard when you’re logged in. When you click on “Interested” it will bring you to a page where you can indicate your native and your target language. After that, you will have access to profiles from other Au Pairs who match your criteria. Feel free to leave them a contact request and they will let you know if they are interested. You can exchange your contact details if you like and plan a video chat in which you can improve your language skills and meet new friends!
What are the requirements?
In order to take part in the language exchange program you need to…
be a member of AuPair.com for at least two weeks
have an answer rate of 90% or more
complete your profile 100%
You can also take part when your profile is deactivated (for example when you have already found your Host Family) which you can select in your settings.
How does the language exchange work?
You can send maximum 20 tandem requests per week and exchange messages with two different users per week. This way, we want to make sure that you keep an overview about your tandem partners and focus on your favourite ones.
After exchanging contact details you can either plan
a written exchange
a verbal exchange
a face-to-face meet-up
If you focus on improving your written language skills you can write messages and read the replies of your tandem partner. Alternatively, you can also meet with your tandem partner via video chat or meet offline if you live in the same region. Talk about yourself, tell your partner why you want to learn this language or live in this country. Listen and learn more about your new friends: what can s/he tell you about his/her culture? Broaden your horizon and gain international friends. We promise you, it’s worth it!
Are there any costs involved?
We are happy to announce that this tool is completely free of charge for you and your tandem partner. The purpose of this service is solely to improve your intercultural experience and to gather new friends around you so that your Au Pair stay becomes the best time of your life.
Tips for a beneficial language exchange
The language exchange community is growing! But a lot of people face their first video call and worry if their language skills are good enough. It’s completely normal to be nervous before meeting your tandem partner for the first time, we’ve all been there. But don’t worry: usually, language learners are very understanding. And don’t forget that you are in the same boat: your counterpart might just be as nervous as you. Realize why you want to take part in a language exchange: you are not fluent yet but that’s your goal - or at least to communicate on a basic level. And this goal is precious and good. It’s very similar to the Au Pair program: don’t let insecurities hinder you from achieving what you want! Nonetheless, we have gathered some tips for you based on our own experience:
Learn your introduction by heart
Obviously, you are a beginner or not fluent in your target language. But trust us, it will boost your self-confidence if you learn the first phrases that you want to say by heart. It will help you tremendously. In general, you should prepare to say who you are, how old you are, where you’re from and what you’re doing. Moreover, it is highly advisable to learn how to appreciate the other’s language and culture. For example, when one of our authors lived in France, the best opener for a conversation was “I love France and want to improve my French but I’m still at the beginning. I’m happy if you could help me” et voilá: when being appreciated for the culture, the French got comfortable very quickly and have been a great help.
Bring a dictionary
When learning a new language, nothing is more frustrating than wanting to express something but just not being able to. That’s why you should definitely bring a dictionary when you meet with your tandem partner. You can either use an old-fashioned model and write down your notes in it or download a dictionary app. When chatting online you have the advantage of keeping a dictionary website open while talking to your language buddy. The more you use it the less you will need it in the future.
Write down new words
If you’re a visual learner we highly suggest writing down new words and to revise them after the meeting. There are people who can memorize a word just by hearing it but not everyone is gifted with this talent. Bring a pen and paper or create a file on your smartphone to collect new words that you have learned during the session.
Record the talk
Pro tip: record the talk (if your partner agrees). This way you can objectively rate your own performance, check your pronunciation and see if there’s room for improvement (generally there always is).
That being said, we hope that you will find your ideal tandem partner soon and that you will enjoy the language exchange on AuPair.com!
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