Language exchangesLanguage exchanges can be a good way of improving your abilities, especially your confidence in speaking and listening. With new technology and the power of the internet, you can talk to people from other countries online, thus ‘exchanging’ languages, hopefully to the improvement of both parties.

Living in the country of the language you are learning is a step further than this. Traditionally, language exchanges were only a few weeks long on either side. Now however, it seems the trend is for “extreme” language exchanges, with children spending up to six months with their host family.

According to The Independent, children aged 9 to 14 are taking part in these exchanges, living in their host country with a local family and attending the local school for up to six months. With almost no language ability before travelling, the children become fluent by the end of their stay.

It’s often been noted that children pick up new languages faster than adults, so for those of us who are slightly older than 14, I’d probably recommend taking a couple of classes in your home country to see if you like the language before you commit to something this intense!

The language exchange discussed in the article was arranged by En Famille International, who are always looking for English-speaking families. This may also be a way to get involved in language exchange, if you’re interested and have children!