Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum Learn REAL Spanish now!  

Go Back   Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum > Spanish Forum > Intercambios / Meet Ups / Penpals

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 9th December 2008, 08:08 AM   #1
trmptrmrk
Novato
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Default Help! Found an intercambio and need tips to get started

I've been working on learning to speak Spanish for about a year and half through CDs, practicing at local restaurants, one month I was lucky enough to teach at a school with a Spanish teacher who helped me practice, and (recently) these podcasts (which I love).

There's a super nice waiter at the new Mexican restaurant across the street from my house who has agreed to meet up to practice both languages. He's been in the US about 8 months and his English is almost as poor as my Spanish. I thought he may not be interested since there are folks from Mexico at the restaurant that he can practice English with, but he said all his practice is with customers.

Long story short, I'm worried we'll get together and have nothing to talk about

Thanks in advance for any tips! After listening to what Ben and Marina said about intercambios in the beginner podcasts I'm convinced this can really help both of us.

Mark (Marcos)
trmptrmrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2008, 09:14 AM   #2
Beckett
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 900
Default

Hey Mark,
Congrats on taking the intercambio plunge. Doing an intercambio can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

In the first conversation, ask very basic questions to find out what interests or hobbies the other person has. Does he like sports, movies, etc.? That will give you topics to talk about in future conversations. Ask him about his family and his impressions of the U.S. Ask him about his former life back in Mexico. What was it like, what were his favorite things to do, what does he miss, etc.

You, of course, can tell him the same things about yourself in terms of your family, your interests, etc.

Look at this as making a new friend and be patient with him and with yourself.

Good luck!
Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2008, 11:31 AM   #3
richardksa
Jedi Forero
 
richardksa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madrid
Posts: 1,852
Default

I agree with Becket. (Who would dare not to!!!!) For conversation openers I would pull out the photos of the dog, a favourite car, or anything that will give you something to talk about. Discuss the menu. Take a dictionary with you and, for the first few meeting at least, agree to speak s-l-o-w-l-y. It might sound contrived and wierd, but this is a language exchange, not a debate to put the world right. How lucky you are that his level of English is low. You won't feel such a twit and you can learn together. All my intercambios here have a high level of English and I feel really stupid when I screw things up!!!!
richardksa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2008, 02:42 PM   #4
Beckett
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 900
Default

Richard,
Great advice and excellent icebreakers! Love your ideas of using the menu and showing photos.
Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2008, 06:58 PM   #5
gary
Samuri Forero
 
gary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 2,724
Default

I had an intercambio with a lady in Barcelona. She is an experienced spanish teacher that wanted to practice her English. She carriied with her an A4 sheet that looked something like a board game starting with info about you and the place you live and moving on to fifty or sixty topics that provided a plethora of conversation topics. We didnt get far down the track before we went off at a tangent and covered everything from primary schools to the miners strike... I took my laptop which had pics of my wife, grandsons, children, daugters wedding, holidays - tons of material.
gary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2008, 08:59 PM   #6
Alison30
Super Forero
 
Alison30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North East England
Posts: 161
Default

I'm lucky enough to have found a real live intercambio (as opposed to a Skype one) in North East England (not many Spanish speakers around here!) I've been meeting her for about a year now every few weeks for about an hour. We have talked about all kinds of things! I agree entirely with the advice to start off with general introductions, talking about family, jobs, hobbies etc. We also seem to spend a lot of time talking about holidays for some reason and have got quite a bit of mileage out of that! Occasionally we have decided on a topic in advance, and we did do this a bit more to start with, to give us some time to prepare.

I think the best thing is to start off with the simple topics which have been suggested and then see where that leads you! If you get stuck, suggest a topic to prepare in advance, I've used the podcasts for ideas previously.

Good luck, I'm sure you will have great fun!
Alison30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd January 2009, 07:21 AM   #7
trmptrmrk
Novato
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Default Thanks!

Thanks for the advice. We finally got together last week, had a great time and learned a lot from each other. We ended up hanging out for four hours.

We went to a coffee shop I like last week, then yesterday we went to a bakery and a restaurant that he likes (where everyone spoke Spanish and all the food was authentic). It was a blast and immersion without leaving town.

At this point we're bouncing back and fourth between the two languages, but that has been very helpful because we're teaching each other vocabulary and pronunciation as we go. Its interesting how many words we each know in the other language that the other doesn't know.

He gave me a trabalengue to work on my Rs and I gave him a tongue twister, too.
trmptrmrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd January 2009, 10:21 AM   #8
Ben
Hero Forero
 
Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,425
Default

Really great to hear it went so well! It really is the best way to improve your Spanish without a doubt. Can you share the trabalenguas with us? They are great fun!
Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd January 2009, 01:45 PM   #9
mightykaboosh
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Inglaterra
Posts: 383
Default

Nunca verás mas trabalengues en un lugar:

http://www.uebersetzung.at/twister/es.htm

mis favorites son esos con los r's

How do you know what gender to use when talking about multiple letters in the alphabet i.e pluralising the r's.

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 22nd January 2009 at 01:51 PM.
mightykaboosh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd January 2009, 04:07 PM   #10
la vieja de la manga
Forero Senior
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: la manga, murcia
Posts: 58
Default

For those wanting to practice speaking Spanish this is a very useful website http://www.language-exchanges.org/. But you will need Skype.
la vieja de la manga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd January 2009, 09:24 PM   #11
gastephen
..es que yo no estoy loco
 
gastephen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gales
Posts: 1,932
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post

How do you know what gender to use when talking about multiple letters in the alphabet i.e pluralising the r's.
The names of the letters of the alphabet are all feminine.
gastephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd January 2009, 07:48 PM   #12
mightykaboosh
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Inglaterra
Posts: 383
Default

Thanks for that- I
mightykaboosh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2009, 11:54 AM   #13
ferol
Novato
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
Default Intercambio mi español por tu ingles

Hola a todos, soy nuevo en el forum. Estudio ingles desde hace poco y me gustaria hacer un intercambio con cualquier persona interesada.
Vivo en España, asi que no podemos quedar para tomar un cafe, :
Un saludo a todos y a aprender!!!!

Send a PM

Last edited by gary; 21st March 2010 at 11:48 PM. Reason: removed open email addresses in line with site policy
ferol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2009, 11:56 AM   #14
ferol
Novato
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
Default Hola

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
Thanks for that- I
Hola, estarias interesado en hacer un intercambio?
Estoy empezando a estudiar ingles y necesito ayuda!!!
SI quieres podemos quedar por el msn o skype.
Un saludo, Flavio
ferol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st March 2010, 10:37 PM   #15
Steve W
e'tiv
 
Steve W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 189
Default be ruthless

My advice for meeting with intercambios (especially if you are in the country and have a lot of choice): Be ruthless and if you feel that it's not working with a certain person, let them know that you won't be meeting again.

If you get stuck in a habit of meeting someone that you find boring, or that you cannot understand or who is not very accommodating of your level of Spanish, then you will not be getting the most out of these sessions and you may even begin to dread meeting up.

My experience after hooking up with a ton of intercambios in Spain over the last 4 years is that a native English speaker will always be in demand so you can afford to chop and change a bit before you find exchange partners that you are comfortable with and that lead to productive meetings.
Steve W is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks
Learn REAL Spanish now!

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.