Practise Portuguese with native speakers!
Some of our Portuguese students in Essex don't have enough Portuguese speaking and listening practice outside the classroom, which can slow their progress in these 2 skills. Having this in mind, I have researched some websites that offer language exchange between native speakers of English and Portuguese as a way to promote speaking and listening practice in a fun way!
It is important to note that these language exchange communities are aimed to Intermediate learners.
Tandem is an American language exchange programme. All students are welcome!
It is designed to help you meet people and learn languages in a fun, relaxed, social environment without tutors, exams or lectures. Tandem is based on mutual language exchange between tandem partners (ideally each learner is a native speaker in the language the proponent wants to learn).
How can I practise Portuguese with Tandem?
You will offer your native language (English) as an exchange of being allocated a Portuguese native speaker learner of English langauge. That is, you will help a Portuguese speaker improve his/her English and in turn, He or she will help you practise Portuguese language in a natural way, outside classbooks!
You can choose to meet up in person (face-to-face Tandem) or learn by e-mail, phone or other media (eTandem, also distance Tandem - think Skype as well!). The classical arrangement style is that half the time is dedicated to one person, the other half to the other person. For example, a Portuguese and an English speaker can talk half an hour in English and afterwards half an hour in Portuguese. The only condition for participation in self-directed Tandem is lower intermediate level (present perfect, sentences with two objects). If you are not sure if this is the right echange program for you, contact your teacher.
There are four important aspects that every learner of Portuguese language should be aware of:
The best way to learn a language is by speaking it
Mistakes are a natural part of language acquisition
A relaxed atmosphere is more conducive to learning
It takes time to learn a language, so it's important to have fun, enjoy the process, and stay motivated.
At Language Exchange you will practice Portuguese with native speakers who are learning English, in small mixed groups of speakers of the two languages - ideally, between 2 and 4 people. Half the time, you will be speaking in the language you're practicing, and half the time in your own language - to give your exchange partners a chance to practice too.
During your practice, you should use the lesson plans in the Chat Companion. This will provide the structure and activities needed in your language exchange. It is the next best thing to having an actual qualified teacher facilitate your practice session. But unlike in the typical teacher-led conversation class, you will totally forget the idea of grammar and instead practice using what you know - what you've studied before. The activities you will do and the way you will do them will help your listening comprehension, pronunciation and vocabulary. Your grammar will improve on its own with practice. In addition, depending on the lesson plan you use, you will work on other communication and conversation skills.
This is the best practice that's ever been designed for people who have an intermediate level in their second language!
Scrabbin also uses the Tandem platform, however it looks a bit different.
The principle is the same: you practise Portuguese with a learner of English language. You can choose if you prefer a female or male "language Partner" , their age and place of residence.
So, if you choose a Portuguese speaker living in Essex, for example, this means that with time, you both will be able to meet up for a face to face covnersation too if you wish so.