LANGUAGE PARTNERS CONCEPT
Conversation partners match up in pairs and meet weekly to learn each other's language and culture. (For instance: I’ll help you learn English for a half hour, if you teach me Spanish for a half hour.) This is called language exchange, and we have speakers of almost every language in this group. If you can't find someone in Houston who speaks a language you want to learn, it probably doesn't exist. We hold group events at various locations to introduce potential language partners to each other.
To make multilingual skills and communication more accessible
To build new social networks across cultural boundaries
To welcome those who are from international locations to Houston
To promote diversity and multicultural awareness
To create a scalable system of one-to-one language learning practice accessible to every adult in the greater Houston community.
OUR CORE VALUE
We believe our greatest resource is each other.
HOW IT WORKS
Language partners meet at a group event, and are introduced to other potential language partners. If they meet someone who is a match who they might like to exchange with, they can exchange email contact information and meet at a public place like a library or coffee shop. You spend half the time speaking your native language, and the other half in your partner's native language. Then meet once or twice a week for as long as you wish to help each other learn and practice.
By independently meeting with a partner to exchange language learning, both participants benefit beyond simply learning a second language. They enhance communication skills, make a new friend, develop appreciation for another culture, increase respect for diversity, and increase their ability to engage with others from different backgrounds, both in Houston and the world around them. Reciprical learning is a catalyst for better listeners, teachers, learners, and world citizens.
BENEFITS FOR ALL HOUSTONIANS
Improve second language skills
Enhance cross-cultural communication
Build social connections
Prepare for travel or work abroad
Gain language teaching skills
BENEFITS FOR ENGLISH LEARNERS (ESL)
Learn conversational English and improve fluency
Get individual feedback and attention
Make a new friend who can answer questions about local culture
Make a difference helping someone learn your language
BENEFITS FOR NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS
Improve or learn a second language
Increase your understanding of other cultures
Make a new friend outside your usual circles
Make a difference helping others learn English
VOLUNTEER MATCHING SERVICE
If you need assistance finding a partner, Houston Language Partners may be able to help. Volunteer participants will be matched based on requests, preferences, and availability. You will receive your partner's contact information once you are matched. Contact your partner and make plans to meet in a convenient public place, such as a local coffee shop.
Meet at least one time per week for one hour. You should spend half of the time speaking in your native language and the other half in your partner's native language. You may also choose to exchange a skill for a language instead, so if you or your partner is learning a subject other than a language, you will simply communicate in the same language the whole time. Here is a website that exchanges both languages and skills
If a suggested match is not working out, there is never any obligation to continue. Any language partner can discontinue or find a new partner at any time. Feel free to let HLP know if you have any questions.