It is well known that English is one of the world’s most in-demand languages. Nearly 1.5 billion people speak English, accounting for close to 17% of the global population. Previously, we introduced language exchange, an effective learning method where you team up with a native English speaker and take turns teaching each other about your language and culture. In this article, we’ll share 10 topics for more interesting, fun, and engaging language exchanges.
English Topics for A Better Language Exchange
Give these interesting topics a try to kick-start your language exchange. Let us know what you think!
1. What was your childhood like? How was it growing up in your hometown?
Nothing gives you a deeper understanding of someone than learning more about their upbringing. Ask your language partner about their favorite childhood memory. What was it like growing up in their hometown? You may be surprised by the differences in your childhoods and even more surprised by the similarities even though you and your language partner may have grown up on completely opposite corners of the globe!
2. What’s your favorite place you’ve been to and why?
There’s a famous saying that “travel is an investment in yourself”. Practice your English and learn more about your language partner by seeing how they’ve ‘invested’ in themselves. The best part about sharing travel stories is it lets you learn if a place is worth visiting or not without having to pay for a plane ticket 😊
3. What do you find interesting about English? What do you find interesting about my native language?
The beauty of language exchange is the coming together of two people with different backgrounds, languages, and experiences. Sharing and discussing the differences and commonalities between your languages will give you a deeper understanding of English. This understanding can also give you an advantage when practicing English as you’ll be more aware of potential errors you may make because of how grammar may differ between your language and English.
4. What are some common slang or regional words from your country?
Slang is the informal language that we use in every day life. Slang is a reflection of culture and knowing a bit of slang can help you better understand spoken English and help you sound more like a native speaker. Stay up to date and keep things trendy by learning a few common slang words used in English.
5. What is something new you’d like to try or do?
We all have dreams and new ideas we would like to pursue. After all, the excitement of trying something new is one of life’s great joys. Ask your language partner if they have any dreams or new things they’d like to try. Not only will this help you practice conditional and future tenses (e.g. I would like to, In the future I will), but it will also help you make more friends with people from around the world. Don’t forget to be supportive and encourage your language partner to pursue their dreams 🤩
6. What is your dream job?
A language exchange often involves sharing what you do for work, but the discussion doesn’t have to stop at what you do now. Why not let the imagination run wild and ask your language partner what their dream job would be? This can be especially interesting as it lets you open up and share your hopes and fears about work, and more importantly what you value in life.
7. If you could live anywhere, where would you choose to live?
This one is especially interesting as it lets you practice expressing your wants and desires in English while at the same time learning more about where your language partner’s ideal place to live is. This is also a great chance to practice using words that compare the pros and cons of living in one place over another.
8. What kind of music do you like? What is one of your favorite songs or artists?
Music can cross cultures better than most things. Whether we’re talking about instrumental music, Western Pop music, or K-pop – music has the power to make us feel and experience emotions even if we don’t understand the words. It can be especially interesting to discuss how different types of artists and songs are perceived and interpreted across cultures.
9. What is the strangest food you’ve ever tried?
No language exchange is complete without talking about food (and feeling a little hungry). Each country has their own culinary traditions, so having a language exchange centered around food not only helps you improve your language skills but also gives you tips on how to eat like a local. The best part is when you finally do travel to that country, you’ll know exactly what to order on the menu.
10. What’s your favorite tradition or celebration, and why?
Every culture has their own unique traditions and festivals. Ask your partner about one of their favorite traditions, the story behind the celebration, and why it is meaningful to them. Not only will you learn more about your partner’s culture but you’ll also be able to impress other people from their country with your knowledge about their customs and traditions.
Remember, one of the key elements to a successful language exchange is to keep the conversation going. The best way to do this is to ask open-ended questions (questions that don’t just have a yes or no answer). These types of questions are often more interesting, personal, and let you connect better with your language partner. Give it a try and turn your language partners into lasting friendships.
Create Lasting Friendships with HelloTalk – The Language Exchange Platform
HelloTalk is the world’s #1 language exchange app and home to a global community of language learners and culture lovers. Connect, practice, and learn with over 35 million people from 190 countries who’ve made HelloTalk the hub for language and cultural exchange. Search for language partners and practice with native English speakers for free through text, voice, or video. Download the free app today at hellotalk.com!