Well...let me tell you a simple story. ⭕Did you know that my first Japanese teacher was a Caucasian Canadian⭕? He was my conversation partner. His level was advanced (N2), which is not fluent and neither native.
A lot of students get hung on the fact that it has to be a native conversation partner. Well I have news, ⭕your conversation partner just needs to be the same level as you and even same nationality is not a problem.⭕
In fact, let’s look at kids. ⭕When kids start learning they have one teacher but they help each other out. Kids know each other’s weaknesses and they assist each other grow⭕. I noticed the same thing in an adult Japanese classroom. I learned more Japanese from Chinese 🇨🇳and Vietnamese 🇻🇳classmates than I learnt from the natives. ⭕The non native students knew how to communicate on a basic level with me. This made things easy to understand and remember. ⭕
Native speakers do help, don’t get me wrong. ⭕However, I believe progress is faster if you have a partner of the same level or one level above when you are at beginner, intermediate and upper intermediate level. Physiologically you will be more comfortable and the speed won’t be as fast.⭕
Moral of the story is...⭕find a partner who speaks at your level or one level above. Get your new questions answered by a native teacher. This method will keep your basics sharp and the teacher can guide you to your next steps to progress. ⭕
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