Among other sources, I’ve been learning Spanish from a cool podcast site, called Notes in Spanish. The site’s run by a husband and wife team (British husband, Spanish wife) who met as intercambios. The intercambio (exchange) method has apparently become quite popular in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. It consists of usually two people who meet regularly to help each other learn the other’s native language, spending half the time, say, speaking in Spanish and half the time speaking in English.
It sounded like a pretty cool idea. Yet, even though I have some acquaintances who speak Spanish, none were really excited about actually spending time to help me learn. An intercambio seemed out of reach for me even for Spanish, yet alone the other languages I want to study, Esperanto and Catalan!
Then I discovered MyLanguageExchange.com. This is a site used by a half-million people helping each other as penpals and intercambios through email, text and voice chat sessions. I just signed up for a year’s membership (a whopping $24—just two dollars a month). 115 languages are studied at MyLanguageExchange, and some of the less well-known ones are very well represented: (Currently 2045 Catalan speakers are available to help English speakers, and 2311 Esperantists want to practice.)
This is really cool! hoping to start learning more with an intercambio soon.