What is the Café linguistique?
- It's a space, at the Language Exchange Center, for informal, relaxed conversation practice in French, English, Spanish, German, Chinese and other languages. It's included for free with registration for conversation classes and workshops, to give you more exposure to the real language as spoken by native speakers from here and abroad. You can also sign up just for the Café linguistique.
Why is it necessary?
- Practice is an essential part of language acquisition, but students don't always get all the practice they need; it's also important to talk with native speakers.
- You get a lot more out of the exchange than just improved fluency, new vocabulary, or a better ear for the language; you learn about many aspects of cross-cultural communication that are essential to becoming fluent and comfortable in your new language.
How does it work?
- The basic principle of the exchange is "half and half", or mini-immersions in each language. You try to speak only in the language you're practicing for 15 minutes or half an hour, and then it's the other person's turn to practice speaking your language.
- A facilitator is always present to guide you, especially in the beginning, but it's up to you whether you want to just chat informally or do a more structured kind of practice. The facilitator can show you how to work on your pronunciation and intonation, build up speed and spontaneity with parlor games, or simply get the conversation going with questions.
- It's usually better to split up into small groups of 2, 3 or 4. It's also best if the people practicing the same language are at about the same level. If the group you're practicing with switches to a language you don't speak, just move on to another group or help someone practice your language. You can make arrangements with the people who speak the language you're interested in, to know when they'll be there to practice, or to meet somewhere else at a more convenient time. Remember, language acquisition takes time; so relax, practice as much as you can - and, above all, enjoy the process!
- Monday to Thursday, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Cost (taxes included, income tax deductible)
free if signed up for a class or workshop; otherwise, it's $ 99 for 10 weeks (up to 80 hours of practice) plus a registration fee for newcomers.
Classes and schedules are subject to change without notice.