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advice about getting a language exchange for dd y7

(13 Posts)
manechanger Tue 21-Jul-15 20:36:13

dd is just finishing year 7 and I would like to help her with her languages. Probably too late for this summer holiday so with a view to next summer. i did exchanges at school and they really helped my confidence with languages.

Had a quick look online but is anyone aware of a company that is reliable which organises exchanges - german if possible. I need a recommendation and to check that its secure. I thought about doing a tefl and taking all the kids for 6 weeks partly funded by me working there but that's going to be really expensive, we also can't afford private german lessons (like ef style).

A week exchange seems reasonable but is there a secure way to organise it? Has anyone done this?

Outofthewoodwork Tue 21-Jul-15 23:00:51

Firstly I would check with the school whether they run something themselves. We do for pupils in y9, 10 and 12 but would consider y7/8 q bit young as they need quite a lot of confidence to go and live in someone else's house. This is great as they know there is one of their teachers nearby if they need support but they still get the experience of family life. Many of our pupils go on to have lasting friednships with their partners and go on repeated visits once the initial contact is established. If it is not on offer I would ask the languages staff if anyone might have a contact to set something up with a partner school or just a friend. I think the sort of commercial language schools which might offer a stay in a local family and language classes are generally aimed at older students.

manechanger Wed 22-Jul-15 00:07:22

Thanks very much. I asked at open evenings and I'm pretty sure none of the schools in my area did it. It seemed to be out of fashion because of crb checks etc. a friend of a friend (english) moved to cologne and I was thinking of asking if she coudl set up a penfriend which might then move to an exchange if the penfriend thing works out. It would be simpler if there were something more organised already out there.

I was looking at a cheap spanish thing where they give free accommodation to teens who go and speak english to other students which would be great for learning about the world but they specifically don't want them to speak anything other than english when they are there. Whats nice is the adult and teen can each do it so I'd be there at the same time. No good for new languages though.

AliceInSandwichLand Wed 22-Jul-15 11:39:58

Look at the website Lingoo. There are paid exchanges available, but what we did was use the other service they offer, which is basically a dating agency for language exchanges. You browse the family profiles and reply to any you like the look of, and eventually choose one to exchange with. If you are anxious about references you can ask the other family to provide them. My daughters both did exchanges via Lingoo. My older one is now studying 3 languages at uni and still in contact with both her partners after 5 years, seeing one of them regularly. My older one is now in 6th form and no longer studying languages, but still off to France on
Sunday to see her partner for the fourth round of visits, as they are very good friends now. Because you can match the child to yours,we found the site a huge success- literally life changing for my older DD.z

AliceInSandwichLand Wed 22-Jul-15 11:42:38

Ps mine both started in year 10 - I think before they wouldn't have had enough confidence or a high enough level of language comprehension for it to be so successful. There are a few foreign children on the site at younger ages, but the vast majority are 14-16, and certainly that worked very well for mine.

Needmoresleep Wed 22-Jul-15 12:05:31

For German look at the Goethe Institut residential camps. Language in the mornings, lots of activites in the afternoon. They have fairly narrow age bands so your child will be with children of a similar age. Teaching is very efficient, and a chance to hang out with nice kids from all over the world.

muminhants1 Wed 22-Jul-15 14:47:35

As well as the Goethe Institut camps, which I am also considering for my ds next year (he'll be at the end of Y8 then) also look at Halsburys Work Experience Abroad, they also do language courses etc.

Happy36 Wed 22-Jul-15 16:49:13

Such a shame that schools do not tend to offer these anymore. I did several between the ages of 13 and 17 and adored them all, as did my friends. Genuinely helped with my language skills too, and I am still close friends with 1 exchange and friends with another. (The school I teach at runs popular language exchanges, but we're in Spain so unfortunately not useful for you).

Agree with those who have mentioned Goethe Institut. I'm not familiar with any of the others. I hope your daughter enjoys her experiences!

Leeds2 Wed 22-Jul-15 18:24:10

Mt DD's school have always done them at the end of Year 9 for French and Spanish students. This year, they started it for German too. I honestly thought this happened in most schools.

manechanger Fri 24-Jul-15 20:27:34

This is all great. Will look at both goethe and lingoo. Happy to leave it for a year or two but would like to get the ball rolling - she is 12 and half and I was thinking for next year so 13 and half. She's really confident and into things like sport so I think if she did a week with someone who likes running, gym and shopping etc they'd bond without needing enormous amounts of language.

Leeds, i agree, it seems a massive shame to me. I remember my exchanges fondly even thoguh they weren't always with families exactly like mine. My first was a full week immersed in evangelical church (my family are atheists), hardly any school that week as there was extra holiday for some reason. What was great was none of the family spoke english so my french came on leaps and bounds and I got a view of a completely different type of life.

manechanger Fri 24-Jul-15 21:06:22

should have been to happy36

Happy36 Tue 28-Jul-15 22:01:25

manechanger Hope you have managed to find something and that your daughter enjoys the experience.

manechanger Wed 29-Jul-15 09:03:26

thanks happy, haven't even started yet! it's more of a 'starting to think about it' at the moment as it's for next year. I'll report back my experience when I get my head around it. my younger dd is ten and her favorite language is spanish at the moment, if she gets that as her secondary language I'll come back to you. does your school organise them with english schools?

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