Language Exchange

COVID-19 Response

For current tutors and tutees:

  • We are moving this program online
  • Please check your email regarding how this program will be moving forward
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our coordinators at guts.lexchange@gmail.com

Tutors and tutees MUST not participate in face-to-face contact for any reason. We will be mentioning tutoring alternatives in the emails you receive.

Stay safe!

The goal of the GUTS Language Exchange is to encourage sharing language between peers at UW. Each participant should come in with a language they would like to learn as well as a language they feel comfortable teaching to someone else. Participants will be matched into pairs based on the desired languages they wish to work with, and will meet for two hours a week, splitting the time spent talking in each language equally. 

This is a great opportunity to take on the role of both tutor and tutee, simultaneously sharing knowledge you have and learning from your exchange partner. Not only will you be able to teach and learn different languages, but you will also have the opportunity to teach and learn about different cultures around the world! 

If you think this is something you are interested in, fill out the registration form on this page! 

 

Contact Us:

guts.lexchange@gmail.com

Program Information

Registration will be open from Tuesday, January 21 to Friday, January 31. No applications will be taken after this period!

Orientation will take place on Monday, February 3 from 5 – 6:30 PM in the Caucus Room at the SAC. Time and location will be announced with the “You Have Been Matched” email. Orientation is MANDATORY and is where you will find out who your language partner is. If you cannot make it to this date, please email guts.lexchange@gmail.com for accommodations.

Please be aware that, due to a large diversity of languages wanting to be taught and learned, not all registered individuals are guaranteed a match. We will try our best to match everyone, but cannot make any promises. If you do not receive a match, we welcome you to check out our Conversational English and Foreign Language Learners programs, which can also be found on this site.

We welcome all members of the UW community to participate in our program! If you are
an undergraduate student, graduate student, alumni, faculty or staff, or spouse of a UW
affiliate, you are welcome to register for this program!

Are you a current participant of the Language Exchange? You can find some helpful resources below! 

Registration Form

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Pairing

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When will I know who my partner is?

An email will be sent out on Saturday, February 8 with a list of people who have been given partners for the semester. You will not know who your specific partner is until orientation (Saturday, February 1). The email will simply contain a list of names as well as what languages each person will be tutoring. (Ex. B. Badger (Spanish))

I registered within the specified time frame. Am I guaranteed a match?

Due to the novelty of this program as well as a very specific demand for languages, we cannot guarantee everyone a match.

I was not given a match, but still want to practice my language skills. Is there another program that I can join?

If you were not given a match but still want to practice your foreign language conversational skills, we recommend checking out GUTS’ Conversational English Program and Foreign Language Learners Program. Conversational English is good for those who wish to either tutor English or work on their English skills. Foreign Language Learners is like CE, but focuses on other foreign languages.

Meetings

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How are meetings supposed to be structured?

The specific structure of your meetings is up to you! Depending on you and your partner’s goals for the semester, you can structure your meetings to run in order to accomplish these goals. Generally, meetings should be focused on conversational skills in each language, spending an hour speaking in one language and another hour on the other. You do not need to meet for 2 hours at one time, and can meet multiple times throughout the week to meet the time requirement. At the end of each meeting, you and your partner should take a minute or two to fill out the weekly log, take some time to reflect on your session, and come up with a plan for the next week.

Do we just have to sit and talk for the whole two hours?

Of course not! We encourage groups to get out and explore the Madison area and do fun activities with their group members, so long as you are also practicing your language skills. Grab some food, go shopping, or attend campus events.

Potential Problems

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My partner is not replying to my attempts to contact them. What should I do?

If you cannot get a hold of your partner, please notify us right away. We will try our best to contact them. However, if you are unable to contact them, the chances of us being able to contact them is quite low. If it is early enough in the semester, we may be able to find you another partner, but we cannot guarantee anything.

My partner is not showing up to meetings. What should I do?

We will try our best to contact them. However, if you are unable to contact them, the chances of us being able to contact them is quite low. If it is early enough in the semester, we may be able to find you another partner, but we cannot guarantee anything.

I do not feel comfortable with my partner due to _____. How should I go about this?

If you feel at all uncomfortable within your group, notify us immediately. We will do our best to work with you in order to resolve the situation. This can include meeting with the Language Exchange coordinator in person, meeting with the GUTS co-directors in person, or other measures. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any forms of cultural appropriation, sexual harassment, etc. If you feel that you have experienced any such situations, do not hesitate to reach out to either the program coordinator or the GUTS co-directors, who can be reached at director.guts@gmail.com

Miscellaneous

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Will I be paid as a tutor?

Unfortunately, we do not pay our tutors as of the time being. This is strictly a volunteer service, so you are working as a volunteer tutor. However, it is a great resume builder, and can lead to future employment at GUTS!

Language Exchange Coordinator

Allison Garbacz

Conversational English

Program Coordinator

allisong.guts@gmail.com