Language Exchange

The goal of the Language Exchange (LE) program 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! 

Contact Us:

guts-lex@rso.wisc.edu

Registration for Fall 2021 is open! Please navigate to the registration form on this page and fill it out to apply for a match.

Program Information

All participants are required to attend a mandatory training. Those who have been matched will be notified and sent an email with a training date to attend. Only after you have attended training will you receive your partner’s name and contact information. If you cannot attend the set training date, please contact the Language Exchange coordinators to set up an individual session.

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 World 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! 

Language Exchange Tips

  • Improving Language Skills Online

    Language learning is a very long process, and, most importantly, it is incredibly individual. Each person learns and understands a foreign language differently, so you should always be active in making your own lesson plan and finding resources that best fit your goals. With the pandemic, it’s been a bit harder for students to practice and communicate with others in their target language, so here are some tips and digital ways that you can keep improving even if you’re stuck inside!

Frequently Asked Questions

Pairing

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When will I know who my partner is?

You will be given the name and contact information of your partner only after you have attended training.

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 language conversational skills, we recommend checking out GUTS’ Conversational English Program and World Language Learners Program. Conversational English is good for those who wish to either tutor English or work on their English skills. World Language Learners is like CE, but focuses on other 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.

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 Coordinators

Wenqi Chen

Credentials: Conversational English, Language Exchange

Position title: Program Coordinator

Email: wenqic.guts@gmail.com

Lexi Frisque

Credentials: World Language Learners, Language Exchange

Position title: Program Coordinator

Email: lexif.guts@gmail.com

Loreli Litney

Credentials: Conversational English, Language Exchange

Position title: Program Coordinator

Email: lorelil.guts@gmail.com