SpeakEasy language exchange in Taipei: a real gamechanger!
I’ve always been a fervent believer in the benefits of going to language exchanges when learning a new language. For a language as hard as Chinese, all the more reason to go. Yet more often than not the events in Taipei are kind of a letdown. Problem being simple: they charge you money to sit in a bar with other people without any organisation whatsoever, albeit with one (cheap) drink included. Oh no wait, they do organise something: the cover charge HA!
A language exchange tailored to you
All of this makes the new monthly language exchange in Taipei, called SpeakEasy, a real gamechanger. Organisation seems to be their greatest asset. For example, when starting the language exchange you get assigned to a table, which was based on your requests you submitted online when registering. At this table you will find your name with five or so other names, of which half are Taiwanese and half foreign. Talk about being prepared and balanced! The groups are composed of people that fit your language interest and level.
A language exchange full of fun and interactive games
The best part of my experience here was, without a doubt, the interactive games they organised. This really helped smoothen initial awkwardness that usually comes with language exchanges. Also, they allowed us to interact with different groups of people, increasing your chances of meeting and making actual friends, which I ended up making that day.
The first game was a set of out-of-the-box questions to get acquainted with each other. The second game was ‘Never have I ever’, also a lot of fun. For this game you had five lives and lost one for every ‘never have I ever’ you had actually done. The best and last game was a ‘stick a post-it on your back and then guess it by asking questions’ kind of game. Since you were only two people playing this game, we were given a chance to practice on a more personal level, allowing you to practice regardless of being timid or not.
The rough edges of this event are really smooth
Of course nothing is perfect. A necessary change in my opinion is the possibility of staying a bit longer in the cafe, if you were to find yourself getting along really well with some people. Next to that, the explanations are a bit lengthy sometimes. However, since this was there first event, I am sure they will be able to figure these things out.
I’ve been to about every language exchange in Taipei and I can say with confidence this was the best one yet! Three reasons for this:
1) The amazing organization means you’ll get the opportunity to talk with people with your interests and level.
2) The game based interactions leave the other language exchanges far behind!
3) Also, it is the perfect opportunity to find a language exchange buddy, since you get to know others on a more personal basis.
I’ll definitely be going again! Will you?
Still being the wallflower in language exchange meetings? Have fun and meet new friends in Speak Easy events! In our next Speak Easy event, we will be playing popular board games and doing Language exchange at the very same time. See you there.