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Finding language partners with Twitter?

 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
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 Message 1 of 11
04 May 2011 at 2:33am | IP Logged 
I would like to present an idea here, and hopefully get some advice from more experienced Tweeters (or
not) so I can refine the idea.

Where I live, if you want to find a language partner, the most common way is through Kijiji.com. However, a
lot of students and newcomers don't know about Kijiji, so there aren't a lot of people using it for that
purpose. Moreover, messages don't stay available for very long, and it won't allow you to find people who
do not live locally in the case of less common languages (since each large city has a different site).

But what if we used Twitter instead? Everyone can go to Twitter.com and do a search, even without an
account. I did a search and was rather surprised to find that there were no results for "languagepartner". I
thought it would at least come up a few times. What if we take advantage of that and create a standardized
a way to look for language partners all over the world?

We could use the hashtag #languagepartner, add #YourCity and something like "speak #French, want to
practice #Malay". For instance, anyone looking for a language partner for Japanese in London could simply
look for "#languagepartner #Japanese #London" and bingo! you get all the relevant messages.

Obviously, it only works if people know about it, so the next step is to publicize this. I was thinking of placing
an add in Kijiji, asking friends to tell friends, and perhaps inform local schools and instructors, or post an
add at local cultural centres or even in language forums. Imagine if anyone in the world looking for a
language partner knew about #languagepartner! Finding a partner would become so simple that even ad
hoc, one-time, last-minute meetings would be possible, even with multiple people at once.

If any of you have any suggestions, oppositions or if I've overlooked anything, please contribute! In
particular, I'm wondering what happens if you post an add and a few months later, you are no longer
interested in finding a language partner. Could you retweet, and add "No longer looking"?

EDIT: It just occured to me that while #languagepartner is pretty easy to remember, it's also quite long for a hashtag. However, I'm afraid other options like #langpart are less intuitive. At this point, I'm concluding that the length is not such a big problem because messages on that topic are unlikely to be very long anyway.

Edited by Arekkusu on 04 May 2011 at 8:52pm

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Alexander86
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
alanguagediary.blogs
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224 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, German, Catalan
Studies: Swedish

 
 Message 2 of 11
04 May 2011 at 8:41am | IP Logged 
That sounds like a really good idea to me... If only I knew how to use Twitter...
1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 3 of 11
04 May 2011 at 2:23pm | IP Logged 
Alexander86 wrote:
That sounds like a really good idea to me... If only I knew how to use Twitter...

Oh, but you do!

1. Go to Twitter.com
2. In the Search box, enter: #languagepartner #easy
1 person has voted this message useful



Alexander86
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
alanguagediary.blogs
Joined 4070 days ago

224 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, German, Catalan
Studies: Swedish

 
 Message 4 of 11
04 May 2011 at 3:22pm | IP Logged 
I have now officially used twitter... But you're right, why is no-one using this to get language partners, I can't think
of a better way to do it really... We need to start a 'how to learn any language' twitter languagepartner revolution.
1 person has voted this message useful



Sprachprofi
Nonaglot
Senior Member
Germany
learnlangs.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: German*, English, French, Esperanto, Greek, Mandarin, Latin, Dutch, Italian
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (Written), Swahili, Indonesian, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese

 
 Message 5 of 11
04 May 2011 at 5:52pm | IP Logged 
Twitter doesn't store stuff indefinitely... and compared to some websites dedicated to
linking language partners, search possibilities are cumbersome. How do you distinguish
between those learning and those teaching Japanese for example? Both would use #japanese
.

I don't think Twitter is the best solution for this. I used it for the 6 Week Challenge
because Twitter is about telling people minute details of your life in short updates. If
people write about their progress, they inspire others and at the same time allow the bot
to keep an accurate score. Having these updates on the forum, even inside personal
language logs, would be annoying, akin to flooding. On Twitter, it's what you're supposed
to do.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 6 of 11
04 May 2011 at 6:12pm | IP Logged 
Sprachprofi wrote:
Twitter doesn't store stuff indefinitely... and compared to some websites dedicated to linking language partners, search possibilities are cumbersome. How do you distinguish between those learning and those teaching Japanese for example? Both would use #japanese
.

I don't think Twitter is the best solution for this. I used it for the 6 Week Challenge because Twitter is about telling people minute details of your life in short updates. If people write about their progress, they inspire others and at the same time allow the bot to keep an accurate score. Having these updates on the forum, even inside personal language logs, would be annoying, akin to flooding. On Twitter, it's what you're supposed to do.

I agree that it doesn't distinguish between L1 and L2 -- at least not the way I suggested it --, but if you search #languagepartner #Berlin #Japanese, you're not going to find 100 answers. You'll get a few that will likely all show up on the same page and you'll see right away that people wrote something like "I speak #German, am learning #Japanese". It's like a quick and easy billboard that all can access, whether you are a member or not.

Yes, search abilities are limited, but then it's also straightforward and simple. You find a match, then you contact the person. On an international scale, yes, there are some websites available, but quite a few also require (sometimes paid) membership. On a local scale -- at least in my case -- there is no other option that I know of, apart from Kijiji.

Twitter may not store indefinitely, but it still stores a few years of stuff.

All in all, your criticism about limited search abilities is valid, but it doesn't convince me that this is not a good idea. I'm guessing you are foreseeing other problems or have other objections that you didn't mention.

Edited by Arekkusu on 04 May 2011 at 6:15pm

1 person has voted this message useful



napoleon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
India
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 Message 7 of 11
04 May 2011 at 8:30pm | IP Logged 
@Arekkusu: I'm not criticising you in any manner but:
Are all immigrants are twitter-literate? I hope I didn't make you irate! :-)
Jokes apart, your idea has a lot of potential though. I say, anything that works goes. If it works for you great. Do tell us of your experience.

Edited by napoleon on 04 May 2011 at 8:33pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
bit.ly/qc_10_lec
Joined 4470 days ago

3971 posts - 7746 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 8 of 11
04 May 2011 at 8:51pm | IP Logged 
napoleon wrote:
@Arekkusu: I'm not criticising you in any manner but:
Are all immigrants are twitter-literate? I hope I didn't make you irate! :-)
Jokes apart, your idea has a lot of potential though. I say, anything that works goes. If it works for you great. Do tell us of your experience.

Well, when I said "immigrants", I wanted to include people who come here to learn the language or work here for a limited period of time, but who aren't necessarily students. I changed the word in my OP.

But the point is that going to Twitter.com and doing a search is even easier than accessing the appropriate page in Kijiji. Nevertheless, I do agree -- if I am to try to spread this method, it must be explained in simple terms.

Edited by Arekkusu on 04 May 2011 at 8:52pm



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