One of the great things about the Internet is the amount of mutual help that’s going on all the time. In Facebook and reddit people are helping each other with language queries, and I started doing some marking on the equivalent subreddit for English learners. I’ve actually gone a step beyond even that and taken part in an English speaking marathon on Zoom. I only stayed for an hour because its a sort of rolling membership with people coming and going. So the organisers would pair the participants up for ten minutes, speed-dating style, and at the end of each conversation, everyone would return to the main call and either leave or wait to be paired up again. I participated in 5 ten minute conversations with people from Hungary and Turkey. There were only two of us native speakers there and the rest were just sharing across language barriers. TBH I don’t know how helpful I was: I tend to gabble a lot as I’m quite socially awkward generally, but that’s OK. I think I’d like to do it some more but maybe write down some questions and just try to give a nice calm environment for other people to say what they want to say. In other words, try to be the sort of partner I would like if I were the learner in the conversation. These things can’t happen if people don’t help out, so it’s something good we can all do to just help someone along the path to fluency. Anyway, if you fancy giving it a go, the call is here between 3PM and 8PM on Saturday.
I must say though, it really reminds me how much I need some more conversation in my life. I’m really neglecting speaking Portuguese at the moment.