If you’re looking to develop a second or third language, then active practise is just as essential as theoretical learning. Fortunately, with Yorkshire & Lancashire being such diverse counties you don’t have to look too far to find someone to converse with. There are a number of free language groups in Leeds and Manchester, we’ve compiled a list for you here, but there may be others in which case we’d love to hear about them!

For Leeds:

Leeds Language Exchange is one of Leeds’ biggest language groups who schedule many different events. Some are aimed at specific two language exchanges (English and Spanish for example) or they may be wider group meetups so that people who appreciate languages can interract. At present, these meetups include people coming and sharing their skills in English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian and more! This is a great opportunity to meet language partners for one on one exchanges which can really help your language skills flourish.

Cafe Lingua offer smaller group meetups in cafes across Leeds and currently support English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portugese language swaps, with plans for more in the future. For these sessions there is a £3 charge, but follow a lesson format more closely than other groups.

For Manchester:

Manchester Language Exchange is much like its Leeds compatriot and is just as welcoming.

“If you want to do a good chat with us, jump on board, we will ask you to teach us a bit of your language, while you are with us to learn a new, whatever the level of knowledge of the language that you have you do not need to worry about, we are all ready to share something and any levels are welcome. Each member of this group is at the same time student and teacher of a language.

If there is no one to share your first language you will always have the opportunity to meet new friends and some of the most interesting people from all over the world.”

If you’re looking for something more socially based, then Manchester International Group could be for you. This group is focussed more on the appreciation of different cultures, so it’s a great way to surround yourself with people from other cultures. Living in a country different to that of your birth is a unique experience that binds so many people together. No matter where you come from the experiences are similar, and being surrounded with people who understand can help make a foreign place seem more familiar and homely.

Individual language exchanges

If you’re looking for one on one languages exchanges as opposed to a larger group, then Google can be your best friend for finding language partners. One of our favourite sites for this is Coversation Exchange. This site is entirely free (though they do accept donations towards the running costs) and you can choose between written exchange, video chat exchange via Skype and face to face language exchanges. The only draw back with individual language exchanges is that they lack the structure that larger group meet ups have.

Would you prefer group meet ups or one on one language exchanges? Whichever you opt for you can rest assured that your spoken skills will dramatically improve. We’d love to know what you do to sharpen your language skills!