Hosting a session is super rewarding and fun. You train skills like group moderation, build empathy with learners, and with the right questions you can learn about cultures and history. This session gives a short introduction to the most important concepts for hosting a session. Join us in building a great language learning community.

Why conversations?

Language learning is a social process. Your brain has social regions that need real-life stimulation to really learn. If new content has a rich context, it is therefore easier to remember. It is fun to learn with others in a group. It’s valuable to see how others are learning. And it is interesting to listen to stories from others.

However, until now these conversation sessions are not so efficient. It is too hard to take good notes. With Lingophant we are changing that. The idea is, that a host is recording phrases during the conversation. The app automatically creates practice cards from these audio-clips, therefore the host can do this even during the session. After the session, the host / teacher

  1. checks the new phrases for correctness
  2. taps the sharing button and selects the phrases to share
  3. creates a “phrase set” with name and message (it may take a minute to upload them).
  4. copies the link and posts it on Discord or elsewhere.
  5. now students can tap the link, unlock the phrase set, and download the phrases to their phone to practice them.

And boom, like that every student has 20-40 phrases with authentic recordings in their target language, that they were part of creating. Before they’d have to write things down and take notes. Now they can focus on speaking, and get much higher quality content in return. That’s why learning can become more fun and more effective.

After having hosted 20+ sessions of German conversations myself, I can say it is working really well. Here are some tips to make the most out of a session as a new host.

Four tips to get started.

  • Start with an introduction round, where you ask a question. You can ask for names and small introduction. But also things like “what did we talk about last time?”, or something personal “what did you enjoy doing last week?”. It’s a good practice to get everybody involved.
  • It’s totally fine if you address people directly. Just say in the beginning, “I may ask you questions directly. If you just want to listen for that’s also fine, just let me know then :)”. Distributing speaking time fairly, and involving people, is why you may want to do this. But no need to force it. It may be more interesting for everybody if you explore a topic like “history of the Norwegian language” with a person for 10 minutes.
  • Do not point out mistakes, but encourage participants by showing “I’ve understood you, and this is how to say it correctly”. If you record the correct version, participants can practice them afterwards effectively. It’s also more motivating to see that someone understood you. Focus on the good 🙂
  • People for some reason think their language competence is much worse than it actually is. Encourage them to try speaking, even if they make mistakes. Make clear that it’s ok and give complements wherever possible. It’s nice to be reminded that you’re doing fine.

Where we want to go with this.

So Lingophant is on a mission to make language learning more natural, fun, and effective. We’re doing this with community, language challenges, and our mobile app as a tool.

We’re funding this with our own money and time, and eventually would like to have something like a membership model. Hosts can get a free membership and free app model, if they help others learn a language. If you need some financial compensation, we’re also able to pay e.g. through iTalki to get started though, since we’re new to this we can value your contribution.

If you’re interested in joining or hosting sessions, join our Discord channel through this link, talk to one of the admins, and help a group of people learn your language.

Follow this link to join the hosting channel on the discord server.

Soon we’ll post a more more extensive post about hosting, and add a link here.

Let us know if you have feedback, suggestions or questions regarding this article 🙂