The Language Exchange philosophy
People in Hong Kong are busy. If something isn’t actually fun, it’s so hard to stay committed to it. Especially learning a language. We believe in using fun as a key to learning! This is not a serious lesson, and you’ll be disappointed if thats what you’re looking for. We hope that every language exchange is something that you enjoy and would like to come back to. We want it to be fun!
Regular weekly Language Exchange events are always free. You only need to register online, but other than that there is nothing else to do! Just show up. Many other Hong Kong Language Exchanges charge a fee or make you buy something to attend. Our heart is to provide a great service to the community, and our wonderful volunteers make all this possible! We hope you appreciate them! We may occasionally put on parties and other social events that might have a small cost if food is supplied, but these events are special end are not our regular language exchanges. If there is no food, there is no cost!
Our philosophy is that the best way to learn a language is to actually speak it regularly. The best way to do this is through friendship! You cant learn Cantonese in a 30 minute or one our lesson, you need a friend!
We wont be going through vocabulary lists together, but will focus on actually speaking the language and building friendships. We do this through fun little games and icebreakers that get everyone talking and connecting (most people have come alone and don’t know anyone), and then we finish with the bulk of our time dedicated to what we call “Speed Swap”, which is where the actual language exchange happens. So our focus is on making it a great social event where people can genuinely connect.
Maybe you’ve visited another language exchange in Hong Kong and had a bad experience. Sometimes disingenuous people target various online communities and language exchanges for reasons other than learning a language, and can harass genuine members. In extreme cases these people harass others and try to aggressively solicit business opportunities, sell products, chase people for a relationship, recruit students for their language school etc. This can create a negative experience for people who are there to genuinely learn a language and connect.
Rest assured, we have a ZERO tolerance policy on anyone that fits this description! We work hard to make sure that our language exchange is always a safe environment! Any complaints received will be thoroughly investigated and if found to be true, that person will be asked to leave and will not be allowed to attend future events. We do not tolerate any level of harassment.
For more information on our ZERO tolerance harassment policy, CLICK HERE.
Who runs Language Exchange Hong Kong?
Language Exchange is free because it’s run by a team of committed and talented volunteers who have a passion for language and making new friends. They have no commercial interest in the Language Exchange and give up their time weekly as a way to serve the community. Other Hong Kong Language Exchanges are often run by people who have a commercial interest in the language exchange (want to start a language school, become a tutor etc) and are prospecting for potential customers. Not us! We are free forever and see this as a service to the wider Hong Kong community.
Our wonderful volunteers have jobs and go to school just like you, and many of them discovered Language Exchange Hong Kong in the same way you did, but after attending the events, decided to join the team! If you would be interested in volunteering, please chat to them to find out how.
Why is it free?
Language Exchange Hong Kong is a community service of Lifehouse International Church Hong Kong. Lifehouse is a fun, English and Cantonese speaking Christian church in Hong Kong. Lifehouse generously provides the venue for Language Exchange to operate in, so there is no cost to the language exchange or its participants. This is essentially why its all free! There is no obligation to attend Lifehouse Church and there will be no Christian content at the Language Exchange (other than the mention of Lifehouse Church being the sponsor). A majority of the people who attend the language exchange have no connection with the church. However you are welcome to stick around after the Language Exchange for one of the bilingual English/Cantonese church services if you are interested. Its also free ; )
The Language Exchange Story
Language Exchange actually started in Japan around 2010, spread throughout Japan, and then went global!
Current global locations:
We started in Hong Kong around the end of 2014, and have exploded with growth! In the last few years we have grown to be Hong Kong’s largest language exchange with over 16,000 members. We are also the only language exchange in Hong Kong with a permanent venue and facilities. Not to mention the only large group that doesn’t charge its members for events! We are making history in Hong Kong and we have a big vision to see multiple locations open up all over Hong Kong! We want to serve the wider community of Hong Kong better, and so plan to start other locations throughout Hong Kong as our resources allow!
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