You may remember that I recently posted an invitation to Lancaster's Language Café event at the Gregson Centre. On the day, I arrived in the bar at about 16:15 after the Spanish Course and was greeted with a room full of flags and smiling people. It was just buzzing with enthusiasm!
Helen Walker, one of the organisers, greeted every learner and guided them to the right table for their language choice. The café attracted over 80 people! There were opportunities to practice French, German, Russian, Spanish and Italian with both native speakers and English language learners. I never knew that Lancaster had so MANY language enthusiasts, and got to speak terrible Russian, sub par Spanish and flawless German. People were proudly displaying their various disctionaries, notes and textbooks. Now that is my kind of meetup.
Practice your languages with other learners
The atmosphere was friendly, and the level of expertise was impressive! Language beginners were supported and helped along by more experienced learners, and I think everyone came away with a great feeling about the event. In fact, Helen and Mary are already working on the next Language Café. Put it in your diaries for 19 May 2013!
Language Cafés worldwide
Language cafés are organised around the world, so check if there is one near you, just go! You can learn so much from other learners and brush up on languages you've not even thought about since school. If you haven't got the speaking confidence yet, even listening will be a great boost.
You can search for similar events near you on meetup.com or EUNIC. Try and put relevant things like "meet language learners in *your town*" in a search engine, and keep your eyes open at the local cafés, pubs and community centres.