Woohooo......I did it!
Hola a todos,
I went to my first español intercambio and was really nervous about actually speaking in the language - I speak it to myself and repeat what I hear in the music and films I watch but to converse is a different story.
Anyway....I went along to the group - roughly 15 of us - and spoke basic Spanish to do introductions and then just listened to people. About half an hour into it I just thought "you know what...I'm going to go for it and just enjoy it!" I made quite a few mistakes but was corrected and continued to speak and repeat what others were saying. There were some Spanish-speakers there who wanted to improve their English so it was nice to swap.
I'd recommend to everyone to find a language swap group like that if you can - it was so much fun and only going to get better as I go along.
Adíos y que tengas un buen día!
I remember how tough it was for me to go to my first intercambio, so I can empathize. The "you know what...I'm going to go for it and just enjoy it" attitude you mentioned is the right one to have. One of the early groups I went to had a couple ladies who were very reluctant to speak up, and when they did speak up they would only read out something that they had put together in their notebooks (that particular group had assignments we were to prepare ourselves to talk about at the next session). The rest of the room for the most part would just work on trying to use our brains to put thoughts together the best we knew how. Take a guess which participants were eventually able to have impromptu conversations (i.e. what happens in the real world)?
Keep going and keep up that spirit of being willing to make mistakes and be corrected. It will get you where you want to go.
Thank you for the information! Sadly, I don't have one close to where I live, but I'll keep that in mind when I travel in the future.
Haha, about time... In my previous job, it took me 1.5 hours to get there and back, so I had a lot of time on the train and bus to complete a lot of lessons. Also, anytime I am free for a few minutes, I do a lesson (the easier ones take me about a minute to a few minutes to complete). Eventually, my XP accumulated and my levels went up.