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Skype - How do you prepare for a session?

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Although I have around 400 hours invested in my French, I started Skyping very early in my learning process. I started after only around a month, when I was half-way through the Duolingo tree, because of the advice given by Benny Lewis, and others who self-taught. I've definitely gone from terrible to functional, and I've learned that you have to prepare a core of questions and statements in your foreign language, and have agreements in place with your Skype language partner about how you are going to approach a session, i.e. which language you/they will mostly use.

I've found that since I use my laptop to Skype, having my desktop nearby comes in handy because I can type in a word or expression (when I get stuck), and have Google translate give me the translation and then say it loud enough for Skype to pick it up. This has helped unstick many conversations, allowing us to keep going.

Maybe you agree to read a certain book or script to read to each other, with breaks for corrections, and pronunciation reviews, etc. Do you a cheat sheet, like this?


or a website like this?


The participants may agree to hold a formal job interview, conduct a role playing exercise where someone pretends to play tourist, ask for directions, rent a car, get a hotel room, work with a travel agent, check in to the airport and deal with luggage and gate search.

I've looked on the Internet to see if someone has formally drafted Skype drills, but found nothing so far. What have you found? Is there a process you go through before Skyping?

4 years ago