Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Has anyone tried using the "Crosstalk" method with a language partner? (Not referring to the chinese comedy genre)


Recommended Posts

Found this on here: Crosstalk – dreaming languages (wordpress.com)


Basically I would speak English and my partner exclusively Chinese, and so I can focus on listening and trying to understand 100%, without worrying about trying to speak.


I'm currently at a point where my listening is abysmal and find it attractive. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried that for a time with my partner. The hardest part was stopping the gut reaction of responding in the target language. But it can be a mutually beneficial way to learn.


You can even rotate sessions between speaking in target language and listening in target language.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't know that that was a thing but that's basically what I did for about the first year with my Chinese tutors. I asked them to only speak Chinese to me and let me speak English or Japanese if I couldn't come up with Chinese. We talked about pretty much anything and my 100% not Chinese gradually turned to more and more Chinese. The discussions were also extremely interesting! Instead of grinding some basic vocabulary or grammar rules we discussed history, politics, cultural differences, local delicacies, etc. and I credit my current listening comprehension to my tutors. Especially there are a couple of teachers who never tire repeating themselves, each time a little differently to find other ways to explain to me, and probably even more importantly, parroting back to me in Chinese most of what I say to them in English or if there is something to improve in what I said in Chinese.


I don't think this approach has hurt my learning in any way and most likely exactly the opposite. My approach differs a little bit from what was described there though. I don't try to avoid speaking the target language but instead try to say what I can in it and, If I can't or get too tired to try, I don't feel bad about speaking English. The exchange is about a lot more than just your speaking practice and you'll get constant exposure to the way the other person speaks and acts during the exchange that you can mimic later. So I think it is best to just gradually move over to speaking the target language as your active vocabulary and reservoir for self expression in the target languages grows. I also record the tutors voice during the lessons and trim the silences out, so I have hours and hours of these recordings and get and hour or two more every week,  that I still keep listening to over and over and each time gleam something more from them that I missed the first hundred times. Now I'm speaking probably 90% Chinese during the classes and have been for some time.

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like your apprach @alantin. I do think that with an *unpaid* language partner (perhaps a friend or 对象), there might be some merit to sticking to talking in the NL for the purpose of holding a more engaging fluent conversation. 

I really do need to start recording my online lessons though

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

I didn't know that this was a specific learning method, but after about a year or so of study, one friend of mine and I naturally fell into this habit of speaking to each other in our native languages. At that time, conversing in the most efficient way was the most important thing to us, and "crosstalk" gave us that. I was able to focus on her speaking Chinese and she did the same with me and English, without the pressure of searching for how to express ourselves in our TLs and slowing down the conversation.


As far as I can tell, doing this helped increase my confidence in my listening comprehension. The conversation would flow as we talked about a huge range of topics; we hung out a lot, so I was exposed to how my friend expressed herself and also opportunities to check my understanding. The downside for me, especially because we weren't specifically adopting "crosstalk", was that I could feel the gap growing between my listening and speaking (which have both always been my weakest competences) because I didn't take on as many opportunities to actually practise speaking my TL and I would get annoyed at myself for that, at the time.


But that was easily resolved by deliberate conversation practices and exchanges with friends and language partners, etc. when i finally decided to do something about it.


Also, when my friend returned to China, quite a few years ago now, we stopped "crosstalking".  We have been talking both in either one language or the other ever since. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...