Well hello there. Glad you could make it.
I’m abandoning my old blog for this beautiful new blog. I want to let everyone know who I am, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. And of course my trials and tribulations along the way.
Thanks to my new friend and mentor Roy, you can keep track of my blog from Exchangealanguage.com.
So now to explain all of those who, what, where, and whys.. (and don’t forget how).
Who & Where… Hi, I’m Janelle, from Northern Minnesota, USA. I went to UW-Stout, worked a bit after college, decided I wanted to live abroad so I booked a one way ticket to Spain for the simple reason that I thought it’d be nice to learn Spanish and I wanted to see more of Europe. I did my TESOL in Seville, Spain and then made my way to Madrid where I taught business, children, and private English classes. I learned that I liked the challenge of teaching and finding creative ways for my students to learn. I also figured out what worked for my language learning. I also learned about this thing I had never heard of before.. un intercambio (language exchange). It seemed so simple, meet with someone that wants to learn your native language that could teach you their native language. Why hadn’t I heard of this in the US? (We won’t get into that now)
What… After returning to Minneapolis, MN from Spain I wanted to find a language exchange. I mean, it took my a year and half to gain intermediate level of the language and more importantly confidence to speak, I didn’t want to lose it right away. I assumed there had to be a free site that connected people for language exchanges around the world for online, in-person, and group exchange nights, but I couldn’t find it.
So in March 2009, I started the research and development of ExchangeALanguage.com– Free Language Exchange Community that connects people for language exchanges all over the world, whether you are a language student, expat, immigrant, hobby learner, exchange student, or traveler.. this community is for you. And best yet, it’s free.
How.. Well, many people ask how I did this all.. and to be honest I’m not sure. I’ve had a lot of ‘learning experiences’ by doing the wrong things. I’ve hired many people that didn’t have my best interest in mind, but I learned. I didn’t know anything about making websites before I started.. but in the past year, I somehow figured things out. I’ve stretched my savings as far as I could. I quit my full time job last summer and began as a part time nanny in Sept 2009 for 2 amazing children, Ruby and Lucas.
And why… I guess the reason why I’ve spent every spare moment in my day working on this website(and yes there is that much to do everyday) is because I love bringing people together. I feel there is a large gap between cultures in all communities around the world. We live together, but yet separate. We know nothing about our neighbor because we haven’t cared to learn because they look or sound different from us. Now more than ever we need to understand each other. We need to understand that we are more similar than different and we can teach each other so much. Teaching each other a language opens a door to a whole new world. Our world is smaller than it once was and language learning is gaining importance and in some cases a necessity.
And that is how I came up with my slogan..
“Improving languages by creating friendships”