So, I participate in a program called Tandem.
Unfortunately, it's not a biking duo. It is somewhat similar though, metaphorically!
It's a program where an English speaking person is paired with a French speaking person. We help each other with both languages, and as we meet, we both make progress in our learning.
I meet with a twenty-something guy named Martin. He is studying for his PhD, and has already spent a year in the States. Meaning, he is pretty fluent in English already. For the most part, I help with his pronunciation. We read articles and novels together in English, and he is sounding more American as we go! For my improvement, we speak in French. I usually ask a couple cultural questions, about French music or social relationships, for example. I've learned a lot and I feel like every time we meet, it is easier to talk fluidly. We meet twice a week for the most part, at the university.
I've found this program to be extremely helpful because I am forced to speak in French with a French person for a long period of time, one-on-one. I also am able to inquire about anything I may not understand about the grammar or culture here. Martin is very nice and interesting, so it's a fun way of study!
I was even invited to my Tandem partner's house-warming party! I met a few of his friends and saw the chicken coop he had built in the backyard. It was very quaint, and I was glad to be really immersing and communicating with real French people!
Hurrah for progress!