Tandem Language Learning
The language tandem puts you in a position to strengthen your language skills and to practice your communicative abilities in a relaxed and friendly way. The idea is simple and effective: two people with different mother tongues meet regularly and help each other to speak and to learn the other one’s language. Both gain from this exchange as each participant enhances their conversational abilities, vocabulary, and intercultural knowledge. This free service is available to students, faculty and staff of Europa-Universität Flensburg.
Handy Hints for a Successful Tandem
For an effective tandem we recommend the following:
- The language you offer should be your mother tongue.
- Basic knowledge of your target language (the language you want to learn) is recommended to be able to communicate with your partner from the beginning.
- Keep in mind that your partner is not a fully trained language teacher. Your partner is surely able to explain many language rules and their characteristics to you, but he or she is not a replacement for a teacher.
- In order to progress we encourage you to meet each other regularly. A settled day and time once a week is helpful to organize your own learning and provides continuity and reliability to you and your partner.
- At your very first meeting you should point out your expectations: How do you want to proceed? What are your current language skills? What are your goals? Do you intend to use any books, journals, articles or the internet in your meetings? Or do you just meet and talk? In case your partner already has a competent knowledge of your language, it is a good idea to keep your meetings monolingual. You could agree on speaking your language for the first hour and your partner’s language for the next hour. Or you could agree on alternating your languages weekly.