Folkwang

What is a language tandem?

A language tandem is a personal and flexible method to learn a language, which fits into any calendar and moreover is a lot of fun. A language tandem is not only a language, but also an intercultural exchange between two people.

The good thing about it? It is so easy! Whoever is interested just applies to the International Office. We will then match you with a tandem partner and you can start immediately.
You can organize your own language tandem, arranging time, date and place of your meetings with your partner.

Whether you want to talk about everyday issues or politics, or you want to work on certain textbooks: you can always stay flexible in a language tandem. Since you organize your meetings yourself, they will fit even in the fullest calendar.

How does it work?

There are a few rules for a well-functioning language tandem:

  • regular meetings (preferably at least once a week)
  • both languages are spoken during every meeting
  • time is divided up equally between the languages (e.g. half an hour German, half an hour Croatian)
  • in every phase just one of the languages is spoken
  • every person is a learner half the time and a mentor the other half of the time
  • correction of mistakes in a sensible way

Questions that should be settled in the first meeting are:

  • How often do we meet?
  • How long should the meetings be?
  • What are typical problems in the target language? What do we want to improve?

Remember: Your tandem partner is a native speaker and as such they know the language as it is really spoken. They can serve as an example and help you to work on what you want to improve (understand something that is spoken very fast, pronunciation, phrasing, figures of speech and so on). You choose your own goals and ways of reaching them. Every tandem partner can use their own methods to reach their own goals – the goals and also the levels of knowledge of a language don’t have to be the same in a language tandem. For example, you can talk about the last season of Super Girl China in Chinese with your Chinese tandem partner and then explain German idioms to them for half an hour in German.