Language tandem at the Folkwang University of the Arts

Studying at the Folkwang University of the Arts and interested in foreign languages and cultures? Then a language tandem is just the thing for you.

A language tandem is an easy, personalised way of learning languages – it simply involves the tandem partners getting to know each other and engaging in mutual language exchange.

The Folkwang University of the Arts has over 500 international students who have come from nearly every corner of the globe, from Albania, to Costa Rica, France, Italy and Portugal, to Turkey and Cyprus. So there are lots of potential language tandem partners you can engage in exchanges with. We also co-operate with the language tandem team from the University of Duisburg-Essen.

If interested, send your completed registration form to sprachtandem(at) When a tandem with the suitable language combination can be found, you’ll be put in touch with a tandem partner to get things started.

How does a language tandem work?

A language tandem requires at least elementary knowledge of the desired target language, so as to ensure there is a basis for your communications.

You organise your language tandem yourself, discussing with your tandem partner and arranging the time, location and content of your meetings.

Whether you prefer to talk about everyday matters or politics or go through certain texts together, a language tandem means you can choose the content you focus on, and can make decisions based on your specific interests.

Here are a few tips for a successful language tandem:

  • Meet regularly (we recommend once a week; this can even be done digitally)
  • Speak both languages at every meeting
  • Split the time evenly (e.g. half an hour of German and half an hour of Croatian)
  • Speak only one of the two tandem languages in each phase
  • Ensure each person spends half an hour as a learner and half an hour as an advisor/teacher
  • Adopt a sensible, reasonable approach to correcting mistakes

Some of the questions that should be clarified at the first meeting are:

  • How often do we want to meet?
  • For how long?
  • What are our typical language problems? What do we want to work on?

Also of interest: Café-Lingua – a service run by the Essen-Duisburg student union:

The Essen-Duisburg student union regularly organises the language café “Café-Lingua”, where students can communicate with language guides who speak various languages.