Language Learning in Tandem

The Language Resource Center offers two ways of tandem learning:

Course-unbound tandem learning

A distinction is made between presence tandem (face-to-face) and distance tandem (eTandem).

  • Presence Tandem (face-to-face)

The term “presence tandem” refers to the direct contact of the tandem partners. Learning together takes place at a personal meeting. The tandem partners determine how often, when and where they want to meet. The course-unbound tandem learning is not tied to semester periods.

  • Distance Tandem (eTandem)

In distance tandem, the tandem learners design their learning process via distance media such as e-mail, telephone or internet.

The University of Bochum offers a free online tandem service for eTandems: Friendsabroad could also be a helpful address when searching for an eTandem:

It’s easier with two people…

What is tandem learning?

When learning languages in tandem, two people of different mother tongues can learn each other's languages from each other and with one another. This is not only about learning a foreign language, but also about the exchange of cultural knowledge. Learning in tandem can promote and support intercultural learning.

How does tandem learning work?

The tandem partners themselves decide on the course of their language partnership. However, there are two basic principles of tandem learning

• Reciprocity principle: Both partners should benefit equally from the cooperation, i. e. each language should have the same amount of time and both languages should be spoken for 50% of the time. The tandem partnership should be a learning partnership in which both sides are equally willing to help and support each other in their learning process.

• Autonomy principle: Each partner is responsible for his or her own learning, determines his or her own learning objectives (what?) and the course of learning (how and where?).