Do you know what a language tandem is? At the Centre for Independent Language Learning of the Freie Universität you have the chance to participate in a tandem programme with professional support.
A language tandem provides two people both learning a foreign language the opportunity to learn and practice with each other. A language tandem is an authentic way to practice and improve your language competences. Tandem partners meet regularly and are free to organize their meetings according to their own language goals.
A language tandem is not a substitute for a language course. Already existing language skills are required (see: "Who is a tandem partnership for?").
Our tandem team at the Selbstlernzentrum helps you get in contact with your language partner, and answers any questions related to tandem.
You should meet your tandem partner on a regular basis, for example once a week. How you organize your tandem meeting is up to you and your tandem partner. For example, you could watch a movie together and discuss it afterwards, talk about current events, work together using a textbook, etc. Our website features ideas and materials that can also help you organize your tandem meetings.
Our tandem program is for students of the Berlin universities. Besides that, non-students are welcome to participate as well if they are of age. We will do our best to find matching language partners. The only prerequisites are already existing language skills in the target language and the readiness to learn another’s language and to teach them about your own language according to their language needs.
A partnership from level A2 is recommended (you can check your level following the european frame of reference at https://www.sprachenzentrum.fu-berlin.de/en/slz/lernberatung/niveaustufen/index.html).
Also we especially recommend the program to international students to help them increase their German skills, make contacts here in Berlin, and teach their partners about their own language and culture.
We also offer tandem partnerships where neither partner has German as their first/target language. For example, if you are a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese and are looking for someone to practice your Spanish, we would try to match you with a Spanish-speaking partner wanting to practice Mandarin
You can easily integrate your tandem partnership into your weekly activities. Whether you are taking a language course or simply enjoy learning new languages autonomously, the tandem programme is an ideal way to intensify or expand your language competences.
There are plenty of advantages in taking part in a language tandem!
Together with your tandem partner, you can focus on your language needs and build confidence in your speaking skills. In addition, you learn more about how to deal with a new culture and how to speak authentically. Furthermore, you can:
- set your own language goals and practice according to your needs
- choose the texts you want to learn with, even if they are not part of a course syllabus
- organize your own language learning outside of the university
We hope you will enjoy our tandem programme, the alternative way to reach your language goals!
In order to receive a Tandem Certificate, you must complete the following steps:
- Fill out a learning contract with your partner.
- Discuss and sign the contract with a member of the Language Advising Service.
- Keep a journal of your tandem language learning.
- Write a short report (about 400 words, for B1 level and up) about your tandem experience, or record a report (such as in a podcast).
- At the end of the language tandem, fill out an evaluation form from the Language Advising Service together with your partner.
We hope you will enjoy our tandem programme, the alternative way of reaching your language goals!
The following information can be found under these links:
- Tandem (English)