Information and Tips for a Successful Start

You are free to shape your tandem experience according to your preferences. However, some tips and hints could improve your tandem experience and learning success. First and foremost, a respectful interaction with each other is important.

Meeting Location:

A neutral location (e.g., the cafeteria) on campus is very well suited.

Frequency and Duration:

To maximize learning success, we recommend regular meetings  (one or two times a week). You should discuss the desired duration of the meetings, as well as their frequency with your partner up front. Making a regular appointment (e.g., in a free period) is advisable.

Language Use:

Both languages should be spoken alternately and in equal parts in order to enable learning on both sides. Furthermore, the languages should always be practiced separately in order to create a fluid conversation in the respective language. It is advisable to agree on when and for how long the respective languages should be spoken right from the beginning. For instance, meetings could be set for one hour with each language being practiced for 30 minutes. Or, you could agree to alternate the languages at each meeting.

Formulating Learning Objectives

Before starting the practice, it is very helpful to consider which learning objectives each of you would like to achieve. Should a particular situation be practiced (e.g., an interview, a presentation)? Or should goals concerning fluency, pronunciation, grammar, etcetera be achieved? These objectives should be discussed with your partner ahead of time so that they know which aspects to consider when giving feedback.

Reflection

Regular exchanges concerning the positive as well as negative aspects of the tandem are helpful. It should be discussed which goals each person wants to achieve in their own learning processes and how such accomplishments will be determined. Additionally, the nature of the feedback should also be addressed.