We happily present our offer for all language learners: Tandem@UCB
You would like to improve your language skills?
With Tandem you have the opportunity to practice and improve your language skills together with a learning partner whose native language is your target language or who has a very high proficiency in your target language.
Tandem in a nutshell:
With Tandem, you practice a language by using it outside of class in an informal context. It is a complementary language learning method where two people with different native languages or very good knowledge of a foreign language help each other improve their respective language skills in face-to-face conversation. Tandem is an individual and communicative way of learning, in which acquiring cultural skills is combined with language learning and fun.
Tandem is an effective learning method for achieving language fluency since speaking a language is the best way of improving a language. Tandem partners motivate each other and can correct each others’ mistakes when giving feedback.
In order to use Tandem, you need to have basic language skills and should be interested in foreign cultures. Knowledge of a “neutral” third language, such as English, is useful for overcoming communication problems, but not obligatory. If the aim is to teach another language than the native language, bilingual or advanced knowledge in that language is recommended.
Generally speaking, Tandem is suitable for everybody who would like to use it …
In order for your Tandem to be successful, it is important to meet regularly, ideal would be once a week, to be able to apply and practice acquired skills. Mixing the two target languages is usually not recommended, instead, it is advisable to establish certain time frames where only one language is spoken before you switch over to the other. In case both Tandem partners only have a low language proficiency in their partner’s language, it might be useful to clarify general questions in a “neutral” third language (for example English).
To make your first session easier and to ensure that you do not forget to talk about any important issues, we have compiled a list of general questions that will help you with starting your tandem. It is a guide for possible issues that need to be clarified at the beginning. In order to help you with further meetings as well, we also prepared a list of possible topics and activities that might be useful.
Miguel is originally from Spain and an international student at Birkenfeld Environmental Campus. He has already acquired some German through the German language classes on campus. Now he wants to further improve his German language skills beyond what is offered in the classroom.
Tina is a German student who learned Spanish in school and took a Spanish class at the Environmental Campus. She wants to brush up on her Spanish skills and improve them, because she wants to go to Spain for an internship.
Miguel and Tina now have the chance to benefit from each other, because Miguel’s native language is Spanish and Tina’s German. Both students study at the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld. How can they help each other?
Tina and Miguel heard about the Tandem method. They have the possibility to meet on Campus and learn from each other. They agree to meet once a week to practice the language skills acquired in class and to get to know each other at the same time. Their language skills are not good enough to settle the initial questions, so they decide to speak English, because both of them had English in school and have sufficient knowledge to converse. Miguel and Tina decide to divide their meetings into two parts: in the first part they talk in one language and in the second one they switch to the other language. After finishing organization, they switch to Spanish and start the Tandem...
Miguel and Tina talk to each other once a week now. In the beginning it was difficult to find a topic to talk about, so they decided to start with exercise tasks in the chosen language. After a few meetings they can already talk about other topics and discuss mutual interests. Mostly they just talk about 20-30 minutes - not a long time, but still effective. Tina decides to note down grammar and pronunciation mistakes while Miguel is speaking. At the end of the conversation she takes some time to go over his mistakes.
Miguel and Tina were able to improve their language skills a lot. Tina told Miguel in one of their meetings that she would like to do an internship in Spain. They arrange to meet each other in Miguel’s home country. Miguel and Tina did not just benefit from each other through their native languages, they also became friends.
Interested? Register today! iso(at)umwelt-campus.de
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