Language learning in "Tandem" is a learning partnership in which each person brings knowledge and skills along with them which his or her partner wishes to learn and in which each person is willing to support his or her partner in the learning process. It is important that both partners engage in such a way that everybody involved benefits equally from meeting up and working together. Here we have collected a few tips to help your "Tandem" partnership.

General Information

How does it work?

When two people with different first languages meet once a week and converse for about one hour in each language, then it truly is a "Tandem." This type of language exchange is most successful when both have a basic understanding of the other language and when both partners speak each of the foreign languages equally well.

The big Advantage

In contrast to traditional methods of language learning with the use of a teacher and textbook, Tandem has many advantages: partners can agree on their own personal needs and wishes concerning their language learning. They can choose the subjects they discuss and learn more than just grammar and vocabulary. After all, each native speaker is an expert on his or her own country and can explain its culture based on first hand experience. All of this combined makes Tandem an authentic and therefore effective learning experience. With a Tandem partner, the foreign language is no longer some sort of abstract mass, but becomes a tool to real communication with real people.

Learning the Culture

Tandem is not “only” an innovative language exchange. Above all, Tandem can contribute a great deal towards the integration of migrants, because in "Tandem" lies the essence of what integration should actually be about: not just one-sided assimilation of minorities into the majority, but a way of getting to know each other on an equal footing, a process in which neither of the two languages or cultures is seen as more important or better or worthy of more space than the other.

Tandem World Wide

Since the beginning in the late sixties, the Tandem network has spread to 15 countries across three continents (Europe, North & South America). In 1994 the TANDEM®Fundazioa, with its headquarters in San Sebastian, was founded. This is an umbrella organisation which forms an interface for language schools organising Tandems whilst guaranteeing that the schools which are registered comply with quality criteria.

Golden Rules

Proper Correction