The Language Tandem

Learn directly from native speakers in a relaxed atmosphere, learn something worth knowing from other cultures and make new friends along the way - this is what the language tandem makes possible for everyone.

You only need to be interested in foreign languages and cultures, and want to learn something independently.

Talking to your tandem partner in the target language is great fun and opens a window to other cultures and new perspectives.

However, you will not learn the new language automatically. Unfortunately!

In contrast to learning a language in a language course, learners in a language tandem are responsible for planning, controlling and maintaining their own learning process themselves. This affects not only time management and motivation, but also the selection of suitable learning methods and the ability to reflect on your own progress with the help of the corrections and feedback from your learning partner.

To support your learning process, we have assembled the following information:

What does the Language Centre’s tandem project have to offer?

Topic sheets with conversation ideas at different levels (A1-B2)

The SEAGULL topic sheets initiate dialogues by proposing questions and conversations, which have been adjusted to the respective level with regard to the selection of vocabulary and language structures. 

The advantage of this is that even beginners of a foreign language can have short conversations and advanced learners will find ways to vary their expressions.

With the help of the guidelines, native speakers will find it easier for themselves to adapt to a lower level. Every topic sheet is complemented by a handout with teaching information as well as alternative suggestions for conversations. Last but not least, the topic sheets can stimulate conversation if the learning partners run out of conversation topics.

In addition to the use of topic sheets, there are multiple alternatives for working together in a tandem. From a casual chat whilst playing a joint online game to a professional conversation about research projects – anything is possible. Ideas for...

Regular meetings with a tutor

If you would like support for learning in a Tandem, if you want to solve problems that arise or if you want to set your goals together with someone else, you can arrange an appointment with a tutor. 

An initial meeting includes

  •  an assessment of your level of language
  •  setting up a learning plan and defining which skills should be trained 
  •  information on how to record your learning process
  •  handing out access details for online material (topic sheets) on moodle
  •  making a learning agreement with the Languages Centre

In a second meeting, questions about the learning process will be answered, any problems that may arise will be answered and appropriate changes can be made to the learning plan.

Finally, the learning process is examined once more. You will consider a continuation of the language learning process in the following semester and, if desired, an exam can be organised to earn ECTS points.

Written record and ECTS points for what you have learned

You can obtain a written record and ECTS points for your learning achievements as part of a tandem that is supervised by a tutor. The following achievements are required for 5 ECTS:

  •  a workload of 150 hours
  •  a record of your learning achievements for every meeting (incl. date and time)
  •  taking an exam

You can receive a SEAGULL certificate after documenting at least 15 meetings with your tandem partner, which confirms the participation in a language tandem for a certain period of time and at a certain language level. 


Help for language teachers using tandem work as part of their language courses

In a win-win situation, language learning in a tandem is integrated into the language courses provided at universities. Tandem language learning for two course groups becomes part of university teaching in cooperation with international universities.

As part of foreign language teaching, the entire course group takes part in computer-assisted language tandem sessions with the participants of a German course at the partner universities. By exchanging with native speakers, the course participants primarily develop communicative language skills and their awareness of intercultural aspects. The tandem activities are prepared and followed up as part of the classroom teaching, they are considered a component of the teaching and thus are part of the course curriculum.

We are happy to share our experience with lecturers who are interested in implementing and introducing tandem work as part of their language course (also with regard to institutional feasibility).

further reading [de] >>

Contact Information

Language Tandem

Stefan Dinse

Cooperation Partners for Language Tandems

The Language Centre works together with a large number of language centres that mainly belong to European universities, but also with further partners all over the world.

If you are looking for a native speaker as a partner for language exchange, please register for our tandem language exchange. As soon as we find a suitable learning partner, you will be notified and can then decide if you want to join up to learn each other’s language.

The Tandem App makes it possible to find study partners all over the world.

We recommend you use the free software Skype for contact with a tandem partner outside of Greifswald. If you need assistance in setting up and using the software, please contact us.