TIPS FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING IN TANDEM
The tandem partners can organize and decide the following completely independently:
1. Time and place
Choose the time and place of meeting with your tandem partner according to your respective learning objectives.
2. Aims and topics
Formulate learning objectives and stick to them. Reflect after each meeting as to whether you are getting closer to your objectives, and write up minutes of each meeting to help you do so. Respect your partner's learning objectives and their method of learning. Give feedback and ask for it, too. Remember: you are not to act in the role of a know-it-all teacher.
Choose topics that suit your learning objectives. Ask for appropriate materials and search for suitable materials for your partner. Choose topics that really are of interest and of use to both of you (e.g. questions that have arisen in language courses, language questions concerning projects, subject-related topics and intercultural problems).
3. Working methods and materials
There are many different methods of working that can help you achieve your learning objectives. You can have a discussion, dictate passages, read and learn poems, give presentations or simply ask and answer questions. In doing so, you can, for instance, practise the correct use of phrases and expressions, target specific grammar problems and broaden your vocabulary. Always discuss the working methods with your partner and reflect after every meeting whether the selected method has been motivating and effective, or not. Keep trying out new methods. The materials you use (newspapers, books, pictures, films, cooking recipes etc.) should support the joint learning process by providing topics to talk about and helping you to practise specific structures. Make use of the Language Counselling Service should you run out of ideas!
4. Feedback and correcting
Ask for feedback and corrections and offer both to your partner as well. This is the only way you will both benefit language-wise. You don’t have to know everything but you will know what is correct in your mother tongue. Be positive, encourage your partner, give praise and motivate them. Correct any mistakes by repeating the phrase correctly. Point out mistakes to your partner and try to correct them together. Observe in successive meetings whether your partner is making progress or not. Make use of the Language Counselling Service to learn more of the art of providing feedback and your options for correcting mistakes.