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Language tandem

What is Language tandem?

The project “Language tandem” offers the opportunity for two students with different mother tongues to improve their knowledge in foreign languages by conversation. Furthermore they can exchange mores and rites of other cultural environments.

For searching a language partner please tell us your favorite language and the duration of the language partnership. Further procedures you can define together with your partner.

This form of learning, which is also known as individual tandem, has got no fixed rules, no grammar test or other assessments. For example the team can discuss about a movie or a book. They are also allowed to cook or have a beer together. Tandem learning is based on principles of fair and self-paced learning.

Langauge tandem

What are advantages of Language tandem?

Internship in Argentina?

Holiday in Canada?

Student`s exchange to Bulgaria?

A learning partnership in our language tandem is the right thing for persons who plan an internship, au pair, holiday or a job in foreign countries. You will learn the language of your language partner and your partner will learn your mother tongue.

The tandem project of University of Technology Ilmenau represents a communication platform between international students and serves a magnification of intercultural skills. The aim is to help each other in learning a language and in universities everyday life. Furthermore the language tandem helps to get to know different cultural backgrounds.

Langauge tandem

How does the Language tandem work?

A tandem partnership works well, if both partners benefit from the language tandem. Therefore you should pay attention to the following points:

  • Half of the time is for you, which means that your partner will speak or write something in his/her mother tongue and you will learn from the partner.
  • After that you will speak in your mother tongue. During that time your partner will learn from you.
  • The listener can use his/her mother tongue to help the language partner to find words and to correct him/her.
  • What, how often and how intensive you want to learn you can define together with your language partner.
  • Speak with your language partner about your aims and tell him/her how he/she can support you to achieve your aims. Even different aims are pursued you can fix them in the beginning of your partnership.

Language tandem

Who is suitable for Language tandem?

Our offer is pointed at

  • foreign university applicants
  • international students in Ilmenau, who would like to improve their knowledge in German language
  • German students, who would like to develop their knowledge in a language or culture

This service is free of charge. It serves the exchange of contacts between students for supporting study.

A tandem is for everybody who learns a new language or who would like to refresh the old knowledge in a language. Everybody can join the language tandem independent of the age, job or residence.

As a rule a small background of the foreign languages is sufficient, most notably when you work together with your partner in a written way. In this case you will learn from that, which your partner will write in his/her mother tongue. After that you will try to write in the foreign language yourself. If your partner will have a good knowledge in the language it doesn´t matter because you are always better in your mother tongue. Characteristic for a tandem partner is that everyone can pursue his/her own aims and the partner can help to achieve this aims.

Language tandem

What is the first step after finding a language partner?

The first contact

The first step is to write an email to your tandem partner. You should introduce yourself in your mother tongue and ask for a reply. You can suggest an appointment for your first meeting. If your tandem partner does not answer within seven days you should look for a new tandem partner.


If you have found a tandem partner you should agree the way you will communicate in future. That means if you would like to meet your partner regularly or if you would like to use other media for communication.

If you agree the communication with the help of media, you should pay attention to the following things:

  • Please plan enough time for reading and answering of written media (emails, sms, fax, and letter). You can use dictionaries and teaching materials as a help. You will need a lot of time for writing and correcting these documents, but the advantage is that this kind of media will be at your disposal for future.
  • If you would like to use verbal media, like telephone or video conference, you will get a feedback directly from your partner. But this kind of communication requires a fast reaction.

You have got the possibility to combine different media or you can use them as an addition to your meetings.

Language tandem

About what themes can I talk with my language partner?

If you do not know a theme you can talk about at your first meeting, you can find here a few suggestions:

  • Tell something about you. What is your job? Where are you living?
  • Ask your partner about his/her interests, hobbies. Maybe you have the same preferences.
  • What are your reasons for taking part in the language tandem? Tell your partner how much time you would like to invest.
  • Exchange your telephone numbers, addresses and tell your partner the time you will be available

You can create the language tandem on your own. You can choose if you would like to talk, cook, do sports or learn for an exam.

If you do not know a theme you can talk about, you can find new tasks, games and further incitation.

International Tandem Network