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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Languages & Literatures

Why Learn a Second Language

Languages & Literatures Department

Tandem Program

Want to practice another language?

Participants of Tandem are paired with each other to create a reciprocal language exchange, in which each partner is practicing the native language of the other partner. For example, a native Chinese speaker looking to learn English would be paired with a native English speaker who wants to learn Chinese. Partners meet for an hour on a weekly basis for the duration of the quarter, spending half the time on each language and guiding their conversations with suggested conversation topics from me.

Keep in mind, you must be willing to commit at least one hour each week to the Tandem sessions. It's important that you take this commitment seriously, as it is not only your own progress but also your partner's progress that will be affected if you do not have conversations weekly.

The Tandem coordinator makes appropriate pairs based on the languages you speak or would like to improve, and the rest is up to you! The two of you can go to your favorite restaurants, hang out on campus, or introduce each other to different clubs or organizations. This is truly what you make of it, so we encourage you to be open to new ideas, new cultures and new friends.

Apply now!

If you would like to be a part of Tandem at DU and gain a language partner, please fill out the application form here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at [email protected].

Faq

What does "tandem" mean?

Tandem means that you learn in pairs. Each partner is both teaching his/her partner, while simultaneously learning from them. The success of the tandem model depends on the basic principles of autonomy and reciprocity.

Who can participate?

Tandem at DU is open to all members of the DU community, including undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff.

What is required for participation in the program?

You must be a native speaker of the language you offer, and you must have basic conversational proficiency in the language you want to practice (the goal of Tandem is for participants to improve their language skills, not learn a new language from scratch).

You must also be willing to commit one hour each week to the Tandem sessions. It's important that you take this commitment seriously, as it is not only your own progress but also your partner's progress that will be affected if you do not have weekly conversations.

What languages are offered?

Participants can offer and request any language, but the languages available will depend on the participants who apply each quarter, as a mutual combination of languages must exist for a match to be created.

What is the curriculum like?

Each week, participants may follow suggested conversation topics provided via email. These range from topics like self-introductions and life stories to food and pop culture. Each pair can adjust the conversations to suit their language level.

How do I get matched with a partner?

At the beginning of the semester, Tandem will accept applications from those interested in participating. Matches are created based on a mutual combination of languages offered/requested, and similar interests, age groups, and language-learning goals.