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Tandems as an alternative to language school?

Language tandems offer a unique opportunity to learn a language in an authentic context by interacting directly with native speakers.

What is a language tandem?

A language tandem is a partnership between two people who each speak a different native language and want to learn the language of the other. For example, a person who wants to learn German could team up with someone who is a native German speaker and wants to learn Spanish. The two meet regularly and take turns communicating in their respective languages to learn from each other.

Why are tandems a good alternative to a language school?

Authentic language practice: In a tandem, you have the opportunity to practise the language in an authentic context. Not only do you hear the language as it is spoken by native speakers, but you also receive direct feedback from your tandem partner.

Flexibility and individuality: Unlike in a language school, with a tandem you can be flexible with your learning goals and times. You can meet with your tandem partner when it suits you both best and focus on the areas you want to improve the most.

Cultural exchange: In addition to language exchange, a tandem also offers the opportunity to get to know each other's culture. Through conversations about everyday topics, cultural traditions and personal experiences, you will gain a deeper insight into your tandem partner's language and way of life.

Cost savings: Compared to language schools, tandems are often cheaper or even free of charge. As you support each other in your language learning, there are no additional costs for lessons or materials.

A word of caution

It is important to emphasize that tandems alone are not a complete substitute for language courses. While they offer many benefits, there are also some challenges that need to be considered. Without a structured curriculum and professional guidance, there is a risk that important aspects of the language will be neglected. Grammar, syntax and formal expression are areas where specific guidance can be beneficial.

In addition, the success of a tandem depends heavily on the motivation and commitment of both partners. If the chemistry between the partners is not right or the commitment wanes, the effectiveness of the learning process can be impaired. In a language school, on the other hand, there are clear structures and a professional framework that can maintain the motivation to learn.
Tips for a successful language exchange

Set clear goals: At the beginning of your collaboration, discuss what goals you want to achieve and how you want to structure your tandem sessions.

Varied activities: Vary your learning methods, for example by not only having conversations but also playing games, watching movies or cooking together.

Patience and respect: Be patient with each other and respect the different learning speeds and styles. Mistakes are part of the learning process and should be accepted as such.

Regular communication: Schedule regular meetings to continuously work on your language skills and track your progress.

Conclusion

Tandems offer an effective and worthwhile supplement to traditional language schools. By interacting directly with native speakers, you can not only improve your language skills, but also make new friends and gain cultural insights. Take advantage of this opportunity to expand your foreign language skills in a fun and authentic way!

A person helping another to learn a language.

Find tandem partners in over 70 languages ✌️

Last active 13.7.2024

Speaks

  • Italian

Learns

  • German

Elisa

  • CH-3014
  • Female
  • 31
  • 💻 Online
  • ☕️ In-Person

Ciao a tutti! Ich möchte meine Konversation auf Deutsch verbessern. Ich suche jemanden in Bern, der/die bereit ist, mich persönlich zu treffen, aber auch online, wenn ich unterwegs bin. Ich biete Italienisch an.

Hobbies and interests

Reisen, Backen, Romane

Last active 13.7.2024

Speaks

  • Russian
  • English

Learns

  • German

Anna

  • CH-8004
  • Female
  • 33
  • 💻 Online
  • ☕️ In-Person

I am Russian living in Zurich since 2018. Would like to improve my German (currently B1 level), can help with Russian :) Also, speak English fluently.

Hobbies and interests

Coffee, walks, city hopping, nature, music, art

Last active 13.7.2024

Learns

  • German
  • Swiss German

Rokhan Ayaz

  • ☕️ In-Person

Hallo euch ich möchte deutsch lernen und wenn jemand von mir Paschtu sprache Lernen. Ich kann Ihnen helfen.

Hobbies and interests

Fitness und Cricket

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