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Graphics: Robert Dancker


What is Tandem Language Learning?

Tandem language learning is a way of exchanging languages and cultures through a language partnership. In tandem learning, two people with different mother tongues meet regularly to learn each other’s language. If you want to improve your English, for example, you can work together with a tandem partner whose mother tongue is English and who is learning your native language. This can be done either in addition to a language course or independently.


How Can I Find a Partner for a Tandem Exchange?

We are happy to include you in our constantly updated tandem database. This service is open to all students and staff members of the University of Freiburg and other colleges and universities in Freiburg (University of Education, University of Music, etc.) and free of charge.

Please fill in our online registration form. You can also download the registration form here and send it to tandem@sli.uni-freiburg.de or print a copy and submit it to our Tandem counseling staff. We will contact you as soon as we have found a tandem partner for you.

Tandem counseling: Tuesday 10:00 h to 12:00 h at the Language Teaching Centre SLI, Universitätsstraße 5, 2nd floor, room 02 008

Other options for finding a tandem partner include ads on notice boards of the university (for example at the entrances of the institutes of the relevant languages), the tandem market of the University of Education (Pädagogische Hoschschule) and www.tandem.net. The International Graduate Academy offers a language tandem for doctoral researcher.

How Long will my Contact Data be Kept in the Tandem Database?

Your contact data will be kept in the tandem database for one semester (6 months). At the beginning of the new semester, you will be requested to confirm that you are still interested in finding a tandem partner. If you are no longer interested, your data will be removed from the database. This allows us to keep it up to date.


What happens during a Tandem Agreement?

You and your tandem partner agree on meeting every week for two hours and dedicating an hour to each language, for example. You might also agree that when talking in your partner’s native language, it is up to you to establish how you would like to work and which topics you would like to cover. When talking in your native language, you will try to support your partner and their efforts of successfully communicating in your native language.


What are the Advantages of Tandem Learning?

Tandem learning

  • is free and usually highly effective.
  • combines learning and real communication: at any moment, at least one of the partners is learning regardless of the topic and the language they use.
  • is fair: in a tandem pair, both partners give and receive equally.
  • may help increasing learner autonomy: you decide what, how much and how you will learn and your tandem partner will help you reach your goals.
  • may help improving your intercultural competence and your knowledge of the political and cultural institutions of the country where the language is spoken: you will not only learn a language, but will also come into contact with new interesting information about your partner, their  environment and the culture of their country of origin as well.
  • is the ideal supplement to a language course: you can work on the tasks assigned in the course or revise them together with your partner.


Where Can I Get Further Advice?

Please find useful tips for successful tandem language learning here.

We are happy to answer your questions during our tandem counseling office hours.

You can also find ideas and guidelines for your tandem meetings on the website of Tandem-Stiftung.


University of Freiburg
Language Teaching Centre (SLI)
Universitätsstraße 5
79098 Freiburg

Astrid Nothen

Astrid Nothen

Tel:  +49 761 203-8979
Fax: +49 761 203-8959

Room 02 008, 2nd floor

Tandem counseling:
Tue, 10:00 - 12:00

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