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Center for Higher Education (zhb)


Do either of these statements apply to you? I’d like to do an Erasmus semester abroad, but none of the language courses I need fit my schedule. I’d like to improve my knowledge of another language, but I’m not really sure how to go about it.

If so, then our tandem language program just might be the answer!

Tandem language learning is for people who want to advance their language skills outside a traditional classroom setting. Working hand-in-hand with a native speaker, tandem learning provides the unique opportunity for a learner to offer his or her native language in return. With each partner receiving equal time, communication occurs in both languages. One half of a tandem session is devoted to the language you wish to practice, while the other half is for your partner to practice your native tongue. Tandem learning thus allows two people to learn from, and with, each other.

Facts and Dates

The following criteria must be met in order to be able to participate in a tandem program:

  • You are an enrolled TU Dortmund University student or are currently auditing a course with an instructor’s permission. (Participation by people unaffiliated with TU Dortmund University is not permitted.)
  • You either possess a minimum A2 skill level in the target language or are currently enrolled in a course at, or above, the A2 level.
  • You wish to further your knowledge of other languages and cultures.

To locate a tandem partner, simply sign in to our course platform with your TU Dortmund University e-mail address ( Once you have logged in to your personal account (login students), navigate to “tandem” and then go to “registration”. You will then be able to see your current registration details and partnerships under “tandem” and “overview”, respectively.

In principle, tandem learning is possible at any language level, but basic knowledge of the foreign language increases learning success. It is ideal if you have already completed an A1 course or are currently at A2 level. There are several reasons for this:

Basic language skills:

With a completed A1 level, you have acquired basic language skills. You can understand and formulate simple sentences. You have mastered at least one past tense as well as basic knowledge of verb conjugation, prepositions, pronouns and tenses. You will be able to tell your tandem partner about the last weekend or your last vacation, for example.

Independent learning:

At A2 level, you are able to organize your learning more independently. You will be able to ask and understand basic questions, which will lead to a more meaningful exchange with your tandem partner.

Mutual error correction:

From A2 level, you will be able to recognize and correct simple mistakes in each other's language. This contributes to the learning process.

Cultural exchange:

Basic language skills allow you to exchange ideas on simple cultural topics. This promotes cultural competence, i.e. an understanding of the culture associated with the language.

Authentic conversations:

From level A2 onwards, they are already mastering more realistic and varied conversational situations, which increases motivation to learn and contributes to a positive learning experience.

Attend an introductory session at the beginning of each semester to receive relevant information on the program. Simply come alone or with your tandem partner. These sessions provide the perfect atmosphere to get to know your partner and ask any pertinent questions.

The next info session will be held on Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 3.00 - 4.00 p.m. via Zoom.

Enrollment to the info session via course platform. Once you have registered, you will receive your Zoom access code and password by e-mail.

  • Flexible. It always fits your schedule.
  • Focused. Your learning goals are always front and center.
  • Learner-defined. You and your partner decide when, where, how long and exactly what will be learned.
  • Cross-cultural. In addition to improving your language skills, you also stand to be exposed to cultural habits and traditions by interacting with your tandem partner.
  • It’s great fun!

Counselling sessions are the chance to learn more about how to get the most out of your tandem experience. Sessions can be attended individually or with your tandem partner. Topics include learning how to motivate oneself, developing independent learning skills, reducing inhibitions when speaking, and how to cultivate higher intercultural awareness and greater openness towards other nationalities. Most importantly, you will pick up new communication and learning strategies and have fun while learning/practicing the target language.

For more information about when the advisement sessions will be offered, please visit our course platform.

Suggestions for Tandem Language Learning

Sample Media

Educational Objective

Photographs Help one become visually acquainted with another culture while gaining insight into the mentality of its people
News Articles / Internet Address current events and trends
Video / DVD Better understanding of authentic speech
Books / Lecture notes Interact with more complex content
Audio books Improve speech and listening comprehension


Tandem Partner Placement:

Student Assistant, E-Mail

Tandem Learning Consultation:

Dr. Laura Tiego, E-Mail