Tandem tips

Tandem Top Tips

TandemJanuary 14, 2013

So, you’ve signed up, set up your profile and are ready to get started on your Tandem journey, but what exactly is a Tandem exchange and how does it work? Here are some ideas for you to begin with:

Find a suitable Language Exchange buddy

Browse through the matches in the ‘Find Chats’ section and take a look at the topics that other members have posted. Select topics that interest you so you’ll have something in common with your potential buddy.

Send out some messages

Once you’ve found some interesting profiles, message them, introduce yourself and let them know the topics you want to talk about. Tell them which languages you want to practice, and ask them some simple questions about where they live or some of their interests.

Make some simple ground rules

When you get replies, create simple rules with your Tandem partner. Ask how long they want to talk and how often. Learning a foreign language requires frequency and regularity. It’s better to study several times a week for 30 minutes, than once a week for 2 hours. Set a goal of 5 minutes in each language. Talk in your target language for 5 minutes while your partner listens and then swap. Help each other out and correct them if they slip up.

Start a videochat

You’re ready to have your first Tandem videochat. You’ll see the best results with videochat as it allows you to listen to the language and use body language to express yourself. Remember the rules you set out before and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

Prepare some materials for your next chat

Make sure you have some ideas for your next chat. Or even a list of questions you want answered. In the beginning, it will be interesting just to get to know each other, but in the future try to diversify the topics for discussion. To make your exchange sessions really exciting and your language tandem worthwhile, avoid monotony and be creative!