So, you’ve signed up (yay!), set up your profile and are feeling super motivated to get your language learning journey underway, but what’s next? The Tandem community is here to support you all the way, so here are our top tips on how to get started. Keep them in mind and you’ll be a language exchange pro in no time.
One of the keys to a successful language exchange is finding a Tandem partner with similar goals. On your profile, you’ll find a section called “Learning Preferences,” which allows you to share details about your preferred style of learning, your weekly time commitment, and how you’d like your mistakes to be corrected. Fill in your preferences and take note of your Tandem partner’s, so you can practice languages in a way that suits both of you.
On the Community stream, you’ll find a whole bunch of potential partners who are native in the language you want to learn and are looking for someone like you to help them with their target language. Take a closer look at each member’s topic so that you can find someone with similar interests.
If you want to further refine the list of members, tap the filter icon next to the search bar on the Community stream and change your filter settings as you wish!
It can be pretty daunting to send your first message on Tandem. Just remember that everyone is on Tandem to improve their language skills, just like you. Try sending more than a simple “Hi” to your Tandem partner so that they know you’re really serious about starting a language exchange with them. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve got you covered with these handy conversation starters.
Once you’re in the flow of your language exchange, it’s a good time to discuss how you’re going to format your conversations with your Tandem partner. 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.
If you’re having an audio call, 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 their mistakes if they slip up.
Now you’re ready for your first Tandem video chat. You’ll see the best results with video chat as it allows you to listen to the language and use body language to express yourself. That’s pronunciation and listening practice all rolled into one! Remember to swap languages during the call don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone’s in the same boat.
It’s no secret that maintaining the motivation to learn a language can be challenging. But once you get into the rhythm of practicing on a daily basis, you’ll really start to notice an improvement in your skills and that’s something to be proud of.
The community follows a set of principles that encourage us to have patience, respect our differences, and be grateful for the generosity of others. Remind yourself of these from time to time to foster meaningful conversations and make long-lasting connections.
So go on, what are you waiting for? Get started on your Tandem language learning journey!