Need some tips to get you started with language exchange on Tandem? Meet an expert from our community, Seray from Turkey!
Photo credit: Irene Wissel
Seray is 20 and uses Tandem to practise four languages (English, Spanish, German and Finnish). Seray has had a lot of success with her partners on Tandem and has made friends with people all over the world. You could almost say she is the ultimate Tandem partner!
She wrote to us to tell us her story. We were so impressed by how much she’d done on Tandem, we invited her to visit Berlin to experience cultural exchange in person. This was the first time she had ever been outside Turkey! Keep an eye on our blog for more about her trip.
Seray has lots of experience finding and keeping Tandem partners, but she knows that language exchange isn’t always easy. We asked her for some tips on how to be a great partner and get the most out of the app. Here are her top three tips!
1.Talk to everyone!
“Don’t limit yourself when it comes to starting conversations or answering people who chat to you. You never know how the conversation is going to go! It is really important to be open-minded and friendly on Tandem. Don’t assume you know who the best partner will be for you. I’ve practiced English with Mexicans and Spanish with Germans! Talking to lots of different people helps you find out what works best for you.”
2. Find something in common.
“Choose something to discuss with your partner that you both find interesting. For example, you could choose a book or a film that you have both watched before. I like talking about ‘500 Days of Summer’, because everyone has an opinion about that film! Or, sometimes it is fun to both watch the same episode of a TV programme and call each other straight after to talk about it!”
3. Make time to Tandem.
“It is really good to set aside a little bit of time every day for Tandem practice. That way, you can keep in regular contact with your partners and find a good routine with them. If you practice every day, or almost every day, you will never let your language skills go cold – and it also means you’ll develop friendships much more quickly.”
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Language exchange by video can raise some challenges that you wouldn’t expect with a face-to-face exchange, but luckily a little preparation goes a long away. Follow these steps and you are guaranteed to be a video exchange guru in no time!