Face-to-Face

The TandemPlus program matches native speakers of two different languages, students of each other's language who learn from each other and help one another to learn. Typically, the partners meet for about two hours every week. Priority is given to language students currently enrolled in a class at the University of Minnesota, but registration is open to all. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below outline the basics of the Face-to-Face program for students. If you would like to learn more, contact the TandemPlus program at 612-626-6050, or tandem@umn.edu.

 
What is a face-to-face exchange?

A face-to-face exchange involves a local partnership of two speakers, where each speaker is a student of the other's native language. The goal is for each speaker to help the other learn their language and cultures.

For example, if you are a native Spanish speaker and would like to improve your English speaking skills, you are matched with a native English speaker who is learning Spanish. Then you and your partner meet and have language and cultural exchanges.

Once paired by the Tandem program, partners decide together when and where they will meet. Most partners meet for about two hours every week.

When will I be matched?

Once we find your partner, we will contact you both by e-mail. The criteria for matching language partners include: language; schedule/availability; preferred gender of conversation partner; age; hobbies; transportation issues, etc. In all cases, currently enrolled University of Minnesota students have priority.

What am I committing to?

Regular meetings

Each partner should commit to regular meetings throughout the term. You and your partner will decide when, where, how often, and how long to meet. If you must miss a meeting for any reason, please notify your partner as far in advance as possible. We ask that you make every effort to follow through on your semester-long commitment. Remember that your partner is excited about having this opportunity; if you are not able to follow through, we may have difficulty finding another match for your partner until the next semester begins.

Sensitivity to your partner's needs

It is very important to be sensitive to the fact that people from different cultural backgrounds have very different expectations, beliefs, and behavior. Please share as much as you want to with your partner about your culture and perspectives. However, do not impose any beliefs or behavior (religious, political, social, sexual, etc.) on your partners. Please feel free at any time to express your discomfort or disinterest in any topic. Respect your partners if they seem uncomfortable, and show consideration for your partner's feelings by avoiding such topics in the future. Partnerships work best when both partners are clear about how they would like to practice the language and what type of feedback they are looking for in the exchange. Be clear with your partner about your learning goals and do your best to help your partner in the ways requested. In addition, make sure that equal time is given to each language being practiced.

Understanding our program goals

The purpose of the TandemPlus program is to bring people together to learn about language and culture. It is not a dating service, a religious or political organization, or a social-service agency. If your partner's interest in the program is not primarily language or culture learning, please talk with your partner about redirecting your time together. Feel free to contact the TandemPlus coordinators with any questions or concerns.

Understand our program priorities

The greater community is welcome to register for TandemPlus. However, priority will be given to CLA students currently enrolled in language classes at the University of Minnesota. Please keep in mind that we use different criteria in matching partners, and the more flexibility you indicate in any of these categories, the more likely it is that we will be able to find a partner for you. The criteria include your language preference; schedule/availability; gender; age; hobbies, transportation issues and more.

How can I participate?

If you would like to register to participate in the program, please proceed to the registration page and complete the registration form. Registrations are valid until the end of the semester. If you have any other questions, contact the TandemPlus program at 612-626-6050 or tandem@umn.edu.

Disclaimer

TandemPlus is a resource for language practice and cultural exchange. Neither TandemPlus, the Language Center, nor the University of Minnesota is responsible for information provided by participants to TandemPlus.

Neither TandemPlus, the Language Center, nor the University of Minnesota evaluates or endorses any participant in or from this site.

Participate at your own discretion. Exercise care and judgment before meeting a stranger. Trust your own judgment about times and places to meet your partner.