Tandem-learning at the Language Centre

Two people who speak different languages join forces to help each learn the other’s language. This allows you to approach the target language in a very natural manner. In addition, learning a language in tandem is an intensive learning experience because you have to speak the language over longer periods of time. Both parties benefit – and because the tandem-learning programme is based on reciprocity, there is no charge for taking part. Only h_da students and faculty/employees are permitted to enroll. No ECTS points are awarded for participation.


To illustrate how tandem-learning works, let's take an example: You are a native speaker of German and would like to improve your Spanish. The h_da Language Center will help you find a suitable partner who speaks Spanish and who would like to practise their German. You can then arrange to meet once a week for two hours, for example. It is important that the learning partnership is based on full reciprocity. Both sides should benefit equally, i.e. in your first session you speak German with each other, in the second session Spanish. You can meet as often and for as long as you like and learn each other's language at an intensity which works for you. In your sessions you can practise anything that helps improve your language skills. And the best thing about it: You're not tied to a classroom situation - instead you can learn about your tandem partner's language and culture during all kinds of activities!

You don't need to be a language teacher to facilitate language-learning for your partner – they will benefit from what you already know about your language!

To register for the tandem programme, please fill in the online registration. As soon as we receive the completed form, we will try to find a suitable tandem partner for you. Depending on the requested languages, this may take some time. We will contact you by e-mail when we have found a tandem partner.

Your registration will remain valid for two semesters. If you are still interested after this period, you can then reapply. If you would like to withdraw your registration before the end of the two semesters, please send an e-mail to tandem@h-da.de.

You will meet and get to know someone from a different culture, thus learning a new language in a very personal way. In contrast to a language class, the tandem programme offers a lot of flexibility. Together you can choose when, where and how often to practice, so you will be able to learn the target language in exactly the intensity and for the duration that suits you best.


Most importantly, you should be willing to support your tandem partner in learning their target language, as the tandem programme is all about reciprocity. In addition to your interest in the language, you should also show some interest in the other’s culture and of course always behave in a manner that is both respectful and fair. If you’re generally open to new experiences, that’s a plus. A tandem is more likely to turn out a success if you start with at least a basic knowledge of the target language, so you’re ready to actually speak the language.


Get together once a week for at least an hour for a start. That gives you the chance to speak each language for about half an hour. We recommend meeting in a neutral place first, e.g. one of the university’s study rooms or a cafeteria.


  • When you meet for the first time, discuss your goals and expectations, so you’re on the same page.
  • You can watch movies or read newspapers/magazine articles/the lyrics to a song and discuss them.
  • Of course, you can also help each other draft presentations or write applications.
  • If you’re interested in some classic language learning activities, try dictation, revising grammar or studying vocabulary.
  • You can find useful materials at the Seagull Project.
  • Immerse yourself in your partner’s culture. If they don’t know Darmstadt that well yet, a walk through the city is a good starting point.
  • If you get along well, why not cook a typical meal from your home countries together? You’re completely free in how you set up your meetings.
  • You should just make sure you don’t practise both languages at the same time; instead, set aside some time for each language separately.

Please send us an e-mail tandem@h-da.de. We will try to find a new match for you. 


Feel free to contact us via e-mail (tandem@h-da.de). We’re always happy to support you.


Also of interest: the International Office’s Buddy-Program