After the well known Language Café program, the Language Tandem is the second Eos Cares program with the highest number of participants. Language learners coming from 22 different countries, within Europe or even further, are currently involved in 12 active bilingual groups used to meet regularly to improve their languages skills together. The very principle of the program is clearly explained by its slogan: "You teach me your language, I'll teach you mine !". The Tandem Program is therefore a win-win arrangement with focus on sharing a common interest towards language learning.
Indeed, the program allows nowadays to practice Swedish, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian and even Persian ! Internationals mostly are interested in practising Swedish, while the most popular language among the locals is French. But keep in mind that the program is still expanding, open to welcome new languages if several participants express their interest for it, like it happened a few days ago with the brand new Swedish-Italian group. As an illustration, the team is currently looking for Swedish speakers interested in learning Arabic, Mandarin and Turkish.
But reading these facts, a question naturally arises: how does the Tandem principle subsist and is still growing under the coronavirus crisis ?
This surprising success is due to the strong adaptability of the groups to the current context. In fact, the autonomy granted to participants regarding their organization allowed them to continue to meet in a more flexible way, in person or online, according to the preferences of each one. Better than a long presentation, participants are in the best position to describe assets of the program:
“Even though we arranged the Spanish/Swedish group during the current pandemic, we were able to easy adapt to the situation by having online zoom meetings twice per week which were very productive and fit for the current physical meeting restrictions.”
-André, learns Swedish
“I think the program is a great way to improve language skills in a very casual and friendly atmosphere. Regardless of level, you can get something out of joining, which I have noticed since my level in the different groups is very different. I also think that participating in the tandem groups is a nice way to stay social during these hard times.”
-Klara, learns Persian and German
Even if the participants are really heterogeneous regarding their age, native countries, occupations, cultural backgrounds, hobbies, it is never difficult to find common activities to share, as says Fabian who is learning swedish within the program, when we ask him what he likes about it :
“Getting to know people, doing activities together like celebrating national days, watch videos on Zoom, cultural exchange, going for fika.”
Language learners in Lund, do not hesitate to join EOS Cares the Language Tandem program if you are aiming for a social activity that allows you to improve your language skills within the international community !
The Language Tandem Program benefits of the generous support of Sparbanken Skåne.