I help you learn my language and you help me learn yours!
Language learning in tandem involves pairs of native or non-native speakers of different languages working collaboratively to learn each other's language (or language of proficiency).
The Teletandem Brasil Project of UNESP - Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil, matches up Brazilian university students who want to learn a foreign language with students in other countries who are learning Portuguese.
When learning a foreign language in teletandem, each partner is a student for about one hour, learning and practicing a language from the other partner. Then they switch roles and switch languages. We do this through Skype or Zoom which gives us free voice, text, and webcam communication so that the partners can collaborate from anywhere in the world.
After the teletandem session, the instructors in the labs conduct a mediation session: a time that students have with their instructor to discuss what has been learned during teletandem in terms of language, culture and relationship with the partner.
The project was supported by FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo), from 2007 to 2010, through a Thematic Grant coordinated by the founder of Teletandem, professor Dr. João Antonio Telles. Today, teletandem is implemented as a virtual exchange practice for language learning in several universities in Brazil and abroad.