Guidelines for teletandem sessions
A teletandem learning partnership can be great - you can learn another person's language and culture, share your own, and make great friends in the process. Or not! Here are a few basic suggestions:
- Initial sessions: take at least two teletandem sessions to get used to the procedures and to the equipment.
- At least one hour: Make sure you have a one hour time block, with at least thirty minutes in each language (your partner's and your own.
- Begin with a review: Spend the first 10 minutes reviewing words and phrases learned during the last session.
- Talk, talk, talk: Use most of the session to talk about and to discuss themes of interest to both. Let your partner speak the language he/she is trying to learn. Reading and writing in the foreign language can be left when you are by yourself.
- Take notes: Take notes while your partner talks, give him/her the words he/she does not know and take notes of these words.
- Evaluate: Spend the last ten minutes of the sessions to review the words and grammar structures.
- Do homework: Between one teletandem session and another write a paragraph or essay in the language you are trying to learn and e-mail it to your partner for editing it.
- Safe topics. At least in the first sessions, it's best to steer clear of sensitive topics like politics or religion. Once you know each other better, you'll be able to get into such interesting topics with comfort.
For more details about students' procedures and negotiation during teletandem sessions, please, read:
GARCIA, D.N.M. O Que os Pares de Teletandem (Não) Negociam. São Paulo: Editora UNESP, 2013. ISBN: 9788539304165
Our students believe that good teletandem partner always...
- brings many topics to talk about
- makes the conversation flow
- makes an effort to learn
- asks and answers questions
- touches several aspects of a theme
- has a clear and understandable voice in his/her language
- corrects the partner
- corrects own mistakes
- solves doubts
- teaches new words
- helps the partner to develop and/or to improve his/her grammatical, oral and comprehension skills
Qualities of what students consider "a good teletandem partner":
Curious, easy-going, nice, patient, talkative, helpful, friendly, understanding, polite, sweet, intellectual, attentive, has a similar age, kind, nice company, responsible, sensible, collaborative, charismatic, mature, communicative, similar personality, good sense of humor, is punctual to get online, has much in common with me, knowledgeable about his/her country and culture, is dedicated and interested in learning the partner’s language.
For deeper insights into students' responses to teletandem read:
TELLES, J.A. Learning foreign languages in teletandem: Resources and strategies. DELTA – Revista de Estudos em Linguística Teórica e Aplicada, 31(3), 651-680, 2015.