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This semester the Faculty of Humanities launches a language exchange program aiming to connect Danish and international students who have a mutual interest in learning each other’s language.
The program, also known as the ‘Tandem Project,’ pairs up students who speak the language the other wants to learn, giving the students the opportunity to benefit from each other.
“We’ve created the tandem project because we think a thing like that has been missing and is needed for a good study environment for both Danish and international students,” says Mette Sejersen, one of the coordinators behind the project.
Many Danish students have spent time abroad and picked up another language, but once back in Denmark, it can be hard to maintain.
At the same time a big number of international students are coming to Denmark, eager to meet Danish people and master the Danish tongue.
“So when the Danish students want to improve their foreign language skills and the international students want to learn their language, why not help them find each other?” Mette Sejersen rhetorically asks.
The concept of tandem learning is old news at other universities and in other countries, but at the University of Copenhagen where opportunities to learn other languages are scarce, it will provide students of many nationalities with a chance to regularly meet and practice a foreign language.
The target of the program is to have participants meet and converse at least once every second week in a comfortable environment, making it an informal way of learning.
“The conversations do not have to be about the personal life of the participants. Actually the pairs will probably gain much more from talking about different topics. As our guidelines are going to suggest one option is to bring literature to practice pronunciation. Another option is to go and watch a movie which is maybe relevant to one of the cultures/languages and then talk about the movie afterwards,” Mette Sejersen says.
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