Tandem Language Exchange

Want to improve your Arabic? Your English? Your French? Your Cantonese? Or any other language? “Tandem” is a method of language learning that pairs up two people who want to learn each others’ languages. Let’s say you want to learn French and can teach Spanish, or you want to improve your English and help someone improve their Mandarin. This new program, SFU Tandem, pairs you up with someone on campus and facilitates casual language learning and conversation sessions!

About the program

SFU Tandem is a free, 8-week language exchange program that gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to enhance their language skills through informal dialogue related to interesting topics. The program started in summer 2016, and more than 100 students signed up for this new program within one week. We hope this program can support a better understanding of multilingualism and intercultural communication on campus.

“Tandem” is a method of language learning that pairs up two people who want to learn and practice each others’ languages. SFU Tandem pairs students up with someone on campus. Students engage in casual language learning and conversation sessions with optional conversation topics provided by a student facilitator.

Participation is open to SFU and FIC students, staff, faculty members and their partners/spouses. For more information, please email tandem@sfu.ca and the SFU Tandem Team would be happy to answer your questions.

SFU Tandem was inspired and created by referring to the UBC Tandem Language Handbook by Sandra Zappa-Hollman, Monique Bournot-Trites, Rachel Wang, and Robin Ryan. This handbook was produced by the Tandem program at the University of British Columbia. As the authors state in the introduction, their book is meant to be "useful to anybody who would like to start a similar language program based on this model," and we wholeheartedly recommend its use.