About the program

SFU Language Exchange e-Cafe 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.

This program uses the tandem method of language learning that pairs up two people who want to learn and practice each others’ languages. SFU Language Exchange e-Cafe pairs students up with someone online. 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, their partners/spouses, as well as people from outside the SFU community. For more information, please email and the SFU Language Exchange e-Cafe Team would be happy to answer your questions.

Orignially called "SFU Tandem", the Language Exchange e-Cafe was started in the Summer of 2016 by the Centre for English Language Learning, Teaching, & Research in the Faculty of Education, with support from Dr. Joel Heng Hartse, Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos, Jane Pan, Quincy Wang, Elizabeth Williams, and then-Linguistics student Yuki Kaneki. It was inspired and created by referring to the UBC Tandem Language Handbook 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."