A tandem day

This Sunday, it is the international mother tongue day. We invite you to meet with speakers of different languages and chat with them in order to learn second languages in tandem. Join us February 21, 8 – 10 pm

Second Language Learning in Tandem is an activity firstly developed during a youth exchange program between German and French speakers in the 1960s that since then became part of the curricula of L2 educational programs. The word “Tandem” is a metaphor to describe the two participants riding the same bicycle, the native speaker supporting the L2 learner. The two participants meet regularly with the aim of learning each other’s native language. It is a flexible activity that can provide the benefits of having a personal guide, teaching aspects of the L2, that also places the L2 learner in a context of immersion with a native speaker.

It is composed of 2 sessions:

  • in the first session the speaker A has the lead in the respective native language, and the activity functions as training for the speaker B.
  • In the second session the speaker B has the lead, and the two speakers switch the language of communication, and the activity acts as a training for the speaker A.

  • It is an autonomous activity that can be performed by language learners without the presence of an institutional instructor; it is symmetrical and reciprocal since the speakers switch their roles, and no one is all the time the instructor or all the time the student; and it is informal and fun, since the learners can practice the two languages interacting as pears in a friendly environment.

    In recent years it became a topic of research in teaching and education with the aim of understanding which aspects of L2 learning mostly benefit from the activity.

    During the International Mother Language Day, we propose to practice this activity online connecting to the https://spatial.chat/s/bilingual-tandem2021 platform. On this website you will be able to move around a meeting room with your avatar and informally and autonomously start speaking with other participants. We will practice Italian, Slovenian and English.

    We will connect together at 8 pm – and for 2 hours you will be able to find friends who want to learn your native language and with whom you’ll be able to practice the language you wish to learn. If you are a native speaker of any of these languages and would like to practice as L2 learner any other of the proposed language, please register on the website.

    How to connect to Online Application, “Spatial chat”?
    For All Participants in Bilingual tandem – Mother tongue 2021 the online communication session will be held using the online application “Spatial Chat”, serving a platform for virtual parties. Participants can attend the online communication and enjoy face to-face interaction in real-time only by moving your icon. Please read the following instructions before joining the online communication session.

    Step 1. Access to the Spatial chat’s URL
    Access to the Spatial chat’s URL https://spatial.chat/s/bilingual-tandem2021, and fill in your name and introduce yourself. Then, click “Continue” and you can enter the spatial chat space for the online communication session of the Bilingual tandem – Mother tongue 2021.

    Step 2. Talking with other people
    Once in the spatial chat space, each person is represented by a circle with your face via webcam as shown below. (The camera is not necessary.) You can find other participants in the circles as well. When your avatar is close to the other participants, you can clearly hear their talks; whereas if you move your avatar away, the sound fades out.