Language Center

About us
Self-Access Center
Tandem learning
Language consultations
Language Center A-Z
Tailor-made courses, coaching
Tandem events
Zentrum (RAI J15): 18:15-19:15
In German: Tuesday, 18.09.2018
In English: Thursday, 27.09.2018

Hönggerberg (HWW C21):
Tuesday, 20.11.2018, 18:00-19:00


Tandem guidelines
Tips for tandem learners
Tandem contract
Tandem online survey 2012 (in German)

Application form
Tandem program: Available languages

The Language Center's tandem service is available primarily to students, PhD students, and staff of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Where possible, we also consider requests from PHZH and ZHdK students and from UZH and ETH alumni. You do not have to be enrolled in a language course in order to do tandem learning. The tandem learning service is free of charge.

What is Tandem Learning?

In a tandem, two people with different first languages work together to improve their foreign language skills. Tandem learning also gives participants valuable insight into their partner’s cultural background.
Tandem learning is an autonomous learning method in which both partners take responsibility for their own learning. Together, they define their aims and timeframes, strategies, and the material they wish to cover.


Our Tandem guidelines give detailed information on tandem learning.
Our Tandem contract sets out the terms for tandem learning for Language Center participants.

Applying for a tandem partnership

Are you sure that you have the time and motivation to improve your foreign language skills through tandem learning? If the answer is yes, please apply using our Online application form. As soon as we have found a partner for you, we will contact you by email.

Please note that it can take months to find a suitable partner. Our service depends on supply and demand, and the languages requested are often in short supply. Your chances of finding a partner are better if one of the required languages is German.

Withdrawal of application

Your application will remain valid until we find a partner for you. Please email us if you are no longer interested in tandem learning (

Learning materials and links

A range of materials for tandem learning is available at our Library, at the Self-Access Center, and in our online Resource pool: Select the required language, then click on “Learning approaches and tips”, then “open”.
Make sure you tick “Tandem.
For useful tips and ideas on tandem learning (especially for beginners), see Tips for tandem learners. There are also some useful exercises on the tandem platform of Ruhr University Bochum and University Greifswald.

Counseling and help

You can request a consultation on tandem learning by writing to Dr Ueli Bachmann, Head of German as a Foreign Language (
If you have questions about the administration of tandem partnerships, please contact Caroline Röthlin (
Consultations and support regarding learning materials are available at theSelf-Access Center (Rämistr. 74,

Tandem online survey 2012

The Language Center did a comprehensive online survey of tandem learning in 2012. Before the survey, the figures clearly showed that the tandem service had expanded in the previous few years. In addition, the survey showed that the quality was very highly regarded, and the tandem program was viewed as an important complement to other Language Center services.

Respondents said they appreciated the Language Center’s current low-key approach to tandem learning, and its organization and support of tandem learning, in particular. They did not feel that additional support was needed. Participants were not particularly interested in gaining ECTS points for tandem partnerships.
More details on the results of the survey are available here:Tandem online survey 2012 (in German).