Conversational German Practice – Finding The Right Tandem Partner

To reach a conversational German level, you need a lot of practice. Just like any other skill, it’s the repition that lets you hone your practical skills and evolve.

However, the prospect of spending time with a stranger in such a vulnerable state can sound terrifying. You might think: “What if they laugh or don’t appreciate me as a person?”

For that reason, it’s very important to have a two-part strategy in order to maintain the enjoyment with and openness for learning German.

Part 1: Using the right filters to find a partner

A) Find someone who sounds interesting to you as a person and who is a native speaker in the language you want to learn.

B) Make sure the other person speaks your language on a similar level as you speak theirs so that there is no imbalance.

NOTE: A tandem makes no sense before an A2 level, but you can reach that relatively quickly. And don’t worry about a lack of practice, that’s what the tandem is for. If you have the German A2 theory down, you’re ready.

C) Have your first meeting on Skype, Zoom, Google Meet or any other video chat app so that you can get to know each other without losing time or feeling too awkward if you don’t click.

Part 2: Setting the right stage

A) If you decide to meet in person, find a café, park or bar that is not too far away from either of you and that is quiet as well as spaceous enough.

B) The day before your meeting, write down two topics you’d really like to talk about and research basic vocabulary if you need to. Send both the topics and the vocabulary to your partner to give them an overview.

C) Always bring pen and paper or your laptop to take notes. Until the next session, take the time to learn at least some of the vocabulary. Your partner will appreciate it and feel your motivation.

If you combine those tandem tipps with your regular Deutsch learning practice, you’ll notice rapid improvements.

Where Do I Find A Tandem Partner?

There are a lot of websites that can help you meet your new tandem partner. Here are some good examples:

https://www.tandem.net
https://www.vhs-tandem.de
https://www.tandempartners.org