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University Language Centre

ULTL20011 Tandem

  • Credits: 10
  • Course code: ULTL20011
  • Taught during: Semester 1 
  • Pre-requisites: To apply for Tandem you need to have the language proficiency level equivalent to IELTS 7/CEF C1 (Erasmus students) / A level standard (UK students) in your target language. 
  • Timetable: 2 hours per week, minimum, at a mutually convenient time


This is a reciprocal language learning course in which students are paired with a native speaker of the target language to work on a series of independent language learning tasks. For many students, this course is an opportunity to become more familiar with the target language and culture prior to a semester or academic year abroad; for others, it is an opportunity to maintain a good level of spoken and written proficiency in the target language following a period spent abroad.

For visiting students, it is not only an excellent way of improving English language skills, but it also assists them to better integrate into the Manchester student community.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will have:

  • developed their oral skills (accuracy and fluency) in their target language improved their written skills (accuracy and sophistication) in their target language expanded their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary/phraseology of their target language broadened their cultural knowledge and awareness

Transferable skills

At the end of the course students will have had:

  • an opportunity to manage and to direct their own language learning programme;
  • the chance to gain experience as a learner mentor through teaching and correcting their partner;
  • the experience of working closely on tasks with a non-native speaker from a different cultural background.

Teaching and learning methods

Students spend at least two hours per week with their partner working on the learning tasks in a face to face mode.

Additional time needs to be set aside for liaising with their partner, preparing for the tasks and for follow up work, which will include writing up the work covered in the meetings, rewriting work which has been corrected, correcting their partner's written work and completing task reflection sheets.

Students also need to participate in discussions in the target language through online forums via Blackboard. In addition, students attend two/three tutor-led sessions covering the following areas: working in Tandem, error correction, peer assessment.


  • Portfolio/dossier of work completed (six learning task reports written in the target language (2000 words, submitted in week 12) - 50%
  • Recorded oral assessment task (approx. 10 minutes in length, submitted in week 12) - 20%
  • Written exam (1 hour) - 20%
  • Peer assessment - 10%

Nature and timing of feedback

  • Informal: You will receive feedback on the quality of your written and spoken production in your chosen target on a regular basis during the semester.
  • Formal: You will receive formal written feedback in the weeks immediately following the assessment of your coursework (dossier) and of your assessed tasks submitted in week 12.


Maria Kluczek

Max entry

50 (25 tandem partnerships)

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