International
Language School
talk it easy!

TANDEM - Teaching with method - or "Talk it easy!"©

Quality language courses begin with a competent consultation and a thorough individual level assessment– a requirement for finding exactly the right course for you. Our courses are structured communicationally and our teaching style based on a mix of modern language teaching and learning methods, always including up-to-date materials and various media. This way we can guarantee interesting and varied classes.

Since we work in small groups, we are able to attend to our students’ needs and interests quite flexibly. It is our aim to create lively and versatile lessons together with you – because this is the only way that language learning is really fun! 

Our experienced teachers are native speakers with a university diploma and relevant additional qualification in the field of teaching their language. Our courses and examinations are oriented at internationally recognised standards and at the "Common European Framework for Languages" (CEF) by the European Council. For an overview please click on LEVELS.
 

TANDEM, as the name suggests, favours a cooperative approach to teaching. Students and teachers should meet at eye level, with teachers being open to the needs and interests of their students. In exchange, we also expect our students to accept our style and our methods, to be punctual and to participate actively in class. We are convinced that this will help to develop a trusting and positive classroom atmosphere which supports language learning and makes it more efficient. Of course we do not only ask for active participation in our classes, we also support its development by focussing on social, and therefore linguistic, interaction in our teaching.

Again and again, different social forms (e.g., pair and group work) and topics, which are oriented towards the needs and wishes of our students, encourage genuine linguistic exchange. We make sure that the basic skills of speaking a language –  speaking, reading, writing and listening – are equally trained.

Practically speaking, this means:

We do not plough though the course book page by page, but rather select focus areas. The book sets a central theme for the grammatical progression, provides thematic inspiration, offers practice material, also for self study, and helps course participants to get their bearings (Where am I in my studies? What’s next? What should I know by now?) Methodologically, the mix of the various possibilities and social forms of teaching is what makes it here.

The time “gained” is used to actually apply what has been learned, which is why TANDEM has developed the innovative “talk-it-easy”-units. These serve as great motivators for the implementation of a pragmatic basic grammar.  

Common elements of these regular units are:

  • The teachers see themselves as experts in the language to be learned, but otherwise as moderators of open, interactive, not (or only slightly) controlled lessons.
  • Free communication: There are no guidelines, the students choose "their" topic. Sometimes the teacher has to endure some moments of murmur and silence before the real action starts.
  • Talk show: the teacher gives the talk show - yes, exactly like on TV! - on one of the big or small topics that are buzzing around millions of times. He or she asks the students for their opinion.
  • Discussion circles without a table, book, pen, paper or mobile phone (!): The teacher provokes the students by asking them questions, using the vocabulary and grammar of the previous day.
  • Partner conversations and interviews
  • Outdoor activities: try out and experience yourself in real-life situations - with subsequent reflection
  • Open Wednesday: For a short time on this day, no paper is used in class. See what happens!
  • Almost every day, listen to the latest news, watch it, in 100 seconds with Deutsche Welle, and talk about it.
  • Stationary learning: encouraging students to choose what they want to repeat, practice or acquire independently from a potpourri of material in the classroom.
  • Vocabulary battle: motivating students to learn vocabulary from context / through similarities to other languages.

Aim: to reduce looking up words in the dictionary.

  • Project work: the pupils should research a topic independently. Initial lack of enthusiasm almost always dissolves into feelings of success in the end.
  • And outside the classroom: consciously listening. What do the Germans say? On the train, while shopping, in a café ... (as homework and reflection the next day)

With this communicative and open approach, we create real opportunities for discussion and learning, promote the linguistic and (inter)cultural self-confidence of our students and encourage them to use language creatively.

Last but not least, the social skills of the teacher are equally important to us as the professional ones. This means, should group dynamic processes lead to problems, our teachers can deal with them, address them openly if necessary and search for a solution together with the group.

A "feedback round", at the latest by the middle of the course, serves to identify (latent) issues, but also to emphasize positive aspects of the lessons. In this way, frustrations can be avoided and elements that promote learning can be strengthened.

Tandem Köln

TANDEM Köln

Rolandstr. 57
D-50677 Köln

+49.(0)221.310 10 30
Fax: +49.(0)221.310 10 74

info@tandem-koeln.de
Skype: tandemkoeln

Office hours:

Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and
4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Fridays for Future 10 a.m. -  4 p.m.

Info