This is an individual question, because we are all learning in different ways.
We want to make sure that your tandem-meetings are based on productive and fun learning methods! Therefore we have listed some options for you and your tandem-partner below:
Do you like listening to lyrics in songs?
If so, this could be a useful tool for you. Find a good song that could have interest for your tandem-partner and tell him/her to listen to it a few times before you meet. Let him do a small presentation of the song, and see what he gets out of the lyrics. Then, afterwards you listen to the song together, and your tandem-partner tries to translate the lyrics while you explain or correct him/her.
Find a song on YouTube with lyrics in the video, or find lyrics separately.
It’s a good idea to choose a song that is famous in your country. This way your tandem-partner will be able to recognize the song in public or in bars.
Do you learn through seeing and using words while writing? Then you could consider writing a short story for your tandem-partner. Choose 5 words you must use in the story. This way you learn in what context you use the specific words. Ask your tandem-partner to correct it.
You could also find articles in the language level your tandem-partner can understand. For example, the newspaper www.mx.dk in Denmark, would be a good choice because they have short articles with an easy use of the Danish language. Make your tandem-partner present the article and let him explain what he understands of the story. Afterwards you discuss the subject further, and you can also correct the mistakes.
If this is too much preparation you can also just look at articles together when you meet, and read it together. You can also read the article out loud.
If you are more in to books, then choose a good book.
Gold advice: Get yourself a notebook or create a note on your smartphone with new words and phrases. Practise and memorize them regularly. This will increase your vocabulary.
You can practise a simple dialogue and practise it a few times repeatedly. Speed up the dialogue when you get the hang of it, so you can hear how locals say it. Then, swap the dialogue so you have the lines of your tandem-partner. Remember to try and say the lines just as he/she did. This way you will be able to sound even more native in your pronunciation!
TP1: Hello, have you seen the news?
TP2: No what happened?
TP1: A famous artist just announced that he is coming to play on our local pub!
TP2: No way, when?
TP1: Tonight! Do you want to come?
Are you the type of person who learns by doing? Then you should consider doing different activities with your tandem-partner. The possibilities are countless!
For example you could take a walk in the forest.
Before the walk you practise 5-10 new words about the forest, which makes you able to talk about the nature. These words could be squirrel, tree, grass, leaves, deer etc.
Or silly words like, scarecrow, dog shit or mud throwing. In the beginning you can describe the forest, and later on, see if you can create silly stories, with the new words you have just learned.
You can also go to a football match and enjoy an afternoon at the stadium. Here, the words could be, throw, kick, penalty, shitty judge and goal!
How do you learn? Leave a comment and share your experiences!
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