The State University of Northern Paraná (UENP), through its International Relations Office, develops the Teletandem project, which promotes foreign language learning in an autonomous way and provides a context for the language’s real use. These mentioned activities have been developed since 2018 through the International Languages Center.
Teletandem is a context of foreign language learning and teaching, a virtual linguistic exchange that connects foreign language students from the internal and external UENP community with Portuguese students from foreign universities. We mention the partnership between UENP and Tufts University - USA, in which students mutually help one another practice each other’s language. Teletandem is open to all in a remote and free manner through registration during the offer period. Currently, 203 students have participated in the virtual linguistic exchange through the program, a practice that has enabled student development in a collaborative way, guided by the principles of autonomy, language separation, and reciprocity. Besides that, the program has pedagogical support from professors/tutors at the International Languages Center, who help with reflection over the learning process. Therefore, Teletandem is neither a foreign language private class nor an informal chat with a foreign friend; quite the contrary, it is a virtual collaboration in a balanced global context in which participants assume power roles.
William Messias Pereira Secco - Teletandem Mediator
Fernanda Tamarozi de Oliveira - Teletandem Mediator
Danielly Bruna Pereira Ribeiro - Pedagogical Support
Q: Is there a certification by the end of the course?
A: If the student participates in the necessary interactions and mediations and takes the final evaluative activity, yes - 15 hours for all the activities.
Q: Are there classes on Teletandem?
A: Teletandem is an alternative language learning environment where participating students interact in pairs made up of one Portuguese student from a foreign university, learning and teaching through collaborative virtual linguistic exchange.
Q: Are the classes in person?
Q: Can I give up the course?
A: Yes, but it is needed to reach out to the mediator and explain the reason previously.
Q: What should I do if I miss a class?
A: You need to inform the mediator previously in order to find a common date with your partner so that the new one replaces the previous.
Q: Am I going to teach my partner to speak my language?
A: Teletandem's interaction goals happen through the principles of autonomy, reciprocity, and equality. There is the possibility of sharing the knowledge one has about its fluent language by clarifying eventual doubts and sharing information on cultural expressions, slangs, and personal perspectives.
Q: What kind of subject can I talk to my partner?
A: During the interactions, the themes are free. Through mediations, some of them are indicated to be discussed upon, according to the diary interaction reports.
Q: What are interaction diaries?
A: Those are the forms that participants fill in by the end of each interaction, sharing on the virtual meeting, its discussed themes, on eventual doubts among other information.
Q: Do I need to speak in English?
A: The interactions are made over equal periods of time (for example: 20 minutes speaking only in Portuguese and 20 minutes speaking in English). It is necessary to understand requests, ask questions, and give out information in English.