Tandem.MINT – Tandem Language Learning Programme

The Tandem Language Learning Programme Tandem.MINT offers students of STEM disciplines (Natural Sciences and Engineering) an individualised and specialised approach of expanding their foreign language skills. Working together with a tandem-partner from a similar field of study, you can test and improve your language proficiency and skills in intercultural communication.
Tandem.MINT is carried out in cooperation with the project ELLI and the University Language Centre (ZFA).

© Georg Oligmüller

© Georg Oligmüller


What is Tandem Language Learning about?

In Tandem Language Learning, you practise a foreign language, e.g. German, in interaction with a tandem-partner who is proficient in your target language as a native speaker or on a comparably high level – in return, you support your tandem-partner in learning your native language.
In contrast to a language course, it is up to you which skills you would like to improve specifically, what you want to focus on, and which approach and resources you would like to use. Thus, learning in a tandem is geared towards the individual objectives and capabilities of both tandem-partners.

What is special about Tandem.MINT? 

In Tandem.MINT, you can practise and expand your foreign language proficiency and skills in intercultural communication.
That your tandem-partner also studies in the field of STEM allows you to pursue a specialised focus and establish connections to your studies. For example, you can discuss subject-specific topics or work with specialised texts.
In doing so, you may learn technical terms and practise describing specific matters and processes or writing typical texts (e.g. lab reports or papers) in the foreign language. This gives you the opportunity to train your language skills even for a specialised context and to acquire technical vocabulary.

How do I benefit from participating?

In the tandem, you improve the foreign language with a hands-on approach, and in an authentic, social context. This way, you become more confident to speak the language in everyday life and in academia. Besides advancing your language skills, you get to know local and international fellow students of similar fields of study and can thus enhance your intercultural competence.
The tandem can therefore be useful to prepare for a (study-related) stay abroad. Moreover, you can practise working together in multilingual and multicultural teams – and thus acquire transferable skills for an increasingly globalised working environment in the sector of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

What are the prerequisites for participation?

  • enrolment at Ruhr-Universität Bochum as a student in Natural Sciences or Engineering disciplines
  • proficiency in the target language: at least level B1 (CEFR)
    [for typologically distant native languages (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Russian): level A2]
  • proficiency in the primary language: native speaker or at least level C1 (CEFR)
  • German or English needs to be either the native / primary language or the target language

How is the programme scheduled?

After registration is closed, we will try to find a matching tandem-partner for you. After that, you establish contact with your tandem-partner independently.
At the beginning of the semester, you participate in an introductory session at the University Language Centre (ZFA). As needed, you may also register for an individual coaching session in order to develop your personal learning objectives.
Throughout the semester, you arrange and plan the individual meetings with your tandem-partner independently. A Tandem-Portfolio provides you with guidelines and suggestions for your tandem-sessions.
The exact schedule depends on whether you intend to obtain a participation certificate or credit points. ⇒ further information: Schedule

When does the programme start? How do I register?

Tandem.MINT was launched in summer semester 2018 as a pilot-project and will be continued in winter semester 2018/19, summer semester 2019 and winter semester 2019/20. It runs over the course of one semester.

For winter semester 2019/20, please apply until September 15th, 2019 using this application form (pdf).
Please send the application form as pdf-file by email to: tandem-mint@rub.de.
Please note: You need to download the form first in order to complete it digitally.

Can I obtain credit points?

You can choose between a certificate-variant and a CP-variant of the programme. In the certificate-variant, you will obtain a participation certificate at the end of the semester based on regular participation. If you want to obtain credit points, it is possible to complete Tandem.MINT as a module (CP-variant). However, recognition is subject to the regulations of your degree programme and/or the decision of the faculty respectively. further information