On 3 October, in the Patriots' Park in Voronezh, the first meeting of the "Linguistic Tandem" pilot project took place. The project was created by the students of Voronezh State University and supported by the International Student Exchange Office of the International Cooperation Department, and is based on the experience of European and American universities.
The "Linguistic Tandem" is aimed at helping those who need to overcome the linguistic barrier. For three months, the organizers collected the applications from those interested in the project. When there were over 50 applicants, it was decided to arrange an opening meeting.
As a rule, both native speakers (called "tandem partners") teach each other their native languages,which gives the participants a chance to practise their speaking skills in an informal setting. The "tandem partners" can learn the language both in person and via the phone, e-mail, Skype, and any other communication media.
The process of language learning may be organized in different ways: from informal chatting to academic learning using various reference materials and coursebooks. This method is available to anyone interested in their self-education. However, it may not be the best choice for starters; it's better for the participants to be able to build the basic phrases in the foreign language they are studying. On the other hand, it is also effective for those hoping to master their speaking and writing skills.
The project was launched to help both the Russian students to learn foreign languages and to assist international students in learning Russian. Besides, the organizers' goal is to develop mutual understanding between people of different nationalities, religions, and cultures. The programme participants include students from Europe, America, Africa, Central and East Asia.