In the six years since tandem UBC — a partner-based conversational language program — launched at the University of British Columbia, its directors never expected to see it become the largest “tandem” style program in the world.
Students at UBC participate in a language exchange offered by tandem UBC, using an innovative learning model in which partners are paired by an online algorithm and converse with each other in their own languages | Photo: UBC tandem Language Learning Program
"When you talk about something, about culture, about language.... It made us friends,"
Moving to a new city and making friends can feel like an insurmountable task — especially when you're also trying to get the hang of a new language.
Coordinator of Language Partners BC, Mary, and program facilitator, Mamo, discuss how language exchanges can help with On the Coast at CBC.
Language Partners B.C. students participate in the mixed Turkish-English program | Photo: Language Partners B.C.
Focused on community-building and learning other languages in a small group setting, ‘profound’ new language exchange set to expand in New Year.
Vancouver language exchange partners Ayla Harker, a Canadian, and Asma Hussein, who is Syrian, took part in Language Partners B.C.'s Arabic-English exchange earlier this year. According to the program's founder Mary Leighton, "neither spoke any of the other language when they started." | Photo by Norma Ibarra
Are you interested in learning Arabic or Turkish, and helping a newly arrived Syrian refugee or new immigrant learn English and adapt to life in Vancouver? Join this pilot program.
One sunny day, participants exchanged Arabic and English outside.
Most language learners today are no strangers to phrasebooks, immersion programs, or Rosetta Stone, but how about using First Nations language learning apps, or watching ultrasound imagery to speak Cantonese, or adopting an Arabic conversation partner?
Conversation partners at a free Arabic-English language exchange for women | Photo by Mary Leighton