Classroom Tandem: A Model for Language Learning and Teaching

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This paper is based on the Classroom Tandem project (2012–2015), where the classroom tandem model was developed and implemented on a co-located Finnish and Swedish upper secondary school campus in a bilingual city in Finland. The classroom tandem model was developed for curriculum-based second national language instruction – that is, Swedish for Finnish speakers and Finnish for Swedish speakers. This implies cooperation between two different language groups and school systems, two teachers and two students. The project was built on action research based cooperation between language teachers and researchers, and thus combined the teachers’ practical development of classroom work and research-based theoretical understanding of tandem as a model for language learning and instruction. This paper presents the action research model used in the project as well as three sub-studies aimed at describing the interaction between the L2 learner, the L1 user and the language teacher in classroom tandem. The empirical data consist of video recordings of student–student and student–teacher interactions in the classroom. We studied how the teacher and students in and through an orientation to their different roles also oriented to language and learning. The results show that the classroom tandem model provides opportunities for peers to scaffold and support each other’s language learning, and that the teacher has an important role as a language expert and as a coach supporting both partners’ participation in the tandem cooperation and learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLernprozesse im Tandem – ermöglichen, begleiten, erforschen
EditorsEnke Spänkuch, Tim Dittmann, Bianca Seeliger-Mächler, Heidrun Peters, Astrid Buschmann-Göbels
PublisherGiessen University Library
ISBN (Print)978-3-944682-39-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternationalen wissenschaftlichen Tandem-Tagung - Internationalen wissenschaftlichen Tandem-Tagung
Duration: 23 Mar 201725 Mar 2017


ConferenceInternationalen wissenschaftlichen Tandem-Tagung


  • Action Research
  • Classroom tandem
  • Tandem Language Learning


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