Go to the U of M home page

Monday, August 19, 2013

TandemPlus Summer Survey

The results are in from Tandem's Summer Survey!

  • 81% of respondents reported hearing about TandemPlus in class or from a friend. Clearly word of mouth is working out well for TandemPlus.

  • 69% of respondents reported meeting with their partner one or more times a week.

  • Of those participants who did not meet regularly, 70% said this was due to them, or their partner, being too busy to meet.

  • Meetings were fairly long on average, as 75% of respondents stated that their meetings lasted between one and three hours per meeting.

All respondents stated improvements in speaking and listening, as well as vocabulary, confidence using the language, and cultural understanding. There were no reports of negative interactions with Tandem Staff. All in all, this summer leaves TandemPlus with a sunny outlook!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Language Center Staff Updates

Please welcome Caroline Vang back to the Language Center. She has rejoined the department in the position of Classroom Support / Professional Development Specialist. Caroline assisted with classroom support coordination during Spring 2013. Since then, she has completed her MA in the ESL program, with a research topic related to Japanese heritage learners. She taught ESL full-time this summer, and plans to combine her work at the Language Center with teaching Fall 2013.

We also have a new Assistant Office Coordinator: Rachel Sherman Johnson. Rachel is new to the Language Center, but not to the university. Rachel just returned from South Korea, where she has been working as an EFL instructor. She is a PhD student in CIDE. She previously worked at this university's Learning Abroad Center, and also served as the Coordinator of Asian Studies for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.

We also wish congratulations and farewell to Jenny Boe and Meghan McFadden, who have completed their degree or program and are moving on to teaching Fall 2013. Jenny received her MA in ESL, and Meghan completed the SLC M.Ed initial licensure program for teaching K-12 French and ESL. Both Jenny and Meghan have been with the Language Center since they were undergraduates, and we are fortunate to have had them in our department for so long, and in so many roles. Jenny has served as an undergraduate Office Assistant, a clerical employee, and both an Assistant Office Coordinator and a Classroom Support Coordinator. Meghan started out as a Classroom Support Assistant, and has provided leadership in almost every area at the Language Center since, serving as a Classroom Support Coordinator, interim Lab Coordinator and part of the Testing development team.

Monday, August 5, 2013

TandemPlus Summer Update

The TandemPlus summer session is coming to an end. With the registration for summer now closed, and virtually all possible matches completed, Tandem matched 63% of interested students, and served a total of 149 participants. The most commonly matched languages were English & Spanish and English & Japanese.

The most common partner requests were English speakers seeking Spanish speakers, Chinese speakers seeking English speakers, and Arabic speakers seeking English speakers. Unfortunately, few Arabic language students registered this summer, although we did see an increase in Chinese language learners. We hope to see this number increase in the coming year. In other words, if you are learning Arabic or Chinese, please sign up for TandemPlus!