Café Lingua and Tandem

Meet people, learn languages and earn credits in a casual way!

Café Lingua

Cafe Lingua is a weekly event arranged by the Languages and Communication and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), where both Finnish and international students get to meet each other, socialise and even learn different languages from their native speakers in a casual and fun way.
The activities in the events vary, but you get to discuss contemporary or otherwise fascinating topics and play board games, for example, as well as create stronger bonds with people from different cultures. The languages represented in Cafe Lingua depend on the participants, but you can expect to hear and learn languages such as Finnish, English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Chinese and Arabic. Cafe Lingua is also a great place to meet someone to do tandem studies with, so keep that in mind!
You don't have to sign up for the Cafe Lingua events, all you have to do is show up. Welcome! 
The Café Lingua-events will be organised adhering to the COVID-19 safety instructions. Only attend if you are symptom-free, please!

Time: Wednesdays 17 - 19. First meeting 16.9. 2020 and the last meeting 16.12.2020.

Place: Restaurant Napa

It is also possible to earn credits from Café Lingua. Visit the Café and always keep your Café Lingua passport with you.
In the end of the semester, write a 1-page long report, where you will discuss and reflect on your time in Café Lingua. You can talk about, for example, your language learning experiences in Café Lingua, some of the activities that you took part in and how well they worked for you, as well as how you are planning to brush up your language skills in future.
Our contact teacher for Café Lingua is Kari-Pekka Kallunki. Send your report and a picture of the passport to him by e-mail. You can also leave them to our mail box in Koneenkatu, just near the stairs (T2).

Tandem studies

Get a native speaking pair and learn languages together!

Tandem is a study exchange programme in which students work together in pairs (or occasionally trios), each participant being a native speaker of his/her partner's target language; thus both can share information about their own language and culture. The other language should always be Finnish.


  • To have the chance to get to know the target language and culture under the guidance of a native speaker, as well as improve oral communication. In exchange, the native speaker can share information about his/her own culture and way of life.

  • To use both languages equally so as to offer both language speakers practice in the target language.

  • To increase contacts between Finnish and foreign students.

  • To help foreign students adapt to life in Finland and provide the Finnish students with the opportunity to have cross-cultural contacts.

Target group
The course is intended for all the students of the University of Oulu and language levels include all language skills levels, including beginners level.
How to study in the tandem programme
The pairs meet on a regular basis each week to discuss pre-arranged topics. The course content is agreed upon at the beginning of the course together with the tutor, and learning progress reports are made after each meeting by means of a journal. There are meetings with the tutor during the course and at the end.
The course is optional and cannot be used to replace another language course. In one language the maximum amount of credits that you can complete is 4 credits.
2 ECTS requires 54 hours of time and this includes:
  • meetings with the Tandem partner ca. 30 hrs (e.g. 15 times)
  • independent work and preparation ca. 12 hrs
  • writing the journal ca. 6 hrs
  • writing the final report ca. 6 hrs
The amount of hours spent in different tasks can be negotiated with the Tandem tutor. It is also possible to complete Tandem as a 3 or 4 credit course.
The phases of the programme
Tandem study has three phases:
Phase 1
  • contact the teacher of the target language and inform her/him that you are willing to start tandem.
  • after you have found a partner your task is to set learning outcomes (what do you want to learn) together and make a study plan for your tandem programme
  • arrange a meeting with your tutor  to discuss your plans and how to proceed
Phase 2
  • meet each other 1–2 times a week (on a regular basis, about 2 hours /meeting); total amount of meetings is 14–15 times
  • prepare the meetings in advance
  • study both languages and cultures effectively and equally
  • make notes after each meeting in a journal
  • arrange a meeting with your tutor if needed    
Phase 3
  • all the participants write a final report in which you evaluate your learning
  • arrange a final meeting with your tutor to discuss the learning outcomes
  • bring the final report to the final meeting
Notice! Contents of different phases may vary according to the tutor.
What sorts of things can you study in Tandem?
The content of Tandem study is planned together with the partner/group according to both’s interests and learning outcomes. It is good to start planning with thinking about themes for your programme. Popular culture themes have been for example the food culture of the target country, movies and literature, social issues (e.g. education, political system), people’s manners and things that belong to ordinary everyday life and student life.
Besides the cultural themes you should also keep language studying in mind. Language studies can be connected with the above-mentioned themes or separate topics can be planned for practicing in the target language. The topics can be e.g. pronunciation exercises, some grammatical points with oral and written exercises, reading texts together and discussing them, vocabularies of certain fields, speaking exercises of different subjects (e.g. transactions in different places and situations, problem-solving, sharing opinions and argumentation, persuasion, reacting in different situations).
Useful ideas for Tandem-meetings: 
- on Each one teach one -web site of the University of Jyväskylä   (Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication (Movi) / University of Jyväskylä.
- on the Seagull-web site
In the final meeting with the tutor, students will tell about their tandem studies and how successful they were. The tutor will give them either oral or written feedback.
Grading is on a pass/fail basis. To pass the course, the student must attend meetings with a tutor and partner and complete written tasks (a course plan, journal, final report).

Contact teachers for Tandem programmes:

English: Kari-Pekka Kallunki
Italian: Jukka Käräjäoja
Japanese: Takako Karppinen
French: Cécile Rousselet-Karinen 
Swedish: Liisa Niemi
German: Marja Pohjola-Effe 
Finnish: Jukka Käräjäoja
Russian: Ari Hepo-aho
Other languages: Jukka Käräjäoja