International Project Helped Students Exchange Language Skills
For the second year in a row, student organization ESN VMU and mentors invite students to take part in the TANDEM international project. Its latest meeting on one eventful mid-October evening brought together 37 students from Lithuania and abroad who taught each other languages in a cozy and playful environment.
Simona Pogaitė, one of the organizers of the event, enthused that the first night lived up to expectations. A large crowd of excited students coming to learn languages was a delightful sight. Even though the main goal of TANDEM is to encourage language exchange – and indeed its participants can expand their vocabularies and improve pronunciation, – it is also a project which promotes learning about cultures of Spain, France, Georgia, Japan and other countries which are native to the foreign students at VMU.
The get-together on October 17 was received very well, thanks at least in part to the chosen informal setting and the prepared team games, which required the students to explain certain cultural symbols and introduce country flags. One of the participants brought up the suggestion to update the Lithuanian flag and insert a potato between its yellow, green and red stripes – apparently, some foreign students had already noticed the dominant role this starchy plant plays in the Lithuanian cuisine.
Roberta Pociūtė, one of the project’s coordinators, could only confirm that this first event was a success because the attending students all had a good time. Some may have learned more than others, but, nevertheless, this was also an opportunity to take a peek at different cultures and let imaginations run wild. Simona Pogaitė added that implementing TANDEM has not been difficult because all of its coordinators brought great ideas and thoughts which helped make the project materialize.
Agnė Bušeikaitė, also responsible for carrying out the project, agreed that TANDEM is, fittingly, result of good teamwork. The project’s concept itself is multidimensional: TANDEM not only gives the opportunity to improve foreign language skills, but also helps people from different cultural backgrounds learn to work as a team.
The next TANDEM meeting is scheduled for the end of November.