Exchanging language and culture during the TANDEM events

Jul 27, 2022News

CSC Danilo Dolci, the coordinator of the TANDEM project, has organized two events which offered Italians and foreigners a journey of exchange, sharing and learning.

The first event was held on the 27th of June in collaboration with Giocherenda. Giocherenda means “solidarity, awareness of interdependence, strengths through sharing, the job of doing things together” in Pulaar – an African language. It consists of a group of young migrants who run a social enterprise, a toy shop, and also a tailor. It was thus the perfect place to organize an exchange between cultures and languages.

During the event, the TANDEM project was presented and time was reserved for experiencing some practical activities with all the participants, such as ice-breakers to create a good environment and trust each other, activities to exchange personal stories, and learn new words through visual materials on cultural topics. During these activities, participants really opened up and shared personal stories, listened and supported each other, laughed and almost cry together. A special evening which will remain long in the memories of who attended, made possible due to the TANDEM methodology, and tools and due to the stimulating games provided by Giocherenda.

The second event, organized in collaboration with Lab360 reached a very special audience, consisting of people from different reception centres and shelters for young adults (both Italians and migrants) in Palermo. Lab360 is a newly opened space coordinated by cooperative libera…mente in which several workshops and trainings have been started for people with fewer opportunities. The event created a unique opportunity for Italians and migrants to meet in a safe environment and exchange language and culture while learning new things, while at the same time offering an opportunity for social workers to attend the event and learn about language teaching with TBLT and the potential of language cafés. For many Italians, it was the first time to participate in such an event and exchange but everyone participated actively and many new discoveries were made about countries, languages and food.

23 people attended the event, and another 11 attended the event at Giocherenda, representing a wide range of countries including Somalia, Bangladesh, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Mauritius, Tunisia and Egypt. The feedback was very positive, from “opening up new worlds” to the request to do these kinds of activities more often and continuously. It contributed to a real exchange between locals and migrants, thus increasing the linguistic competences and intercultural awareness of both groups. The TANDEM project has almost come to an end. You can now find all the results of the project on the project website: www.teachyourlanguage.eu. These resources are made for migrants but also interesting for language teachers, volunteers, and adult education centres.

TANDEM is a 34-month project funded by the Erasmus+ programme: Key Action 2 – Strategic Partnerships in Adult Education. The project aims to improve migrants’ key and work competences, enabling them to capitalise on their language skills through an innovative learning opportunity based on non-formal methodologies and promoting cultural exchange and peer-to-peer learning between immigrants and local adults.


To keep up to date with the project or if you want to be involved, please check our websitethe Facebook page or subscribe to our newsletter by writing an email to Vidjaya.thelen@danilodolci.org