Migrants teaching their language to improve their own, and others’ employability. This is TANDEM

Apr 2, 2020News

In common language “TANDEM” stands for a bike for two people, placed one in front of the other with two synchronized pedalboards, two transmission chains and two handlebars that are used to pedal together. If you move forward, it is not only due to your own effort but also that of your companion.

The resulting image – that of movement, sharing the effort, and facing the going ups and downs together – represents at best the challenge of the “TANDEM, TAsk- based language teaching anD collaborative lEarning for upskilling low-qualified Migrants” project. An Eramsus + project, Key Action 2 – strategic partnerships in adult education, involving partners from Greece, Austria, Denmark, Cyprus and Germany, selected for their long experience in the field of innovative educational methodologies and languages, and coordinated by the Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci.

People with a migration background living in Europe often have more difficulties in finding a job than natives, especially if they do not have many skills yet or if they have them but the qualifications obtained in their home countries are not recognised. At the same time, 20% of adults in Europe lack key competences, such as literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

It is within this situation that the TANDEM project offers local and migrant adults a learning opportunity which can improve their key competences and their chances of entering the labour market, yet in such a manner that their effort will be shared. By capitalising on migrants’ language skills through an MOOC training based on a non-formal methodology, the Task Based Language Teaching, creativity and digital skills, TANDEM will promote cultural exchange and peer-to-peer learning between migrants and locals.

In contrast to classical teaching which focusses, for instance, on grammar, TBLT is based on meaningful activities in the target language, such as a job interview, a doctor’s appointment, a telephone reservation or any other activity that conveys meaning.

Personal and professional empowerment, therefore, is activated through a methodology that fosters the process of social interaction and inclusion. Just as the tandem-bike has the function of accompanying people on different routes using the relationship as the engine of movement, the TANDEM Project brings together migrants and locals in their path towards social inclusion and employment. It does so through the teaching and learning languages, but also through cultural awareness, which are all key elements of social cohesion. Because, as Danilo Dolci wrote, communicating means above all “having in common”, “sharing”, “bearing together”.

In this context, TANDEM allows to recover the noblest meaning of the concept of migration as a resource, overturning the short-sighted and stale rhetoric of the “needy migrant”, to embrace the vision of the latter as a person with his own baggage, able to use it in constructive dialogue with others. migrants, in fact, will be the teachers who will make their native languages available to local adults, in a mutual exchange working to face the challenge of entering the labour market.

TANDEM is a 30 months project, funded by the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 – strategic partnerships in the field of adult education.

The partnership is composed of the following organizations:

If you want to know more about the project, to stay up to date about its progress or to be involved, please write to Vidjaya.thelen@danilodolco.org or take a look at the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tandemeuproject