Two2Tango - Tandems for Teaching in English 2018-2019


Jennifer Valcke

Education Developer

I am an Educational Developer and Senior Lecturer for the Unit for Medical Education (UME) at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden. My role includes teaching, training and advising on issues related to intercultural education and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). I provide support and prepare teaching staff for the challenges of the multilingual and multicultural learning space; I am involved in ensuring quality in English-Medium Instruction (EMI); and I also provide support for educational leaders to implement KI’s internationalisation strategy. I moved to Sweden in 2015 from Brussels, and have also lived in Lagos (Nigeria) and Edinburgh. I speak English, French, Italian and am learning Spanish and Swedish.

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Frédéric Subra
Tito Caffi


Welcome to Two2Tango, your online tandem!

This platform is dedicated to university teachers from Université de Mons (Mons, Belgium), Tampere University of Technology (Tampere, Finland), Universidad Complutense Madrid (Madrid, Spain), Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden), Universidad San Jorge (Zaragoza, Spain), Haute école Léonard de Vinci (Brussels, Belgium), Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (Copenhagen, Denmark), Université de Bordeaux (Bordeaux, France), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan, Italy), Universidad de Cádiz (Cádiz, Spain), and Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) who wish to develop their English language skills, their teaching skills and their intercultural awareness for teaching in the international classroom. That's 11 universities in 7 different countries!

Two2Tango was borne out of the collaboration between Elena Romero Alfaro from the University of Cadiz and Jennifer Valcke from the Karolinska Institute. Watch a welcome video from Elena and a short video from 2016-2017 participants!

Join us to discuss issues about teaching through English and develop your language skills, while exchanging your reflections within a community of practice. Because learning is a social construct. Because it takes two to tango!

This online tandem will provide you with a variety of opportunities to improve your oral communication skills alongside the teaching skills needed for the international classroom. Hopefully, you will achieve a number of objectives, such as:

  • Reflect thoughtfully about your teaching practice and your language learning
  • Reflect on the international classroom and on harnessing its cultural diversity
  • Receive and respond to individualized feedback on your own reflections from both the instructor and your peers
  • Discuss issues to do with teaching in English with someone else in the same boat.
  • Dedicate time outside of teaching for academic speaking practice, and, thereby help improve fluency
  • Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a speaker/listener and be able to identify resources to help you to improve
  • Feel confident about teaching in English
  • Feel comfortable speaking about a variety of academic topics and communicating with an academic audience

The online tandem is divided into 6 modules, spreading from December 2018 to May 2019, with a final assignment to be done in June 2019. Each module focusses on an important issue to do with the international classroom, you will be asked to do the preparatory reading and watch videos before you have an online conversation with your assigned tandem partner. At the end of each module, you will be asked to post your thoughts and ideas on the discussion forums and exchange with the whole Two2Tango community.

The final assignment requires you to interview one (or more) of your students and to use all you have learned from this course to reflect on the challenges students face in your classroom. This is an individual assignment, which you will discuss with your peers at the end of the course in June 2019. Since this involves you organising and preparing such an interview, the instructions are already available now. You do not need to wait until June to perform the interview, so feel free to organise this activity when it best suits your schedule.

Each tandem will have one month to complete one module, except for module 1 which is spread over December 2018 and January 2019. Make sure you stick to the timeline below so that online discussions can be synchronised. Modules will open and close on the dates below, once the deadline has passed you will no longer be able to post your assignments.

Timeline of the tandem project 2018-2019

Two2Tango starts 

  3 Dec: Two2Tango opens, watch one video presenting the T2T team
  and one video with an overview of the course.

  3-17 Dec: Initial self-assessment


Module 1 - Presentations & Teaching

  18-31 Dec: pre-task

  1-18 Jan: task

  21-25 Jan: post-task

  28 Jan-1 Feb: online discussions

Feb Module 2 - English as a lingua franca (ELF)

  4-8 Feb: pre-task

  11-15 Feb: task

  18 Feb: post-task

  19-22 Feb: online discussions
Feb-Mar Module 3 - Competences of the CLIL teacher

  25 Feb-1 Mar: pre-task

  4-8 Mar: task

  11 Mar : post-task

  12-15 Mar: online discussions
Mar-Apr Module 4 - Cultures of learning

  18-22 Mar: pre-task

  25-29 Mar: task

  1 Apr: post-task

  2-5 Apr: online discussions
Apr-May Module 5 - Managing group work

  8-12 Apr: pre-task

  22-26 Apr: task

  29 Apr: post-task

  30-3 May: online discussions
May Module 6 - Assessing in English

  6-10 May: pre-task

  13-17 May: task

  20 May: post-task

  21-24 May: online discussions

Final assignment - The student interview

  27 May-14 Jun: draft your assignment

  17 Jun: submit your assignment and post in discussion forum

  18-21 Jun: online discussions

   28 Jun: end of course + certificate

In each module, you will have to go to the Tasks section and do the following:

  • Pre-task
    • Read the text(s) and/or watch the video(s). They can be found in the section "Tasks".
  • Task
    • Discuss your reflections with your tandem partner online using Skype, use the conversation starters to help you form your opinion and inform your discussion with your partner. Your discussion needs to be at least 60 minutes long. Make sure you give your Skype address to your facilitator.
  • Post-task
    • Write a brief summary (half A4 page maximum) of your own reflections in the assignments section and copy/paste your text in the "Discussions" section for the whole community to see.
    • You will then have to comment in the same "Discussions" section on 3 other summaries (not your partner's, of course). Please make sure you try to interact with different participants for every module.

The tandem is meant as an informal means of communicating with a like-minded colleague about questions, comments, and ideas related to English-Medium Instruction (EMI) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in higher education.

It is also a way to reflect upon your language learning and course content, as well as practise English outside the classroom. You are welcome to discuss ideas you might have about a particular issue related to your field.

Some ideas for responding to the assigned tasks might include:

  • Discussing your opinion about an article, or video
  • Relating the topic to a personal experience or additional knowledge you have
  • Compare what you have learned to a similar event/issue/situation in your home institution.

The course is equivalent to 2-weeks full-time study (3 ECTS) and you will receive a completion certificate at the end of the course, provided you have submitted all tasks and assignments on time.

To get started:

  1. Go to the Google document (available from 10th December 2018 only) and find out who your tandem partner is, who your facilitator is, and how to contact them.
  2. Go to settings and write a bit about yourself and add a photo. This is a friendly way for other participants to get to know you.
  3. Go to the "Tasks" section and answer the "Initial self-assessment".

    If you are having problems, contact your course facilitator directly.

    Have fun! Amusez-vous! Ha så kul! ¡que te diviertas! Pidä hauskaa! Hav det sjovt! Buon divertimento!

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