App review: Tandem

Today I want to start a new tradition of sharing useful language app reviews. These reviews will be interesting for those who study not only Finnish but other languages as well, that is why I mark this post with #languagecoach hashtag (meaning that it is applicable for learning different languages).

So, what we have:

Name: Tandem
URL: (and mobile phone apps, of course)
Concept: You set the preferred language and other preferences (mainly geographical location. native/non-native speaker and gender) to get the list of suggested language tandem partners. You can also find paid tutor profiles here.

I have used this app a bit to learn Chinese and a bit of German and Swedish. I have set location to Helsinki or Finland to find people who share common interests and restricted gender to female (unfortunately, it seems that some users may still confuse language learning platform with a dating platform). People use the app quite actively and you get responses in form of messages or calls fast and then you can agree on meetings or moving to other communication channels. You can also give reviews to user profiles if, for instance, someone has helped you in learning.

To say it honestly, using this app demands a lot of dedication as any live communication does. That is why I used it mainly in summer, before my official enrolment to a new master degree started, and now I focus on language games apps. However, this dedication pays off - you get a lot of motivation from other users and even more about you native language (when someone asks you to help with the homework or asks really tricky questions). To make it a habit and find enough time for using the app, I would advise to make a habit of checking messages (and replying instantly!) 2-3 times per day.