The Tandem Traveler - Language Learning for International Travelers
The Tandem Traveler - Language Learning for International Travelers

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About this project

The Tandem Traveler is a Language Program and Mobile App that Teaches Essential Language to Travelers.

Prepare yourself for "off the beaten path" adventures while traveling. We combined our passion for traveling and experiencing the world with expertise in the science of learning known as behavior analysis, to make an easy and effective tool. This program will teach you enough language before your travels to create memories that last a lifetime. 

We have experienced, first hand, the benefits of this program and we are excited to share it with the world.

What it offers:

Save Time: Only Practice What You’ll Use

Each word and phrase within The Tandem Traveler has been hand selected, researched, and tested for its functionality and usefulness while traveling. With a list of words and phrases that are essential to travel, The Tandem Traveler will prepare you for your trip better and in less time than any other program.

Sample Lessons Include:









Practice How the World is Presented to You  

Practice using the language in the same way that you will need to use itwhile in a foreign country. The lessons are designed so that you will be spending your time speaking aloud in the new language and listening and responding to native tongue speakers. There will be no transcribing or recreating sentences by dragging and dropping words. You won't be doing this during your travels, so why practice this way?

Learn Functional Phrases    

Most language programs teach you phrases like “the man is drinking water,” right off the bat. These programs were created to teach to fluent understanding of the language, which means that it takes much longer to learn how to use a phrase to meet your immediate needs. We don’t want to waste your time trying to teach you verb conjugation or sentence structure that won’t be of much use while traveling. 

The Tandem Traveler will teach you phrases that you can immediately apply to get things you need, and respond to the world around you. 

Learning how to say, "The man is drinking coffee" is useless. Learning how to say, "I would like a coffee" will get you a coffee - and at 9 in the morning, while wandering the streets of Italy, this is everything.

Here's What Our Users Say About This:

Science-Based User Experience  

The Tandem Traveler is designed for a simple user experience, powered by best practices in learning and instructional design (read more in “The Science” below). Practice within the app utilizes design strategies that are proven to promote faster learning, longer retention, and better transfer to the real world.

As a user, the app will look like interactive flashcards

You will be presented with a picture of a cup of coffee and the English wordcoffee - just for good measure. At the same time, it will have the translation for coffee written at the top and you will hear a native speaker pronounce the word for you.

In the beginning, you simply press the microphone button and repeat what you heard the native speaker say. If you need to hear it again, just hit the speaker button as many times as you need.

The app will register what you said and through speech recognition, it will give you feedback as to whether you were right or wrong. You progress through the level, getting more practice for the words you spoke incorrectly and allowing you to practice on your own - without the translation or native pronunciation - for for words you are getting correct. Each level is complete with constant feedback and automatic in progression through the levels.

The other skill you need to posses while traveling is being able to listen to native speakers and understand what they are saying to you. To teach and test this, we will again play sound bites of native speakers, this time with no written words presented - after all, you don't get subtitles when listening to others in the real world. You must select the picture that matches what you heard in the new language. 

Prepare for New Settings

The settings where we learn are very different from the world around us when we travel where there are more distractions and pressure to respond quickly. To teach this, we introduce fluency-based learning - or speed-rounds, meaning you learn to  respond quickly and correctly. 

Your goal is to see how many of the interactive flashcards you can correctly respond to in 1 minute - then repeat this 1 minute of practice each day and watch your response speed improve. When the opportunity arises to use one of your new phrases, you will be able to respond correctly and without hesitation.

How The Tandem Traveler is Different

There are many programs out there aimed toward learning languages and translating language for us. We have created The Tandem Traveler to provide something new to travelers. Here is how we differ from the top 3 language learning/translating programs out there. 

  • Google Translate:

Google Translate is a very useful tool for quickly checking how to say something or getting a translation. But it’s not something travelers can rely on for interacting with others in a natural way - we’re not fans of asking a stranger to speak into a phone, or asking them to listen to what the phone spits out.

  • Duolingo

Duolingo is easy, free, convenient, and has very nice gamification. But, from a learning perspective the instruction has many flaws. And as a traveler looking for specific words, it can be downright frustrating.

  • Rosetta Stone

We like the instructional design of Rosetta Stone, and think they do a great job of accomplishing their objectives. But those objectives are different from The Tandem Traveler - here’s how:

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