The Project

The presence of migrants is a reality in Europe and has been increasing since 2015. A part of those newly-arrived migrants is low-skilled. In Europe, non-natives and especially non-EU have higher unemployment rates (Eurostat, 2017) compared to natives and this gap increases when being low-skilled. At the same time, migrants face problems of overqualification and/or difficulties with recognition of skills in the new country, (migrants are 12% more likely to be overqualified than natives, OECD, 2018).

At the same time, about 20% of the adults in Europe lack essential skills and competences in literacy, numeracy and about 25% lack ICT skills (PIAAC, 2016). Education and skills increase employability, but, adults with lower skill levels are less likely to participate in learning activities: this represents a challenge for the one in four unemployed who has low literacy and numeracy skills. Also, lower-skilled adults have more difficulty to find a job than educated ones (Eurostat, 2018).

Low skills and unemployment increase the risk of social and economic exclusion. There is therefore not just a need for new possibilities to increase skills and employability, but also for new ways to recognize skills and competences acquired through non-formal learning.

According to the European Parliament (2006) key competences for empowerment, social inclusion and employability include:

Ability to community in mother tongue and foreign languages

Cultural awareness and expression

Digital competences


Therefore, TANDEM aims to improve the key competences and employability of migrants and adults by enabling migrants to capitalize their existing linguistic abilities and teaching their language to other local adults, using innovative and non-formal methodologies, promoting in this way cultural exchanges and peer-learning.

TANDEM shall hence develop an innovative upskilling pathway based on the Task-Based Language Teaching methodology, providing migrants with a set of tools enabling them to teach their languages, and by doing so, increase the competences of both themselves and local adults.



More specifically, the TANDEM project aims:

To design and deploy an innovative upskilling pathway

To design and deploy an innovative upskilling pathway addressed to migrant adults based on the capitalisation of pre-existing language skills as well as the improvement of their local language skills, thus opening new employment opportunities

To foster the development of key competences among migrant

To foster the development of key competences among migrant adults by proposing an innovative language teaching methodology based on the joint use of task-based language teaching (TBLT), non-formal approaches, creativity and digital skills;

To raise migrants’ awareness of the value of language skills

To raise migrants’ awareness of the value of language skills they already possess, turning their competences into assets and motivating them to use their skills to create concrete employment opportunities;

To improve linguistic abilities both among migrants and local people

To improve linguistic abilities both among migrants and local people, creating concrete opportunities for exchange and interaction among different communities, and triggering a cascade effect on local communities through the implementation of open language teaching initiatives;

To promote social inclusion of migrant adults

To promote social inclusion of migrant adults, by encouraging intercultural dialogue between migrant and local people, enhancing a sense of belonging to a shared community


Migrants over 18 y.o.

struggling to find employment, who have had little education or are lacking necessary skills, or who have difficulties having their skills/credentials/studies recognized in the new country, and who are interested in teaching their first or second language;

Local adults

who struggle with finding employment due to low levels of education or skills, and who are interested in learning a new language that can help them increase their employability;


working with migrant adults and adults who want to learn more about innovative and non-formal methodologies that can create upskilling pathways for adults at risk of economic and social exclusion.

Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT)

Tell me and I’ll forget;
show me and I may remember;

involve me and I’ll understand.

– Chinese Proverb –

In the TANDEM project, Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) will be used as the main methodology through which migrants will teach their language to other adults.

What is TBLT?

Very generally, Task-Based language teaching includes asking students to do meaningful tasks using the target language. The assessment is primarily based on task outcome, instead of focussing on grammar structures or accuracy of language forms. Such tasks can include visiting a doctor, conducting an interview, or calling customer service for help or other tasks that relate to creating meaning and communication. 

To get some more ideas about Task-based language teaching, you can read the “Open Textbook on TBLT” developed by the partnership.

Why TBLT in the TANDEM project?

Adapted for adults who are not used to traditional school settings:

  • TBLT does not require a traditional classroom setting nor structure;
  • Can be easily adapted to the needs of learners (and teachers) which will increase motivation.

Adapted for migrants who are not used to teaching as teachers:

  • No need for existing teaching skills or experiences;
  • Non-formal teaching;
  • International methods that can be used for any language;
  • The method promotes cultural exchange, recognition of skills, and combats stereotypes.