The Tandem Language Learning (Tandem Learning) sessions of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) and Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS) have concluded this December. The Tandem Learning program is part of the Academic Cooperation Agreement (ACA) between UPD and KUFS under its academic, cultural, and research exchange agenda. It aims to promote linguistic and intercultural awareness among Japanese and Filipino students through language exchange. Now in its third year, the program has continually provided opportunities for students to practice their language skills by conversing in their target language with the help of fellow language learners.

This semester, the Hapon 10 (Elementary Japanese 1) and Hapon 11 (Elementary Japanese 2) classes of Profs. Roelia Alvarez, Junilo Espiritu, and Michael Manahan were selected to participate in the program. The English classes of Prof. Jehan Cruz were the partner classes from KUFS. The 8-week synchronous language exchange sessions were held via Zoom wherein the Tandem Learning participants were pre-assigned a topic to facilitate their language exchange. Aside from providing students with a platform that enabled them to learn more about and practice using their target languages, the program also allowed students to get to know to more about each other’s culture, i.e., Filipino and Japanese culture, and form friendships with each other as many of the student participants have also chosen to continue their exchange beyond the classroom and course requirements.

In 2019, the first iteration of the online Tandem Learning program was integrated into the classes of UPD Profs. Michael Manahan and Ria Rafael and KUFS Profs. Jehan Cruz and Robert McClung. During the pandemic, the Tandem Learning program of UPD and KUFS continued and has been integrated into the Japanese and English classes of both universities. Selected language classes will once again have the chance to participate in these Tandem Learning sessions next semester.

The UPD x KUFS Tandem Learning Project Coordinators are Profs. Jehan Cruz, Michael Manahan, and Ria Rafael. For information about the Tandem Learning program, you may email us at

Published by UP Department of Linguistics