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Increasing a Sense of Belonging for BME Students via the Tandem Project

Language and culture are deeply intertwined, and language learning cannot be separated from culture. The culture of learning is an essential aspect of language acquisition, and it refers to the norms, values and beliefs that influence how individuals approach language learning and communication. If the culture of learning is underestimated, it may cause stereotypes and prejudices towards certain national or ethnic groups of students who might feel stigmatised and marginalised.

King’s Language Centre (LC) and King’s Foundations (KF) will be joining forces to create an interdepartmental, student-led tandem project that will focus on the implication of internalisation for teaching and learning process between international students from BME backgrounds and home students to explore different cultures of learning including learning belief, practices and social participation and classroom communication.

This project is a cultural and language exchange programme that brings students from different backgrounds together in meaningful ways to exchange learning culture experiences and assist language learning, while at the same time ensuring that students of all backgrounds feel that the learning environment is welcoming, inclusive, supportive, and equitable. 

This project is also in line with King’s 2029 Strategic Vision to implement internationalisation at home to enable a sustainable and systematic approach to developing students’ intercultural competence. 


This project aims to address and fulfil the need for a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for international students.  


  • Develop understanding and appreciation of students’ different cultures of learning.
  • Develop students’ language and cultural competency and commitment to racial and ethnic equality and raise their awareness of diversity issues
  • Improve participation and engagement in the classroom to lead to an inclusive, diverse and healthy learning environment
  • Create opportunities for students to connect beyond friendship groups in meaningful ways
  • Enhance the quality of pedagogical aspects of internationalisation at home for all students


The project's success in meeting its objectives can be evaluated through various methods, including surveys and feedback from participants and group interviews. This project will lead to a well-designed resource book, project report, conference presentation and academic paper. 


The project will involve international students from Asian backgrounds and home students and academic and professional service staff members from LC and KF. The academic staff will work together with the LC Language Resources team to actively get involved in the project’s planning and implementation and to provide training, and support for 6 students to become group leaders.  

The project will pair international students with home students to engage in language and cultural exchange, and students will work independently in pairs with support from their group leaders to organise their meetings regularly throughout the year.  Through this project, students will be able to break barriers, share experiences and build a sense of belonging for all participants.

The project will develop materials and resources related to the different cultures of learning and incorporate cultural sensitivity and awareness into language education and learning environment to promote smooth intercultural communication. 

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigators