International students need an outlet for practicing conversational skills in a low-pressure environment. Even international students who are confident with their English ability in an academic setting may have difficulty or anxiety when it comes to casual conversation with native speakers. This can prevent them from making friends with their American classmates, which in turn contributes to many lost opportunities for their English to improve further.
With the new English Conversation Partners Program the CRC will become a place for students to practice all kinds of communication, including conversational English skills and listening skills. The CRC offers a neutral and relaxed space where students can practice conversation with a peer who is trained to help them but does not feel like an authority figure. Our objective is to provide a setting for all students to advance their interpersonal skills by having meaningful face-to-face conversations. Field trips and other activities could provide students a chance to meet in “conversation areas” such as coffee shops within the community.
The English Conversation Partners Program will provide invaluable learning opportunities for Communication and other students in a cross-cultural communication teaching and learning laboratory. Students will learn different kinds of communication skills and how the expression of ideas can vary through various cultures. Exercising cross-cultural communication skills will help our students learn the value of engaging with a diverse student body to prepare them for interacting with diversity in the workplace or personal lives. The program will offer 15 minute and 30-minute conversation options with a peer American student; offering options of what to focus on.
Through our English Conversation Partners Program, students can make appointments to practice English conversation skills with a peer coach including:
- how to talk about certain topics
- conversation tips and strategies
- pronunciation and fluency
- nonverbal communication (eye contact, etc.)
Students can make an appointment online by hitting the button at the top of this page or at the top of the Communication Resource Centers homepage.