As I have mentioned in some previous posts I study at the University of Nevada, Reno. In my university, they have an Intensive English Learning Center, IELC for short. I’m not sure if this is common in many universities or not but either way, the one at UNR has a conversation partner program. The program involves volunteers who speak English well, signing up to be a conversation partner for a student in the center.

They can pick one or more languages, for example when I signed up to be a conversation partner I picked Spanish, and Korean, so that means that I want to be partnered with someone who speaks either of those languages.

It is almost like a language exchange program, where you get matched with someone and you set up regular meetings with the purpose of helping each other. I recently found out about this and signed up and just got matched with a Korean speaker. We had our first official conversation partner meeting yesterday. As we were talking and answering each other’s questions about English and Korean, respectively, I realized what a great language resource this is.

If you live near a major university, go and find out if they have they have an English learning center, and if they do ask if they have a program like this, and if they don’t you can still tell the office that you want to start such a program. You can also just contact some international students in the university and get things rolling from there. You are going to benefit from it just as much as the students who want to learn English.

Ready. Set. Conversate!

Mahsa

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