English Conversation Program

English Conversation Program


What is the English Conversation Program?

The main objective of the English Conversation Program is to enhance spoken English Skills and to increase confidence in using conversational English.

Program Structure:

English Conversation sessions last 2 hours, once per week, for 8 weeks each term. Circles are held at various locations on campus. Participants are matched in circles of 4-9 people based on their schedules.

English Conversation circles are facilitated by training volunteers in an informal and friendly atmosphere. Circle Leaders may prepare conversation topics, activities, or games based on the interests of each participant.

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Who can join?

Members of Western's community whose first language is not English can join (for example, registered international students, spouses, post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars/researchers, etc.).

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What can I expect?

The English Conversation Program provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Practice conversational English outside the formal classroom or work setting
  • Improve your English communication skills (speaking and listening)
  • Increase your confidence and comfort level when using English
  • Increase your knowledge of Canadian culture, customs, idiomatic expressions, etc.
  • Decrease your anxiety of speaking English in a group
  • Meet people from different areas of the university community
  • Enhance intercultural understanding and social network
  • Sessions are held on-campus

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How do I register?

If you would like to participate in the English Conversation Program, come to the International and Exchange Student Centre (in the Western Student Services Building, Room 2120). You will have to complete a registration form and make an appointment to attend a brief interview (not a test) with an IESC staff. Registrations are accepted in September for the Fall term, January for the Winter term, and in May for the Summer term. There is a $5 program registration fee each term(this fee is non-refundable).

Registration Dates and Times:

  • May 6 - 17, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • September 9 - 20, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • January 6 - 17, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • May 5 - 16, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

SIGN UP EARLY! Demand is high and space is limited. Space is based on your availability and the availability of volunteers.

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Will this really help me?

Here's what participants of our English Conversation Program had to say about what they have found to be most interesting and beneficial:

"I love being involved in the relaxed and friendly setting which makes me feel more confident in speaking out. Also, the English Conversation leader understands the feelings of our problems as a second language learner."

"The workshop is very useful for me. I have a lot of opportunities to practice spoken English. I have learned more idioms and expressions."

"I learned a lot of idioms in the program and I thought it was really beneficial. Idioms and certain phrases are really difficult for ESL students to pick up in daily conversations. I especially enjoyed the idioms involving food! I had a lot of fun! Debates and discussions about certain topics were really good. Through discussions, I learned about Canadian points of view and also about other cultures."

"I found that it is not only me who has problems adapting to Western society. I felt comfortable speaking with the Conversation Leader and other students. I really enjoyed the program."

"Informal, relaxed, helpful and personable instructor... the teaching materials...and we can ask to learn about what are of most interest to us."

"Our conversation workshop was interesting and helpful ... some terrific conversations!"

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How can I become an English Conversation Leader?

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Last Updated: September 10, 2013

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All information disclosed by students to IESC will be kept confidential. It will not be shared with family, university staff, course instructors, or others without written permission and will not become part of academic records.

The International and Exchange Student Centre is experienced in working with diverse populations.

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