Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about the Coversation Partner Program? See below for answers to frequently asked questions.
- What is the ESL Conversation Partner Program (CPP)?
- Who is a Conversation Partner?
- What does a Conversation Partner Volunteer do?
- Who can volunteer in the ESL CPP?
- Are CP Volunteers Canadian students?
- Are CP Volunteers Native English Speakers?
- How much time do CP Volunteers need to devote to the ESL CPP?
- What can Conversation Partners do together?
- Will Volunteers receive training?
- Will Conversation Partners receive training?
- How will a CP Volunteer benefit from participating in the ESL CPP?
- How will a Conversation Partner benefit from the ESL CPP?
The English as a Second Language Conversation Partner Program brings together fluent English speakers and international undergraduate/graduate students to provide one-on-one conversation practise, support the development of fluency, vocabulary, as well as knowledge about the local culture.
Conversation Partners are international students (undergraduate or graduate) whose first language is not English and want to practice their English-speaking skills and develop fluency.
A Volunteer meets once or twice a week for about one hour, one-to-one with an international student to learn about a new culture and provide one-on-one conversation practice.
Volunteers should be fluent English speakers. Ideal participants are friendly, open to meeting new people, and respectful of different cultures and communication styles. Volunteers should also be able to work independently and be great time managers.
Not necessarily. Volunteers may be Canadian or International students.
Not necessarily. However, all Volunteers are fluent English speakers.
Each Volunteer needs to meet with their Conversation Partner for 1 hour per week for the semester (for a minimum of 10 hours), and to attend the orientation session at the beginning of the semester.
Conversation Partners meet once a week at a mutually convenient time to talk, listen and learn about each other’s culture. Activities that encourage dialogue and cultural exchange are encouraged.
CP Volunteers receive training at the beginning of and halfway through the program, to support their professional development.
Conversation Partners receive training at the beginning of and halfway through the program, to support their language acquisition skills.
CP Volunteers enjoy learning about other cultures and are able to develop their communication skills, cross-cultural competence and to gain volunteer experience. Volunteers may also receive a reference letter if they have met with their Conversation Partner for 10 or more hours.
International students improve their English speaking and listening skills with regular, supported practice. They are matched with CP Volunteers from different backgrounds and become friends over the course of the semester. They get to share their culture and learn how to adjust to this new Canadian culture as well as living and studying in St. John’s.