William and Mary

Conversation Partner Program - FAQs

Who can be a Conversation Partner?

Conversation Partners must be native English speakers. All majors are welcome, but you must be a sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student.

Will I be paid to be a Conversation Partner?

No. Participation in the Conversation Partner Program is completely voluntary.

What is expected of a Conversation Partner?

It is difficult for many international students to meet Americans with whom they can practice their English. Our international students are often very eager to learn more about American culture, student life, conversational phrases, slang, etc. Through the Conversation Partner Program, you will meet with an international student at least once a week to discuss topics of mutual interest.

Where and when do Conversation Partners meet?

Meetings must take place in a public area such as Swem Library, the Sunken Garden, the Daily Grind, or Campus Center. Meeting times will vary, depending on what is most convenient for you and your conversation partner.

How will I be matched with my Conversation Partner(s)?

You must complete an application and return it to the ESOL Program Manager, M. Lee Alexander, at [[mlalex]]. Conversation Partners will be matched according to available days and times. However, if there is a particular language or country that you are interested in, we will try to accommodate your interests.

Will I receive any training?

Yes. Before you can begin working with an international student, you must attend an Orientation Session. During this one-hour training session, you will receive tips on working with nonnative speakers, as well as an introduction to available resources.

When is the next Orientation Session?

Please contact M. Lee Alexander at [[mlalex]] to find out when the next Orientation Session will be held.