The Conversation Partner Program supports the AEI’s mission by integrating international students into all aspects of campus life while helping them navigate through new territory as students at the University of Oregon. The program employs a reliable, engaging, and diverse group of native or near-native UO students who tutor, mentor, and support international students in the AEI’s Intensive English Program. Student tutors enhance the experience of international students at the UO, increase students’ opportunities to practice speaking English, expand students’ knowledge of University resources, and ease students’ adjustment to life at the UO and in Eugene. Students are engaged in a wide range of activities, from working on classroom assignments to helping them understand their phone bill or holding informal conversation.
All IEP students will be assigned a Conversation Partner who will provide each student with one 50-minute remote session per week, in which they can help students experience authentic conversation and social interaction, such as:
- Practicing and improving English conversational skills
- Learning about American culture
- Getting involved on the UO campus
- Receiving extra help with homework, presentations, vocabulary, and pronunciation
- Bridging the gap between what is learned in the classroom and beyond
WORKING WITH A CONVERSATION PARTNER
- All IEP students will automatically be signed up for a Conversation Partner. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible during Week 1 if you do not want a Conversation Partner.
- The Conversation Partner Program resets every term. Thus, students have the opportunity to work with a different tutor each term. Students might not be able to have the same tutor every term due to scheduling conflicts and hiring fluctuations.
- A Conversation Partner will write to you at your UO email address to set up a date and time for your first meeting. Plan to talk with your Conversation Partner for one 50-minute session each week.
- Conversation Partners meetings can be held remotely over Zoom. In person meetings can only occur in the common area of Agate while maintaining social distancing.
- After you have confirmed a time, your Conversation Partner will send you a Zoom link for your upcoming meeting.
- Come prepared to each session with questions and/or ideas for how you want to spend your time. Conversation Partners do not prepare a lesson plan. Their goal is to help students develop conversational skills.
- Conversation partner tutors have a professional relationship with students. You can choose what you want to do with your conversation partner, but everything must be legal, safe, and public.
If things aren’t going well or you are having problems, please report this to the Student Engagement Office by emailing email@example.com. We will work with you to try to resolve issues.
There are many resources available for students and their conversation partner tutors in the Tutoring Services Office. Normally, students would be able to drop by Agate Room 127 for games, puzzles, textbooks, computers, and more, however during this period, in-person resources are limited to the Computer Lab in Agate 129. Tutors and students are still encouraged to take advantage of our other remote resources, such as this list of conversation topics from the OR TESOL Website: http://iteslj.org/questions/. In addition, some of the most popular applications students have used in the past during remote meetings are Kahoot!, Jeopardy, & Quizlet.
We also offer conversation partner meetings for non-IEP international students. Students can purchase 6 meetings for a total of $90 ($15 each), which will be billed to your UO student account. If you are interested in signing up or if you have any questions, please email the tutoring office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are signed up, one of our conversation partners will contact you to schedule your first meeting.