Conversation Partners

Conversation partners: helping international students learn English

One of the best ways to learn the English language is to have regular conversations with native speakers. UCR's International Education Programs is always seeking native English speakers who can spend a minimum of two hours each week with international students who need to practice English.

Learn more about their countries and cultures. Make new friends. Help a student develop confidence in his or her English-speaking ability.

Benefits for You

Although conversation partners are not paid, they can earn UCR campus credit in a language class or receive discounts for TESOL courses.

To become a conversation partner, contact UCR Extension at (951) 827-1727 or contact the program for more information.

Tips for conversation partners

As a conversation partner, your purpose is to facilitate conversation in English. You are not expected to be an ESL teacher, but rather to give your partner the chance to express their thoughts in their own words. The conversation will be a fluid exchange of ideas.

  • Speak at a natural pace and volume. Clarify or repeat your words when asked.
  • Stay on one topic as long as possible.
  • Ask questions that check comprehension of what is being discussed.
  • Stimulate conversation with tools such as books with photos, games and short newspaper and magazine articles.
  • Don't correct errors and don't correct homework. Correction during conversation slows thing down and hinders the development of fluency. Also, students may ask you to check the answers to their ESL homework. This takes away from developing conversational skills.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

UC Riverside Extension Center
1200 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92507-4596

UCR Extension Center

Tel: Work(951) 827-4105 or Toll-Free(800) 442-4990 toll-free
Fax: Fax(951) 827-7273