English Conversation Program & Summer Conversation Groups

  • Fall & Winter

  • Summer

Available in the Fall and Winter terms, 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 the session time they register for.

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

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.). Priority will be given to students.

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 & listening)
  • Increase your confidence & 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 your intercultural understanding and social network

Attendance

Students are expected to attend their group each week. If you need to miss a week, inform your Conversation Leaders as soon as possible. If you are no longer able to participate in the program please let ecp@uwo.ca know right away so that we can assign a person from the waiting list to take your place.

Timeline

  1. Registration will take place September 6 - 12 and January 7 - 11.
  2. Confirmation of registration will be sent to participants the week after registration ends.
  3. Groups will begin in October and February and end in early December and early April.

Looking for English language support in the summer? Register for a Summer Conversation Group in May!

How to Register

Visit this page to register online. The registration period for Fall will take place in early September and in early January for the Winter term.                                                                         

New participants are required to attend a welcome meeting with an ECP staff or volunteer in order to complete their registration. Drop-in welcome meetings take place from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, during the registration period.

Join the Waitlist!

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email ecp@uwo.ca.

Cost

FREE - there is no cost to register for the program.

Accessibility

Western is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us in advance if you have any particular accommodation requirements: IESC Staff, 519-661-2111, Ext. 89309, iesc@uwo.ca .

Summer Conversation Groups will give you the opportunity to improve your English communication skills, meet new people, gain confidence when speaking in a group and learn more about Canadian culture and life at Western.

Program Structure

  • Students will be matched into a group facilitated by 1 or 2 Conversation Leaders who are specially trained student volunteers
  • The Conversation Groups meet once per week for 2 hours
  • During meeting times, Leaders will offer a variety of discussion topics and activities for participants
  • Group members are encouraged to ask questions and give suggestions about the content of each group to help Leaders plan for future sessions
  • The Conversation Group meeting room will have separate tables to allow for smaller group conversations (6 - 10 people or less per table)

Popular Conversation Topics & Activities

  • Canadian Culture & History
  • Idioms & Canadian Expressions
  • Social Issues & Politics
  • Popular Culture, Entertainment & Media
  • Cultural Comparisons
  • English Grammar, Pronunciation & Vocabulary Expansion
  • Practice Presentations
  • Debates
  • Telephone Skills
  • Ordering at Restaurants & Cafes
  • Games

Do you have a topic you would like to discuss? Suggestions are welcome!

Who Can Join?

For the Summer Conversation Group program, priority is given to international and exchange students registered at Western. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. If there are additional spaces available, other members of Western’s international community (who have submitted a registration form online) may be able to participate. If spaces are not available, a waiting list will be created.

Special Events

Many festivals and outdoor activities take place during the summer months in London. Depending on the day and time of your Conversation Group, your Leaders may have the opportunity to arrange an off-campus meeting.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend their sessions each week. If you need to miss a week, please inform your Conversation Leaders as soon as possible. If you are no longer able to participate in the program, please contact ecp@uwo.ca and let the coordinator know right away. It is important to do so, because we can then assign a person from the waiting list to take your place.

Timeline

  1. Registration will take place from May 9 - 18
  2. Confirmation of registration will be sent to new participants the week of May 22
  3. Conversation Groups will begin the week of May 28 and continue until the last week in July

How To Register

Register here. Register for as many groups that fit your schedule and you would like to attend. If there is space, you may have the opportunity to attend more than one group.

  • Group 1: Monday 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (May 28 – July 30)
  • Group 2: Tuesday 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (May 29 – July 31)
  • Group 3: Wednesday 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (May 30 – July 25)
  • Group 4: Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (May 31 – July 26)
  • Group 5: Thursday 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (June 7 – July 26)

Completing the online registration form does not guarantee you a space in the program. After the registration period ends, we will finalize who will be assigned to each group and participants will be notified. If there are not enough spaces in the program for everyone who registers, we will notify those who have not been matched. A waiting list will be created.

New to the Program?

Participants who have not previously participated in the English Conversation Program are required to attend a 5 - 10 minute welcome meeting with an ECP (English Conversation Program) staff or volunteer assistant in order to complete their registration. Drop-in welcome meetings take place in the International and Exchange Student Centre (2nd floor, IGAB) on the following days and times:

  • May 14: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • May 15: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • May 17:  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • May 18: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Waiting List

If the registration period has ended, please register for the waiting list.

Cost

FREE – there is no cost to register for the program.

Accessibility

Western is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us in advance if you have any particular accommodation requirements.