Conversation Partners

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The Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) is a place where students from all over the world come to learn and improve their English.  In order to successfully learn any language, you should practice with native speakers of the language. It is our goal to find a conversation partner for each CESL student who would like to further develop their English listening, speaking and conversational skills.

For native English speakers, the Conversation Partner Program is a great way to learn about another culture and begin networking internationally while gaining resume-building experience. Conversation partners can also earn volunteer hours recognized by SIU.

How are conversation partners paired up?  Partners are matched based on similar interests and any other aspects that the individuals request on the application form.

Conversation partners are asked to meet with their partners at least once a week for an hour. The conversations are meant to make students feel comfortable speaking English and also to introduce them to American culture. It is completely up to you and your conversation partner to decide when and where you will meet and what topics you will discuss. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at  To request a conversation partner, fill out this PDF application.

Have fun with your conversation partner!

If you are an American student or local community member who would like to participate, apply by filling out our PDF application.

Thanks for your time and support!