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English Conversation Program

Autumn 2021 Update

The English Conversation Program and the Language Improvement Track will have the option to meet virtually or in person during Autumn 2021. Students will be grouped with other students from across the globe and by their preferences to meet in person or virtually.

As our world is continuously changing with the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, we must have the tools necessary to adapt and to express our comfortability levels, and to respect the boundaries we set for ourselves and others. It is important that students establish the best way to interact with one another.

Email global-engagement@osu.edu with any questions.


The English Conversation Program (ECP) is for students who like meeting other students from around the world. It is a fun way to connect with Ohio State students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

If you are interested in improving or teaching spoken English, the Language Improvement Track (LIT) focuses on English fluency, slang, culture and grammar.

Registration for Autumn 2021:

 

The English Conversation Program is for students who like meeting other students from around the world. International and American students have the opportunity to expand their world-views, improve their intercultural communication skills and make friends from different cultural backgrounds.

Students are put in groups of five or six based on their availability and diversity of background to meet throughout the semester for the purpose of having great conversations and experiences. ECP will also provide exclusive field trips and activities for all ECP members.

Our goal is to provide the environment and opportunities for all Ohio State students to develop interpersonal skills, have meaningful conversations and meet new people face-to-face.
Please note that the English Conversation Program is only for current Ohio State students.

Register online.

Why join ECP?
  • Meet New People! This program is for domestic and international Ohio State students who like meeting other students.
  • Intercultural Communication. The world is becoming more interconnected every minute, and the ability to work in diverse environments has become an invaluable job skill. It is also really interesting viewing the world through someone else’s eyes.
  • Interpersonal Communication. It is not enough to be able to express your own thoughts, feelings and ideas, but also to include those of others to effectively communicate.
  • Improve Spoken English Skills. The best way to improve a second language is to have meaningful usage in a fun supportive space.
  • Exclusive Events. We invite all our members to hang out and do different activities together at no cost – canoe trips, dance parties, social gatherings, nature hikes, ice skating and more!
  • Extra-Curricular Experience. Gain valuable leadership experience as a facilitator – or aim higher and apply for our ECP Student Leadership team.
  • Student-Led. Our student leaders do everything! Arrange conversation groups, plan trips and events, recruit members, work with Office of International Affairs staff, and more; which provides great experience for anyone interested in International Affairs and Education.
  • Be present and be yourself! ECP conversation groups are supportive and judgement-free zones where you can find your voice.

What is the process to join?
First, register online!

Then, the ECP leadership team will organize over 200 students into conversation groups. Each ECP group has three or four group members plus a facilitator. Members are chosen according to their nationality, age, shared interests and availability. Many people join ECP because they want to meet student from around the world and we try to make groups as diverse as possible.

Participant Expectations
An ideal ECP participant is eager to meet new people, learn from their peers and step outside of their comfort zone. Responsibilities include:
  • Attend the mandatory orientation at the beginning of each semester to familiarize yourself with the program and with your group.
  • Communicate effectively with your facilitator and group members, responding to all messages ASAP (no later than 12 hours). Download and join GroupMe to utilize for communication.
  • Meet with your group throughout the semester (at least five times, but more is encouraged).
  • Attend as many ECP events as possible.
  • Come prepared to share. Be curious. Ask questions!

Facilitator Expectations
An ideal ECP facilitator is interested in leadership, motivated to bring students together, and committed to cultivating good experiences for all group members. Responsibilities include:
  • Attend mandatory orientations at the beginning of each semester.
  • Plan group meetings regularly (find a convenient time and place for members to meet).
  • Download and join two GroupMe groups: your group and the facilitator-coordinator group.
  • Respond to emails and messages from fellow group members and ECP coordinators ASAP (no later than 12 hours).
  • Try to encourage ALL group members to engage in conversation.
  • Update coordinators about recent group meetings on a regular basis (taking and sending pictures).
  • Have fun!

Students who register for ECP, also have the opportunity to apply to be part of the Language Improvement Track (LIT). LIT is student to student teaching and is for students who are more interested in developing their English speaking and listening skills, and for students who are more interested in teaching language and interpersonal skills.

Students will be put into groups with a facilitator who leads speaking and pronunciation activities, guided conversations and small speaking assignments. LIT group sessions are more like small language workshops, where students can focus on expressing themselves clearly, compellingly and confidently.

Register online.

Why should students be part of LIT?
  • Meet Someone New! Many LIT participants and facilitators really enjoy getting to know a student from a different culture and enjoy the personal connections that are made.
  • Intercultural Communication. Learn how to communicate across different cultures from a lens of appreciation and fascination.
  • Completely Free. The Language Improvement Track and the English Conversation Program are both supported by the Office of International Affairs’ Global Engagement program.

Those who participate in LIT can join as participants or facilitators. If you choose to be a participant, there are many benefits, including:
  • Structured Language Development. Each LIT meeting has a lesson plan, speaking activities and homework.
  • Spoken English Fluency. We focus on the different elements of fluency to be more comprehensible and effective when communicating in spoken English.
  • Autonomous Learning Strategies. We can’t improve your language in just five meetings. Each lesson includes methods and exercises you can use everyday to meet your language goals.
  • Personal Self-expression. College is an important time to explore and express your ideas, opinions and life experiences. We wish to create spaces where participants can feel free explore who they are in a second language.
  • Authentic Learning Materials. Our lesson plans use television sit-coms, famous speeches, movie clips and your own stories/opinions. We believe language is best learned in real moments using real objects, not textbooks.

As facilitators, students also gain myriad benefits and skills:
  • Teaching Experience. Many LIT facilitators use this experience and lesson plans to teach English as a Second Language (ESL), locally or abroad.
  • No Experience Necessary. All of our lesson plans are easy to follow and facilitate. Our student leadership team and program director will be with you if you have any questions.
  • Low Time Commitment. We ask that you commit to a two-hour meeting every two weeks to meet with your group five times a semester. There is no grading and no lesson planning. You only need to review our lesson plan and be prepared.
  • Social Learning. We believe that language is a community effort. We learn by the successes and mistakes of our group members.
  • Communication Skills. Many facilitators comment on how much they have learned about spoken English and how much their communication skills have developed.
  • Applied Improv. There are many fun speaking activities that are based from improv theatre games and traditional ESL teaching practices. We learn to communicate with our whole presence, not just our words.
  • Signed Certificate. LIT facilitators will receive a certificate signed by the Office of International Affairs and the ECP program director.
  • The Joy of Teaching. Facilitate the “aha” moments for your students. Experience giving without return, extreme patience, and extremely enthusiastic and grateful students.

What is the process to join?
Register online! Once registration closes, facilitators will post the times of the week they are available and participants choose one of those times to commit to. LIT groups include two-three participants and one facilitator. They will meet every two weeks at the same time.

Once the groups are finalized, facilitators will begin to present lesson plans. There are five LIT lesson plans that include videos and/or descriptions of:
  • Lecture on fluency, and pronunciation
  • Speaking assignments
  • Homework
  • Culture conversation topics
  • Speaking and listening games and exercises

The lesson plans are available on Carmen, not graded or for credit and are designed specifically for Ohio State students to better express themselves on and off campus.

Participant expectations
  • An ideal LIT participant is an enthusiastic, open-minded English-language learner who is not afraid of taking risks and committed to improving their spoken English skills.
  • Be a full-time Ohio State student.
  • Attend the mandatory orientation at the beginning of each semester to familiarize yourself with the program and with your group.
  • Communicate effectively with your facilitator and group members, responding to all messages.
  • Review your lesson plan before meeting with your group and come prepared. You may have to have a speaking exercise ready (e.g. tell a story, recite a famous speech, etc.)
  • Give everyone a chance to speak. We have small groups of participants for a reason. Encourage and support others in your group to improve their language as well.
  • Attend as many ECP events as possible.
  • Come prepared to share. Be curious. Ask questions!
  • Actively participate in group meetings. Some of the exercises will push your comfort zone. Please take advantage of this opportunity to express yourself in a new way.

Facilitator expectations
  • An ideal LIT Facilitator is a friendly, patient and dedicated person who is interested in teaching language.
  • Be a full-time Ohio State student.
  • Be a fluent speaker of English. Does not need to be an American student.
  • Be committed. We ask you commit to the speaking exercises which are designed to challenge everyone’s comfort zones and that will allow you to experiment with your own communication methods. The more you reveal and drop your guard, the more your participants can too.
  • Attend the mandatory orientation at the beginning of each semester to familiarize yourself with the program and with your group.
  • Communicate effectively with your group members, responding to all messages.
  • Review your lesson plan before meeting with your group and try to accomplish all lectures, speaking activities and assignments during your meeting. (Usually takes 1.5 – 1.75 hours. Feel free to go longer if you want)
  • Log group activity on Carmen. We need to know if your group met and would love feedback on the lessons.
  • Create one lesson plan with another facilitator by the end of the semester.
  • Attend as many ECP events as possible.