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English Conversation Program

The English Conversation Program is designed to assist degree students, staff and their partners in improving conversation and pronunciation skills. These services are free and provided by VOLUNTEERS.

English Conversation Group

Thursdays, 5:30 – 7:00 pm at QUIC


January 11: Welcome and getting to know you. Current events in Canada. Canadian trivia.
January 18: Social media, privacy and censorship. Technology and sharing economy.
January 25: Travel and Tourism.
February 1: Dating and relationships. Gender roles. Spotlight: LGBTQ topic.
February 8: Winter sports and the Winter Olympics in S. Korea.
February 15: Fitness, health and wellness. Spotlight: Lunar New Year.
February 22: Education systems around the world. Board games.
March 1: Canadian culture and history highlights.
March 8: Women in society.
March 15: Surprise session.
March 22: Spring celebrations in Canada and around the World
March 29: Societies and law, crime & justice discussion. Program feedback.

The Conversation Group are intended to help degree students, int’l staff and their partners who wish to improve their English language skills. The sessions include group  activities and discussions. International students and staff (including spouses) are welcome to visit any group session. Formal registration is not required. Schedule of topics may be subject to change.

NEW! English Conversation Circle at An Clachan

Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the An Clachan housing complex, Building 6, unit 102, 17 Van Order Dr.
Residents at the John Orr Tower housing complex are welcome to join us!
An Clachan is located near West Campus; offers free parking; on a bus route.
This new weekly program in collaboration with Queen’s Community Housing is running February – April 2018

Our topics range from the sublime and serious to the ridiculous and humorous. No matter what the theme, everyone laughs and enjoys themselves. In the past themes have ranged from staging mock debates in election years, to celebrating Chinese New Year by finding your perfect match according to the Chinese horoscope. We’ve discussed homesickness and culture shock, gotten dressed up for Halloween, designed vacations for those wanting to flee winter. We love to have suggestions from our participants and are happy to design our sessions around them. With each topic we include a few related idioms, occasionally a pronunciation point and new expressions. The scope of topics is as wide as the imagination.

The QUIC Conversation Group received the 2009 Queen’s University Human Rights Office Initiatives Award in recognition of its long-standing contributions to community building and support for international students.

Queen’s University offers additional ESL support (academic, writing) at the SASS Writing Centre.

Note: Individuals who require formal, academic English language training should contact  Queen’s University School of English.  Newcomers to Canada can utilize ESL training offered by local agencies, such as LINC, Limestone Community Education, and KEYS.


English Conversation Partners

Participants need to fill out the English Language Buddy Request and submit the form at the QUIC. Volunteers (Queen’s students) work with learners for approximately one hour per week, focusing on conversation. Volunteers are not academic tutors or teachers, but they are friendly and competent in the English language.

This program is available, free of charge, to researchers, scholars, postdoctoral fellows, students enrolled in degree programs and their families.

If you are interested in practicing your English with a volunteer, please complete and submit:

Do you have a question? Contact the program coordinator for more information.

Volunteer with the English Conversation Program