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English Language Support

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 pm – 7:00 pm at QUIC


Session 1, Sept. 14. Welcome! Getting to know YOU.
Session 2, Sept. 21. Queen’s traditions and student life.
Session 3, Sept. 28. Let’s talk about Kingston!
Session 4, Oct. 5. Let’s talk about Canadian Thanksgiving. Short chat: Fitness.
Session 5, Oct. 12. Learn how to talk about your skills in Job Interviews. Facilitated by Career Services.
Session 6, Oct. 19. Relationships, love, marriage.
Session 7, Oct. 26. Your trips and travels. Short chat: Halloween in Canada.
Session 8, Nov. 2.  How to communicate in Job Interviews. Facilitated by Career Services.
Session 9, Nov. 9.  Advanced topic: The meaning of Remembrance Day (peace efforts in the world).
Session 10, Nov. 16. Advanced topic: Society and current political events.
Session 11, Nov. 23. Visit to the Agnes Art Gallery on campus.  Meet up at QUIC at 5:30 pm as usual.
Session 12, Nov. 30. Winter topics. Chat about wellness during exams and in winter weather. Program photo.
Session 13, Dec. 7. Planning for the holidays. Social chat, a game, Cookies/Hot Cider, good-bye for the Fall term.


The ELS Conversation Group are intended to help degree students, int’l staff and their partners who wish to improve their English grammar and pronunciation. The sessions include group language activities and discussions. International students and staff (including spouses) are welcome to visit any group session at the QUIC (on any Thursday). Formal registration is not required.

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 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