- Faculty / Staff
- Professional Colleagues
Click on a day to learn more about programs and events offered by the Counseling Center.
|Program Description||ESOL Participants||Volunteers||Transportation||FAQs||Contacts/Other|
Ziwei's Conversation Group Hyunjong, Ziwei, Mengying, Qing and Yongdan
The UMD ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Conversation Program is a student-centered community that specifically aims to bring students and community members from diverse cultures together through authentic language learning/teaching, cultural exchange and passion for minorities.
Video Clip on Our Program.
Note: Conversation Groups: Meet weekly for 90 minutes with up to 8 ESOL participants and a volunteer. Each group meets for 10 sessions throughout the semester.
Conversation Partners: Meet one-on-one with a volunteer weekly for an hour each week. Each pair meets for 10 sessions throughout the semester
Conversation sessions for Fall 2013 start the week of September 22, 2013 and end the week of December 1, 2013.
More detailed explanation will be given at the registration session. For specific definition of the proficiency level, please click on the Proficiency Guideline.
Parking is free after 4:00 p.m. in numbered lots (lots 1-19)
*Note: numbered lots have white background and black letters (Lot 1 is recommended).
Parking permits for program volunteers may be granted through DOT but are not guaranteed.
*Shuttle bus letters are no longer distributed for ESOL participants. ESOL participants who wish to ride Shuttle UM should use their UID card or buy a semester pass from DOT. For more information on transportation, please go to Regulations under Shuttle UM on Department of Transportation's website
Carrie Lebaron's Conversation Group Feng, Alex, Zhiwei, Carrie, Juan Li (left to right)
"Successful mastery of a foreign language will depend to a great extent on learners' autonomous ability both to take initiative in the classroom and to continue their journey to success beyond the classroom and the teacher" ~ Douglas Brown
Interested in Practicing English and Learning about different Cultures?
General Information for Students
All UMD members are eligible to participate in the ESOL Conversation Program as students free of charge.
UMD members include:
Non-UMD members are members without a university ID; they may also participate as students for a $75 fee per semester.
How to join:
Student Registration Session:
|New and Returning Students||9/16 (Monday)||12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m.||To be Determined|
|New and Returning Students||9/18 (Wednesday)||5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.||To be Determined|
|New and Returning Students||9/19 (Thursday)||3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.||To be Determined|
|New and Returning Students||9/20 (Friday)||12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.||To be Determined|
Students who cannot make the above dates and time should contact the program coordinator immediately to pre-arrange make-up sessions.
"Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead
Who can join the ESOL Program as volunteers?
Anyone who can speak English fluently can join the ESOL Conversation Program as volunteers. The volunteers do not have to be native speakers of English and do not need to have prior teaching experience. However, the volunteer must attend the Registration and Training session and other mandatory training workshops. Program coordinator will provide tips and guidelines on how to help ESOL participants to meet their learning goals and language needs.
What do the volunteers have to do?
The volunteers can facilitate conversation sessions to help international students, visiting scholars and community members to practice their oral communication skills. Each volunteer can determine the direction and flow of the conversation sessions. Suggestive session guidelines provide conversations around topics such as world cultures (including American cultures), values, beliefs, histories, global current events and more.
Where do we meet each week?
Conversation Partners can meet anywhere on campus in a public place. Some good places to go are Stamp, cafes on campus, and the libraries. Volunteers can request to have a classroom on campus to meet with their conversation partners. Volunteers should indicate so to the program coordinator at the registration session.
Conversation Group members will be assigned a classroom on campus. Unless pre-arranged with the students and the program coordinator, the groups should meet in the classroom weekly. Program coordinator will stop by conversation groups in order to observe and get to know the students and volunteers on a deeper level.
When do we meet each week?
The schedules for the conversation sessions are relatively flexible. Volunteers can choose time frame that are convenient for their schedule. Volunteers are asked to indicate several available time slots so that more students would be likely to be available for their sessions. The time frame for the start time of the sessions should be Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. /8 p.m. at the latest (7:30 p.m. for Conversation Groups and 8 p.m. for Conversation Partners. No groups should end after 9 p.m.
Why is it good for me to join?
This is a great way to meet people from other cultures, fields of studies while practice your leadership and teaching skills. In addition, you also learn about other cultures and ideas through joining the program. You may also request the program coordinator to observe you and write a recommendation letter for you.
How to join:
If your absence is last minute, e-mail and call your student to let him or her know that you need to cancel that week's session. You may reschedule the missed session if it is convenient for you and your student.
ESOL Conversation Program Coordinator: Adam Lax
Office number 301-314-5919
Fax number: 301-314-9206
2202 Shoemaker Building
College Park, Maryland 20742
Expectations for the Program Coordinator:
The program coordinator's role is to help all participants involved in the conversation program meet their professional teaching and/or learning goals through the following:
Our program endorses life-long learning for our faculty, staff, students and volunteers. Therefore, we are open to new ideas and suggestions for our program. You can give feedback by providing us with your suggestions, comments, and concerns in the following ways:
Other useful websites:
Program related Websites
Resources for Volunteers and Students
For more tips and session guidelines, please visit our program Facebook webpage and join our Facebook Group.