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As a new ESL Bridge Program student, you will have many big adjustments to make when you first get to campus. In addition to student responsibilities, you will live in a new town and experience a new culture. Becoming comfortable in a new place where everyone speaks a language that you are still learning is difficult.
Many students find comfort in making friends and spending time with students from their home countries. This can help make the adjustment easier, but it can also get in the way of practicing your English language skills. It can even slow down your learning. We want you to practice conversational English as much as possible so that you can master the skills you need to advance through the ESL program. Even if you have studied English in a classroom for many years, you may not have had much practice with informal conversational English. The Conversation Partners program is here to help you get the practice you need.
Current American students volunteer to meet with an ESL Bridge Program student once each week while classes are in session. Your goal is to talk about whatever interests you — it could be music, movies, your family, your hobbies, or even the weather. Some partners enjoy playing card games or board games together. No matter what you talk about, every hour you spend with your partner will help you to improve your speaking, listening, and pronunciation skills. You might even make a new friendship that will last for many years to come.
ESL Bridge program students who want to join the Conversation Partners program should send their name, email address, and phone number to Mrs. Marcia Gottschall. Are you a current or accepted student who is ready to join right now? Email Marcia to let her know!
If you would like more information about the ESL Bridge Program, please contact:
Dr. Genie Babb, Chair of the Department of English
Office: Champlain Valley Hall 203
Phone: (518) 564-5230