International & Exchange  Student CentreWestern International

English Conversation Leaders

The English Conversation Leaders are a select group of student volunteers who bring unique qualifications to the position. They are current Western students or new Alumni who have excellent communication (written and oral, attending and listening) and interpersonal skills. Some of the requirements that they possess include several years of experience speaking "Canadian" English and familiarity with Canadian idiomatic expressions, slang terminology and culture. We recruit students with exceptional leadership skills. Some cross-cultural background or experience interacting with culturally diverse people is an important key to understanding the needs of non-native speakers of English. Finally, our Leaders have the ability to relate to international students by using the above skills and combining them with their creativity, resourcefulness, sensitivity and patience in making each session a positive learning experience. In addition,  previous experience in or exposure to teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) is considered an asset.

Here is what some of our English Conversation Leaders say about their experience with the Program:

* I think it is a great program and I was very happy to be part of it. I've gained career related experience since I want to become a teacher.

* The other leaders were a pleasure to work with and share ideas with at meetings. The Program Coordinator was very helpful. She really helped us deal with situations that arose in sessions.

* Overall a good experience. I've developed and enhanced my leadership skills and learned a lot about other cultures.

* The opportunity to volunteer as an English Conversation Leader gave me a personal satisfaction knowing that I made a difference in lives of my students. It's a great feeling hearing them use the idioms that they learned in previous sessions.

* It is a whole learning experience such as being exposed to people from different cultural backgrounds and learning about their values and customs.

I really liked this position. It's one of the few volunteer experiences that I have found very personally rewarding. This is probably due to my students' enthusiasm and visible difference in their English language skills.

Interested in becoming an English Conversation Leader?

View the English Conversation Circle Leader Job Description. Applications can be submitted online.