The Conversation Partners program matches students with native speakers to practice for half an hour a week to better their confidence in pronunciation and accuracy. When learning a new language, it is crucial that students have a native speaking companion to practice the language with and to apply what they learned in class. Native speakers help catch students' mistakes and tell them how to fix them, improving their confidence in the classroom and becoming more comfortable speaking the language.
Conversation Partners are students themselves who have been selected and trained by Modern Languages faculty to make the most of practice sessions. Every student who has the opportunity to have a conversation partner should take it, because it helps their language skills and creates relationships with the student and their conversation partner that can continue later on. Currently the program is available in Spanish and French and open to all students who are enrolled in third-semester courses and beyond.
“I think my grade in class reflects my work when I meet with my conversation partner. She corrects when we talk. I like it. It helps out a lot.” Channing Solon, sophomore in Spanish
“The first meeting we had it was nearly impossible to speak French. I wouldn’t say she learned French in two months but she learned a lot during our talks.” Antoine Bailly, graduate student in business administration and native French conversation partner
“Their confidence in the classroom does certainly improve and they become more comfortable speaking the language. I think the students here at PSU are very fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with a native speaker.” Myriam Krepps, associate French professor
“Having a conversation partner for my French class gives me a way to apply what I learned in class that usually isn’t seen in other classes, The more often you can meet, the better.” Micah Black, junior in French and political science