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Speaking Partners

Finding a Partner

I am a student in PathwayConnect’s L Version. How do I find a speaking partner?

Students currently enrolled in PathwayConnect’s L version can find information regarding how to find a speaking partner mentor by logging into their academic course and clicking the “Speaking Partner Registration” link in the “Introduction Lesson” folder.



Alternate Assignments

I need an alternate assignment — how do I get one?

Alternate assignments are available for students who cannot reasonably complete the speaking partner assignment. Students who feel they need an alternate assignment should contact Pathway Support to determine eligibility.

How do I qualify for an alternate assignment?

Contact Pathway Support to determine eligibility.

I don’t want to be a speaking partner. Can I get an alternate assignment?

No, participating as a speaking partner is a requirement and is one of the primary ways students in PathwayConnect’s L version improve their English abilities.



Registration

How do I register to be a speaking partner volunteer or mentor?

Please register and set availability here.



Volunteer Questions

What's the difference between PathwayConnect and Speaking Partners?

Speaking Partners is a sub-program of PathwayConnect. Speaking Partners specifically helps non-native English speaking PathwayConnect students improve their English abilities.

Do I need to know a foreign language?

No. If volunteers do know their partner’s native language, they should not use that language during their speaking partner appointments. Students in Pathway’s L version are required to use English in an effort to improve their language skills.

How long do speaking partnerships last? What is the commitment?

The speaking partner activity for PathwayConnect students lasts for a duration of 12 weeks each semester (starting the second week and finishing the next-to-last week). Volunteers must be available once a week for 30 minutes for the 12-week period.

Do I need to have teaching or tutoring experience?

No. The main purpose of the speaking partner visits is to provide English interaction opportunities for non-native English-speaking students to practice their speaking and listening skills. Mentors who are interested in improving their speaking partner visits may read the Volunteer Guidelines.

What do we talk about, and how much preparation is required before each visit?

Mentors do not need to prepare material or discussion topics. Click here to access the discussion materials for each PathwayConnect course.

May I practice my Spanish, Russian, etc. with the student?

No. The speaking partner visits are focused on the student’s English-language learning. Mentors should interact only in English for the duration of the visits to help the student understand their course content and to improve their ability to communicate.

Do I need to have a webcam?

Yes. Most computer devices have webcams built-in. However, webcams can be purchased for very reasonable prices at places like Walmart, Target, Newegg.com, or Amazon.com.

If I volunteer, is it guaranteed that I will be chosen?

No, but it is likely. Volunteer requests will be placed into a pool of potential volunteers. Individuals who are chosen will be notified via email.

I / my partner missed the appointment. What should I do?

First, do everything possible to reschedule beforehand. If one party forgot or missed the appointment, he/she should send an email to his/her partner to apologize for missing the session. Students who are participating as a speaking partner mentor as part of their ENG 106 assignment will have to forfeit the points for failing to show.

Volunteer mentors are not obligated to meet again that week if their partner missed the appointment.

Do participants need to be a member of the LDS Church, or can I share this as a volunteer opportunity with members of other faiths?

Speaking partner volunteers must be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



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