English Conversation Appointments

Words of Wisdom

Writing simply means no dependent clauses, no dangling things, no flashbacks, and keeping the subject near the predicate. We throw in as many fresh words we can get away with. Simple, short sentences don't always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive.... Virtually every page is a cliffhanger--you've got to force them to turn it.

— Dr. Seuss


What are Conversation Appointments? 

Conversation appointments are one-on-one appointments with a writing center consultant where, instead of working on a paper or assignment, you have a conversation. These appointments are available to help you practice your speaking and listening skills, as well as gain confidence in making conversation in English. Conversation Appointments last up to 45 minutes and can be conducted either in-person or on Zoom. The topic of conversation can be almost anything and can focus on any aspect of English conversation that you want to practice. You can come to the appointment with a specific topic in mind or ask the consultant to make suggestions.  

Who are Conversation Appointments Best Suited for? 

Conversation appointments are a great resource for students 

  • who want to gain confidence in English conversation 

  • who want to practice using specific words or phrases 

  • who want to gain confidence in their listening skills or who struggle to understand some English speakers 

  • whose first language is not English and who are still getting comfortable speaking the language 

  • who want to rehearse or practice specific conversations 

  • who have technical questions about spoken English, accents, and pronunciation 

How to Make the Most of your Conversation Appointment! 

  • Think of what aspects of speaking and listening you want to improve. What are you struggling with? What is making English conversation hard for you? 

  • Think about what you want to talk about. What topics can you discuss easily? What topics do you have a lot of questions about? Is there a specific type of conversation you want to rehearse?  

  • Think about what aspects of English conversation are difficult. How can you use a conversation appointment to build comfort? What can you explain to your writing center consultant to help them understand what you are uncomfortable with? 

  • Think of what questions you may have about spoken English: What does this phrase mean? Why do American English speakers pronounce a word this way? What are the different connotations of this word? 

  • Remember that there are two of you participating in the conversation and be respectful of your consultant’s feelings. If they seem uncomfortable with a topic, switch to something more neutral.  

How to Book One! 

  1. Click on “Make an Appointment” at the top left of this webpage or go to cleopatra.tamu.edu

  1. Book a 45-minute, one-on-one appointment with us! 

  1. In the question box that says, “To make your session more helpful, give us details of what you are working on and for what purpose,” write down that you are booking a conversation appointment. 

  1. In the question box that asks, “What would you like your consultant to focus on for this consultation?” write out what speaking and listening skills you want to improve, what topics you want to cover, and anything else you think is relevant.  

This information will help your consultant know your goals and expectations and make the most out of the appointment for you.  

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