How Conversation Partners are Trained

When creating assignments, remember how TalkAbroad conversation partners are trained:

Conversational Skills:

  • Conversation partners aim for 50/50 or 60/40 listening-to-speaking ratios.
  • Conversation partners ask and answer questions to encourage and engage the student, providing a conversation that flows naturally, rather than a conversation that starts and stops to correct grammar or pronunciation.

Engagement with the Assignment:

  • Conversation partners are knowledgeable about the assignment and work to stay on topic as much as possible.
  • Conversation partners do not bring up topics of religion, sex or politics without being prompted by the student or assignment topic.

Adaptation to the Level of the Student:

  • Conversation partners communicate only in the target language.
  • Conversation partners adjust speed and articulation to the level of the student.

Feedback and Corrections

  • Conversation partners are trained to use recasting and circumlocution to negotiate meaning.
  • Conversation partners are not trained educators and are not trained in grammar correction and providing feedback.

Additionally, for safety and privacy, we require all interaction between partners and students to take place on the TalkAbroad website. Our partners are trained to not ask for or share contact information.

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