How do Conversation Tables work for my learners?

Conversation Tables are group conversations that offer a low-stakes way for learners to experience a TalkAbroad conversation. Two of our conversation partners are present in each Conversation Table and model a 1-on-1 conversation while learners watch and are invited to participate. See an example here.

Attending Conversation Tables helps learners prepare to transition to 1-on-1 conversations. Learners who have attended:

  • Feel less nervous.
  • Have a better idea of what their first 1-on-1 conversation will be like.
  • Know how to prepare better.
  • Are more willing to make their first reservation. 

Here are some details on how conversation tables work:

Who can participate?

Learners in beginning level sections. (We plan to expand to other levels later.) Here's an FAQ for learners.

Who will attend a Conversation Table?

  • Two TalkAbroad conversation partners
  • Multiple learners

Conversation Tables last about 30 minutes.

When will conversation tables be scheduled?

Conversation Tables will be scheduled at fixed times each week. We will release the detailed schedule early in the term. (The summer 2024 schedule for all languages is here.)

In addition, the dates and times will be listed in your professor account on the left sidebar under Conversation Tables > Upcoming.

Learners will also be able to see the dates and times in their learner accounts.

Can learners speak up and participate during the Conversation Tables?

Absolutely! Learners will be invited to participate several times during each Conversation Table. Learner participation is optional, and learners who do not want to participate will not be called upon.

What will be used as a topic for a Conversation Table?

Topics will be selected from our 15-minute example topics.

How often can learners attend, and how should they prepare?

Learners can participate in any number of Conversation Tables. As this is a low stakes activity, no preparation is necessary by the learner. If they are planning to participate when invited, the learners can review the topic for the conversation table and come ready to ask or answer any of the conversation topic questions.

Learners in participating sections will be able to see the topics in their learner accounts. The topics for each session will also be noted in your university professor account on the left sidebar under Conversation Tables > Upcoming. If you don’t see that, reach out to us and we can get you set up to participate! 

Links to session guides will also be found in Conversation Tables > Upcoming. Session guides include examples of the questions and items that will be discussed like this example from fall 2022. Learners can use the session guides to prepare in advance. Learners will also have access to the session guides in their student accounts.

How will I know if my learners attended?

Learner attendance will be recorded in your professor account under Conversation Tables > Completed in the left sidebar. 

For attendance to be recorded, learners must join through their learner account. If a learner shares the session link with another learner, that other learner's attendance will not be recorded.

(Note that learners must have purchased conversation credits or redeemed a Pre-purchase Code within the last 150 days in order to access the Conversation Tables feature. See how learners add credits here.)

Can I also attend?

Yes, Guides (professors, instructors, and teachers) can also attend Conversation Tables. You will see a Join link in your professor account when you click on Conversation Tables > Upcoming in the left sidebar. (Only visible in accounts where TalkAbroad has activated this feature)

The link will take you to a video conference room where the Conversation Table will be held.

What is the cost?

Conversation Tables are included for programs that purchase TalkAbroad Pro. Read more here.

Access can also be purchased separately. Please contact for more information.

Can my program try Conversation Tables before we buy?

Yes! Each fall and spring term, we offer a free trial of Conversation Tables. Please contact for more information.

(The free trial is only available to learner in sections that assign at least one 1-on-1 conversation per learner.)

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