English Conversation Program

The English Conversation Program (ECP) is available in the Fall, Winter, and Summer terms, the main objective of the English Conversation Program is to enhance spoken English skills and to increase confidence in using conversational English.

Program Information

This program is offered to all Western students and members of Western's community for FREE!

English Conversation sessions last 2 hours, once per week, for 8 weeks each term. Participants are matched in groups of 4 - 10 people with 1 Facilitator.

English Conversation sessions are facilitated by trained student volunteers, called Facilitators, in an informal and friendly atmosphere. Facilitators may prepare conversation topics, activities, or games based on the interests of each participant.

Students having a conversation

Who Can Join?

Members of Western's community whose first language is not English can join (for example, registered international students, spouses, post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars/researchers, etc.). Priority will be given to students.


Registration for fall 2023 ECP takes place in September and ECP groups are formed by the end of September.

Note: The program is full for fall term 2023. If you are interested, join the ECP waitlist. We will notify you if a space becomes available. Registration for the winter term will take place in early January.

Join the ECP Waitlist

  • Priority will be given to main campus international students (undergraduate, graduate, and exchange students) and to registrations received by September 17.
  • After you register, we will match and connect you with an English Conversation Program Facilitator. You will receive an email from your Facilitator towards the end of September with information about your first ECP meeting (to take place at the start of October), so be sure to check your Western email (@uwo.ca) on a regular basis.
  • Given the large number of applications being received during the beginning of each term, the matching process may take several days. If you have not heard from an ECP Facilitator by the end of September, please email us at ecp@uwo.ca. Please do not submit more than one registration form.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email  ecp@uwo.ca.

What Can I Expect?

The English Conversation Program provides you with the opportunity to:
  • Practice conversational English outside the formal classroom or work setting
  • Improve your English communication skills (speaking & listening)
  • Increase your confidence & comfort level when using English
  • Increase your knowledge of Canadian culture, customs, idiomatic expressions, etc.
  • Decrease your anxiety of speaking English in a group
  • Meet people from different areas of the university community
  • Enhance your intercultural understanding and social network
Some popular conversation topics & activities covered in sessions include:
  • Canadian Culture & History
  • Idioms & Canadian Expressions
  • Social Issues & Politics
  • Popular Culture, Entertainment & Media
  • Cultural Comparisons
  • English Grammar, Pronunciation & Vocabulary Expansion
  • Practice Presentations
  • Debates
  • Telephone Skills
  • Ordering at Restaurants & Cafes
  • Games

Can't attend a session?

Four students sitting around a table with assorted warm beverages, smiling and holding their hands in the shape of a "W"

To make the most of your English Conversation Program experience we encourage you to attend each session every week to enhance the success of your learning goals! If you need to miss a week, inform your Facilitators as soon as possible. This gives our Facilitators time to update their weekly plan to ensure the best experience for all of our participants.

If you are no longer able to participate in the program please let ecp@uwo.ca know right away so that we can assign a person from the waiting list to take your place.

Comments from Past Participants

We asked students how the English Conversation Program helped them.

  • "My facilitators made me realize how important it is to have someone genuinely want to help us new comers and also international students. Love what IESC is doing and I really appreciate it."
  • "Making new friends was incredible. Although I've learnt a lot about conversation, my listening skills improved."
  • "I think ECP gives me more opportunities to express myself and share my views with people. I do enjoy it and have made friends here."
  • "I greatly appreciate the space. Without a doubt, it has been an excellent opportunity to learn more about Canadian culture, and even other nations. I have also increased my vocabulary, but I would love to continue doing it, as well as I would love to improve my pronunciation."
  • "My facilitator is so kind as she knows how to encourage us to participate in any kind of activities. Besides, she well prepared every time, provided interesting and helpful activities for us."


Western is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us in advance if you have any particular accommodation requirements: IESC Staff, 519-661-2111, Ext. 89309,  iesc@uwo.ca .