English for Speakers of Other Languages

The Writing and Reading Center offers noncredit programs designed to help matriculated University students who are English Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) acquire English speaking and writing skills while they learn about American culture. These are:

  • Workshops
  • Conversation Group Program
  • Conversation Partner Program
  • Individual Tutoring

Call the WRC at (508) 999-8710 or e-mail for more information.


Periodically, the WRC offers small, informal workshops that help international students learn about American culture through the use of newspapers, magazines, radio programs, television, and literature.  These meetings aim to help students

  • Examine current American events
  • Learn American idioms and slang
  • Expand vocabulary
  • Improve conversation skills
  • Develop reading skills
  • Analyze American politics, business, medicine, and science
  • Meet other international students

Conversation Partner Program

The Conversation Partner Program matches ESOL speakers with native speakers from the university community who volunteer to provide weekly individualized help with

  • Conversation skills
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Pronunciation
  • Acculturation

Interested ESOL students and native English speakers willing to volunteer can stop by the WRC to fill out applications within the first few weeks of classes. 

Applications are available online or you can stop by the Writing and Reading Center in LARTS 220 for an application.

Conversation Group Program

The WRC's Conversation Group Program lets ESOL students practice their speaking skills in a comfortable setting. Under the guidance of a trained WRC group leader, students have the opportunity to

  • Participate in the give-and-take of group speaking
  • Familiarize themselves with a variety of accents and colloquial languages
  • Practice the conventions of American conversation, such as interrupting, signaling a pause, and changing the subject
  • Learn American slang, clichés, and idioms.
  • Improve pronunciation skills

The WRC offers several conversation groups each semester. Students interested in participating as group leaders or members can apply at the Writing and Reading Center during the first few weeks of classes.

Individual Tutoring

Individual tutoring is available to ESOL students who need English language assistance. Students can make regular appointments with tutors to work on

  • Essays, thesis revision, and reading assignments
  • Vocabulary and grammar
  • Presentations
  • Coursework in the humanities and social sciences
  • Specific needs via audiocassettes and computer software learning aids.

Tutoring workshops are also offered upon request to suit the needs of our students.  Contact us for further information.