An EAL Peer's Reflections
Volunteering for the EAL program has been one of the most rewarding experiences during my undergrad. Meeting with my conversation partners, watching them set goals, and seeing them overcome challenges to achieve those goals has been an eye-opening experience and allowed us to see the impact that the program has. My conversation partners have also had an impact on me and my own outlooks.
Firstly, watching the impact the program has had on my partners clearly demonstrated the amazing work this program does for those enrolled in it. During my meetings, many of my partners disclosed that they wished to become more confident and fluent in speaking English. Over the semester through our casual conversations, I could see my partners getting more comfortable with speaking—not only during our weekly sessions, but in professional settings as well, such as tutorials and even job interviews.
The program provides a safe and welcoming space for our partners to speak and address concerns they may have or even just give them a space to speak openly and freely.
Hearing about my partners’ experiences and interactions allows me to see the world from a different outlook and perspective. In regards to cultural differences (and similarities) to viewing Vancouver social conditions from a different perspective, each partner and each meeting gave me an opportunity to think about something differently or learn something new. Being able to work with my partners collaboratively towards their goals, regardless of their complexity, allowed us to benefit in ways that are outside of our expectations, such as building community and being more integrated and more aware of our surroundings.
As a volunteer and peer for different programs across campus, the EAL program has been an outstanding place to learn, grow, and achieve not only for myself but for all those who are involved.
The impact of this program is one that should be felt by all.
- Trina Lal, Spring 2018 EAL Peer
Sign up for the Conversation Partners Program
The Conversation Partners Program is for English as an Additional Language (EAL) undergraduate and graduate Simon Fraser University students who wish to be paired with a student volunteer to practice and improve their conversational English in a friendly, supportive environment.
The Conversation Partners Program is accepting registrations for the Fall 2020 semester. Please register today to reserve your spot.
Conversation by Begin sapdian from the Noun Project