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FAQs

What is a CP pair?

The conversation partners program is designed to give students practice speaking foreign languages. Conversation partner pairs (CP pairs) may meet for up to two hours per week and are to merely speak in the language of study, without focusing on class content or course work.

How are CPs different from tutors?

CPs are not grammar instructors, nor is their job to help tutees with course work. The job of the CP is simply to provide listening and speaking practice for the tutee by meeting with them for up to two hours per week and having a conversation in the language of study.

Why should I request a CP?

- You are about to go on an FSP/LSA/term abroad and want extra practice

- You feel “behind” or not quite up to speed in language class but aren’t having trouble with the content as much as the speaking and comprehension.

- You are embarrassed to speak up in class.

- You are having trouble with listening comprehension in class or drill

- You want to improve your accent

- You want to maintain your language skills during a term when you’re not taking language classes

What are “valid reasons” to request a CP if I am on financial aid?

- To prepare for an LSA/FSP/term abroad

- A professor recommended that you sign up for the program

- You are having trouble with listening and comprehension in class

- You are falling behind in class due to comprehension problems

- To maintain language skills when not taking a language class

Can my CP help me with my homework?

NO. The job of the CP is NOT to help with homework or course content. They are simply there to converse in the language of study and provide listening and speaking practice.  If you need help with homework and/or course content, you should request a tutor.

I’m not a native speaker. Can I still apply to be a CP?

Yes. We give preference CPs who are near-native or native speakers, so with a strong application and professor recommendation it is definitely possible for non-native speakers to be hired as CPs.

I’ve never taken a class in this language at Dartmouth. Can I still be a CP? How do I get a professor recommendation in this case?

Yes. We realize that many native speakers will not have taken a class at Dartmouth in their native language, which is fine since you will not be assisting the student with course work or class concepts. However, you will still need a professor recommendation to complete your application. This can be given by a drill master teacher/supervisor if you are or have been a drill instructor, or you may go have a short conversation with a professor of that language and ask them to write your recommendation based on your conversation (in that language). While knowing a professor personally will produce a stronger recommendation, the recommendation consists only of an evaluation of your speaking skills, so a personal relationship is not required for the recommendation.

 

Last Updated: 8/12/11