Language Consultant Program Expectations

In order to sign up for the Language Consultant program, you must agree to these expectations:

1) Basic expectations

  • Meetings can last up to one hour.
    • Your LC is not expected to meet beyond the hour-long appointment.
    • It’s okay to meet for longer than an hour, just make sure everyone in the group has the free time and is comfortable doing so.
  • If you won’t be able to make a meeting for some reason, contact your language partner(s) in advance.
    • This is a commitment you made to one another for the semester.
    • By keeping your weekly meetings, both parties will experience the greatest growth, learning, and connection.

2) Participation in meetings

  • Share responsibility for including all voices in the conversation. If you tend to have a lot to say, make sure you leave enough space to hear from others. If you tend to stay quiet in group discussions, challenge yourself to contribute so others can learn from you. This will help with your English language practice and with learning from everyone.
  • Listen respectfully. Try not to interrupt or use your cell phone during conversations. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand. Try to pay attention to each speaker.
  • You are all learning from each other: every member of the group. Your learning is based on how engaged and attentive you are.

3) Be aware and understanding of differences

In order to maximize learning while minimizing misunderstanding:

  • Be open to changing your perspectives based on what you learn from others. Try to explore new ideas and possibilities. Think critically about the factors that have shaped your perspectives. Seriously consider points-of-view that differ from your current thinking.
  • Understand that we all make mistakes. Strive to see your mistakes and others’ as valuable elements of learning about another culture and language.
  • Understand that your words have an effect on others. Speak with care. If you learn that something you’ve said felt disrespectful or demeaning to others, listen carefully and try to understand your partners’ perspectives. Learn how you can do better in the future.
  • Criticize ideas, not individuals.
  • Understand that others will come to LC conversations with different experiences from yours. Be careful about assumptions and generalizations you make based only on your own experience. Be open to hearing and learning from other perspectives.

4) Resolving potential concerns and/or conflicts

  • Some cultures consider conflicts to be embarrassing and best avoided. In this program, we encourage you to address cultural misunderstandings or conflicts openly or “face-to-face” with your language partner(s). What appears to be a conflict might lead to an opportunity to explore different cultural norms. If somebody says something that feels offensive to you, it is likely that they did not know. Here is a chance to teach and learn from one another.
  • All topics are welcome as long as everyone in the group feels comfortable. However, if you feel uncomfortable at any point, please voice that you’d like to discuss something else. 
  • Please remember if there is a problem, talk about the issues with your language partner(s), OR contact the LC Program Coordinator

5) Purpose of the LC program

Your weekly meetings are time set aside for English practice and cultural exchange. In the interest of protecting you, your partners, and this program, any romantic overtures will be treated as grounds for dismissal from the program.