Language Consultant Resources

Here, you’ll find a compilation of resources specifically for Language Consultants, including conversation starters, tips, and online resources for videos and news websites that you can share with your partner. Use these sites as a starting point for conversation, or for taking time to dive into a topic of mutual interest.

Conversation Starters

200 Questions to Get to Know Someone
A list of questions for conversation.

Conversation Questions for ESL Learners
A comprehensive list of basic questions for a range of topics. Great starting point to find topics to talk about and how to frame questions.

ESL Discussions
Wide range of thought-provoking debate topics and juicy discussion questions (organized in alphabetical order!!). Great way to identify cultural similarities & differences with you and your partner, and describe your world views. 

Tips for Meetings
Read through for some tips to keep in mind as you plan on meeting your international partners.

To Share with your International Partners
This website has lots of English resources to practice, if your partner is interested in individual study.

Videos, News, and Podcasts 

Listening Links for Your International Partners
Short podcasts with transcripts.

TED Talks
TED Talks are a great opening for meetings. Be sure to show this site to your international partners as it has interactive scripts, subtitles and a range of topics.

Listening Links
Share this link with your international partner if they want to practice their listening skills.

YouTube Education
Weeds through the mass of Youtube videos and collects interesting, educational lessons.

NPR News
Interesting listening and video materials in the news

Features short news segments across a variety of topics, including business, entertainment, and international and national news. One of the best things about Newsy is that each video is posted with a transcript of the news report, giving ESL students the choice of just listening, or listening and reading.

Academic Preparation for International Partners
This open-source massive writing curriculum resource site has information geared specifically towards college applications, and includes some ESL material as well. It is good for advanced learners, and could be used for reading comprehension, writing prompts, or oral discussion. 

Videos for your International Partners
A site that offers daily videocasts of current events with transcripts so you can hear, see, and read the discussion.

This American Life
Interesting website containing lots of information on American culture.

Listening Links for your International Partners
Short podcasts with transcripts.

Everyday Grammar for your International Partners 
Videos and fun lessons that show how Americans use English grammar in everyday conversation. 

Pronunciation Resources

Sounds of English: 

Are your consonants and vowels recognizable? 

Helpful links: 

Word Endings 

How do you pronounce the final sounds in a word? 

Helpful Links:  

Word stress  

Do you highlight the proper syllable in a word? 

  • Ex: mo-NOP-oly 

Helpful Links: 

Thought groups  

How do you group words together?    

Helpful Links:  

Filler words 

How much do you use words like um, uh, well, like, y’know? 

Helpful Links:  


How smooth is the delivery of your speech? 

Helpful Links:  

Pace/ Rate of Speech 

How slow/fast do you speak? 

Helpful Links:  

Linking, reduction, and rhythm  

How do you put the words together?  

  • Ex: He-told-‘er-ta-meet-‘im-on thə-Lawn. 

Helpful Links:  

Prominence/ Focus Words/ Sentence Stress 

Which word do you emphasize the most?  

  • Ex: I LOVE this class!Or, I love THIS class – but not biology. 

Helpful Links: 


How do you vary your pitch to show questions, emphasis, or attitude? Do you vary pitch or is your speech flat and monotonous? 

  • Ex: May I take a make up exam?  

Helpful Links:  

Discourse Structure 

How do you order and connect your ideas?   

  • Ex: First of all…. and then… on the other hand… etc. 

Helpful Links:  

Grammar, Structure, and Syntax 

Are you using grammar that is accurate enough and not distracting?  

  • Ex: Yesterday, I took three exams on the Lawn. 

Helpful Links:  


Do you choose accurate and appropriate words for the situation?  

Helpful Links:  

For more independent work on your oral English, please see CAELC Online Resources for Independent Study