April 2022 registration is now open. 

The Peer Speaking Practice Groups (PSPGs) offer graduate students opportunities to practice their oral communication skills. There are two types of PSPGs.

1. General Communication Themes - These PSPGs are most suitable for international graduate students who want to practice their English speaking skills in different situations and increase their knowledge about the differences in culture. Generally, the topics will be negotiated by participants and facilitators during the first session, but any additional topics can be brought up during the group meetings. Facilitators can also propose topics for each session.

- Possible topics: Making general conversation, living in the US, discussing hot or popular topics, sharing personal cultural experiences, practicing presentation skills, using politeness strategies

2. Interpersonal Communication Themes - These PSPGS are most suitable for both domestic and international graduate students who want to practice their interpersonal communication skills in different situations and increase their confidence in one-on-one interactions with others. Generally, the topics will be preset by the facilitator, but any additional topics or scenarios can be brought up during the group meetings. 

- Possible topics: Making small talk, preparing for a difficult conversation (e.g. with a major professor/labmate/roommate/landlord), resolving conflicts, using open or close statements, avoiding misunderstandings

GUIDELINES

  • Each group will be led by one trained facilitator.
  • Each group will commit to a four-week block and meet weekly for 50 minutes. 
  • Topics can be negotiated or preset by the facilitator.
  • Additional topics can be brought up during weekly sessions.
  • It is possible for certain topics to be covered in either types of PSPGs. For example, the topic of making small talk can be covered in either types of PSPGs, but the situation may be different. For example, making small talk can be for general day-to-day conversations, or it can be for networking purposes at an academic conference.

Starting Fall 2021, groups will meet in-person on campus. We strongly recommend that you commit to your group for the entire four weeks unless you are sick or unable to make it due to unforeseeable circumstances. This will allow better group cohesion and interactions.

* Groups will be formed monthly every fall and spring semester. Summer groups may be formed depending on facilitator availability.

 

April 2022

Group 1: Mondays, 4:10- 5:00 p.m. (US Central)

Facilitator: Erik Goodale

  • Location: Pearson 2158
  • Dates: April 4, 11, 18, 25
  • Type of PSPG: Interpersonal Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Improving networking skills
    • Planning for professional interviews
    • Practicing daily interactions
    • Planning for difficult conversations
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

April 2022

Group 2: Tuesdays 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.(US Central)

 

Facilitator: Tim Kochem

  • Location: Parks Library 130C
  • Dates: April 5, 12, 19, 26
  • Type of PSPG: General Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Discussing about campus culture in the US
    • Making elevator pitches for research
    • Striking up and/or continuing a conversation
    • Making general conversational topics
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

April 2022

Group 3: Wednesdays, 4:00- 4:50 p.m. (US Central)

Facilitator: Agata Guskaroska

  • Location: Pearson 2158
  • Dates: April 6, 13, 20, 27
  • Type of PSPG: General Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Discussing hypothetical situations
    • Exploring communication styles
    • Discussing stereotypes and communication patterns
    • Minimizing public speaking anxiety
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.
  

March 2022

Group 1: Mondays 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.(US Central) 

*Only 3 weeks

(CANCELED)

Facilitator: Tim Kochem

  • Location: Parks Library 130C
  • Dates: March 7, 21, 28 *
  • Type of PSPG: Interpersonal Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Giving introductions
    • Building intercultural friendships
    • Making small talk
    • Avoiding misunderstandings
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

March 2022

Group 2: Tuesdays 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.(US Central)

 

Facilitator: Tim Kochem

  • Location: Parks Library 130C
  • Dates: March 1, 8, 22, 29
  • Type of PSPG: General Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Discussing about campus culture in the US
    • Making elevator pitches for research
    • Striking up and/or continuing a conversation
    • Making general conversational topics
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

March 2022

Group 3: Wednesdays 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.(US Central)

 

Facilitator: Tim Kochem

  • Location: Parks Library 130C
  • Dates: March 2, 9, 23, 30
  • Type of PSPG: Interpersonal Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Giving introductions
    • Building intercultural friendships
    • Making small talk
    • Avoiding misunderstandings
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

March 2022

Group 4: Wednesdays, 4:00- 4:50 p.m. (US Central)

Facilitator: Agata Guskaroska

  • Location: Pearson 2158
  • Dates: March 2, 9, 23, 30
  • Type of PSPG: General Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Giving an impromptu speech
    • Giving and receiving feedback
    • Communicating intercultural issues
    • Expressing your opinion
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.
  

February 2022

Group 1: Mondays, 4:10- 5:00 p.m. (US Central)

 

Facilitator: Erik Goodale

  • Location: Pearson 2158
  • Dates: February 7, 14, 21, 28
  • Type of PSPG: Interpersonal Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Giving introductions
    • Building intercultural friendships
    • Making small talk
    • Avoiding misunderstandings
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

February 2022

Group 2: Wednesdays, 4:10- 5:00 p.m. (US Central)

 

Facilitator: Erik Goodale

  • Location: Pearson 2158
  • Dates: February 2, 9, 16, 23
  • Type of PSPG: Interpersonal Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Giving introductions
    • Building intercultural friendships
    • Making small talk
    • Avoiding misunderstandings
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

February 2022

Group 3: Wednesdays 3:10 - 4:00 p.m. (US Central)

(CANCELED)

 

Facilitator: Agata Guskaroska

  • Location: Pearson 2158
  • Dates: February 2, 9, 16, 23
  • Type of PSPG: General Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Giving an impromptu speech
    • Giving and receiving feedback
    • Communicating intercultural issues
    • Expressing your opinion
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.

February 2022

Group 4: Wednesdays 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.(US Central)

 

Facilitator: Tim Kochem

  • Location: Parks Library 130C
  • Dates: February 2, 9, 16, 23
  • Type of PSPG: General Communication Themes
  • Topics:
    • Discussing about campus culture in the US
    • Making elevator pitches for research
    • Striking up and/or continuing a conversation
    • Making general conversational topics
    • Additional topics to be decided by the participants and facilitator.