9.1 L/Standard Version

L-version students: All students enrolled in PathwayConnect’s L version are required to participate in the Speaking Partner Program during all three semesters of PathwayConnect. These students are referred to as “speaking partner learners.”

Speaking partner learners are required to fulfill the following as part of their participation in the Speaking Partner Program:

  • Have access to high-speed Internet, a webcam, and video chat capabilities
  • Participate in a 30-minute appointment once a week for 12 consecutive weeks during each semester of PathwayConnect
  • Contact Pathway Support before using the speaking partner matching tool (if under the age of 18) (see 9.1.3 Matching Tool).

Standard-version students: Students enrolled in PathwayConnect’s Standard version are only required to participate in the Speaking Partner Program during the semester they are enrolled in ENG 106. During this semester, these students are referred to as “speaking partner mentors.”

Speaking partner mentors must meet the following qualifications as part of their participation in ENG 106:

  • Speak English
  • Have access to high-speed Internet, a webcam, and video chat capabilities
  • Participate in a 30-minute appointment once a week for 12 consecutive weeks
  • Contact Pathway Support before using the speaking partner matching tool (if under the age of 18) (see 9.1.3 Matching Tool).

There is no required or formal training to be a mentor, nor is it a requirement to know a language other than English. Mentors are welcome to use the Speaking Partner Mentor Guide for useful tips for interacting with and helping language learners.

9.1.1 Speaking Partner Appointments

Speaking partner learners meet for a 30-minute appointment once a week with a speaking partner mentor to practice conversing in English using a video chat tool or in person. Appointments are conducted as follows:

  • Speaking partner appointments must be conducted solely in English.
  • Conversation during appointments should be led by the learner and should center on the discussion material for that week’s lesson.
  • Learners and mentors must be on time for their appointments and should make a strong effort to communicate clearly and well in advance if there is a need to change the time of a scheduled appointment.

Discussion Materials

Links to the speaking partner discussion materials are available within the PathwayConnect courses or on the BYU-Pathway Worldwide website. During the appointment, speaking partners should speak for 30 minutes about the discussion material. They are not required to have completed all of the discussion material within that time frame.

9.1.2 Finding a Partner

L-version students: The responsibility of finding a mentor to fulfill the L-version speaking partner requirement lies solely upon the learner.

It is preferred that the learner finds a mentor on their own — a relative, friend, ward member, or other known individual that meets the eligibility requirements to be a mentor (see 9.2.1 Volunteer Requirements). Learners who cannot find a mentor on their own should register as a learner with the speaking partner matching tool. This will allow them to be matched with a speaking partner mentor.

Standard students: ENG 106 students should register as a mentor with the speaking partner matching tool. This will then allow them to be matched with a speaking partner learner.

9.1.3 Matching Tool

The speaking partner matching tool is a service that matches speaking partner learners with mentors. Speaking partner mentors/learners create a profile online, which then allows them to be matched with a speaking partner learner/mentor. More information can be found on the Speaking Partner website.

9.1.4 Reporting and Grading

Student speaking partner learners must self-report their weekly activity. Reporting occurs within the PathwayConnect courses. Weekly self-reporting is also required when completing alternate assignments (see 9.3.3 Alternate Assignments and Exemptions). Instructors maintain autonomy over the grading and assignment deadlines for their students.