Summer Conversational English Program

Summer Conversational English Program 

Spend your 2024 summer helping international UVA Law students increase their conversational English skills! 

International UVA Law students face not only the typical challenges of legal studies, but also the additional challenges of mastering confident English for their professional studies! The Summer Conversational English Program provides these students a conversation-based English program in which they partner with Instructional Assistants to increase their talk time, promote English proficiency, and prepare them for their UVA Law School experience. 

Duties and Expectations 

Summer Conversational English Instructional Assistants work closely with small groups of English language learner UVA Law Students for the duration of the program. Students of this program are based in Japan and China. Thus, Instructional Assistant duties are performed entirely online. Student - Instructional Assistant interactions will take place during evening and early morning hours EST to accommodate students’ time zones. 

Responsibilities of Instructional Assistants include: 

  • Attend planning meetings with the English instructor. 
  • Attend English class and assist with large group discussions and lead break-out room conversations as needed. 
  • Implement an initial informal “needs assessment” to determine needs, goals, interests of the English learners on their roster. This is a structured initial conversation using a guided form. 
  • Plan and implement weekly one-on-one English conversation-based sessions with students on their roster. 
  • Assign daily “Ear-Voice Time” activities, which involve providing English input (“ear”) materials and eliciting verbal responses (“voice”) from students. Provide feedback to students. 
  • Summarize students’ progress in a “Progress Report” at the end of the course, detailing oral English strengths and areas for improvement. 

The Summer Conversational English Program weekly sessions take place virtually. Two large-group English class sessions (ESL 807) will be held weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 PM. Instructional Assistants will be expected to schedule times with each student on their roster (~3 students per Instructional Assistant) for a 30-minute weekly one-on-one conversation practice as well as a 30-minute group session with all the students on their roster. These must be scheduled in the evening or early morning hours EST to accommodate students’ time zones in Japan and China. 

A summary of the Instructional Assistant duties is below. Approximately 7-10 hours per week of work is expected for the 6-week program from June 3 to July 12, 2024, in addition to a pre-program training session. These duties are subject to change before the program start. 

  • Two weekly English class sessions (2 hours total) (ESL 807: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 PM)
  • Weekly 30-minute individualized conversation practice (~x3 students) (~1.5 hr total) 
  • Weekly 30-minute small group conversation practice (~30 min) 
  • Weekly staff meeting (~30 min) 
  • Weekly meeting with instructor (~30 min) 
  • Weekly prep time 

Eligibility Requirements 

The following are required components of the position: 

  • 7-10 hours per week during the 6-week summer program from June 3 to July 12, 2024, along with one pre-program training. 
  • Enrollment at UVA as an undergraduate or graduate student. 


IAs will receive an hourly undergraduate/graduate wage for the duration of the program. 

  • Hourly wages: $13.50 undergraduate, $16.50 graduate.


If you would like to apply for the Conversational English Instructional Assistant position, click here.  

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If you have any questions about the Summer Conversational English Program, please direct them to Elsa Thompson (