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The Language + Writing Support Programme is run by the Union for international students studying at UCL.

We’re here to help non-native English speaking students with their academic writing and speaking. Our Peer Tutors run several different types of free activities to help you with your written and spoken English, including a regular programme of workshops, one-to-one sessions and ‘Coffee and Conversation’ which is a weekly opportunity to get together and practice your spoken English with other students.

You can book yourself onto the programme on our bookings page here. 

Visit our Facebook page for updates on our activities and to suggest ideas for workshops.

We are currently updating our 2020/21 programme and are planning to have our one-to-one appointments and workshops running from early October. 

We have also planned some ‘Language at Lunchtime’ sessions during Welcome; this is your chance to join us for informal chat and meet our Language + Writing peer tutors and other international students from UCL… all whilst enjoying your lunch! You can see these events in our What’s On calendar or register via the links below. We look forward to meeting you then!

Language at Lunchtime - Monday 21 September 12:00-14:00

Language at Lunchtime - Friday 25 September 12:00-14:00

Language at Lunchtime - Monday 28 September 12:00-14:00

Language at Lunchtime - Friday 2 October 12:00-14:00

Meet our Peer Tutors

Anna Grabovac 

Anna is a second-year PhD student in Linguistics. With a love of language, she has completed her MA in Linguistics at UCL and studied both Linguistics and Mathematics as an undergraduate in the US, where she’s originally from. An aspiring teacher, she has worked with ESL students before, and she is looking forward to being involved with Language + Writing Support at UCL.

Maria Sifaki

Maria is a third-year PhD student, in the Psychology and Human Development department, in the Institute of Education. She is originally from Greece and she has previously studied in the UK for her BSc and MSc degrees. She enjoys writing and understands from her own experience how challenging academic writing can be for non-native English speakers, so she’s eager to support them reach their full potential!

More about Language + Writing sessions and how they work

One-to-one appointments

You can also book a one-to-one appointment with our Peer Tutors to discuss specific pieces of written work or get help with oral presentations. These appointments are not ‘classes’; a one-to-one session is there for you to discuss assignments you are working on, focussing on areas you are finding difficult and particular queries you may have. Our peer tutors cannot comment on the subject content of your assignment, but they will give you guidance on the structure, formation and language of your work where possible.

The aim of appointments is to help non-native English speaking students with their academic writing and speaking. Peer Tutors are not proof-readers and won’t be writing papers for you, but they will point out language mistakes and help you become a better editor of your own work.

  • If you are using the service for writing support, you need to submit a piece of writing to be reviewed, at least 24 hours in advance.  Don’t worry if you haven’t finished it, just submit as much as much as you can. The work must be no more than 1000 words.
  • During the session, the Peer Tutor will go through your work with you, point out mistakes and help you to self-correct. Specific questions and queries are also welcomed.
  • You can also use the service for language support e.g.to practice an oral presentation. You will receive feedback on your fluency and pronunciation. Your presentation should be no longer than 10 minutes and will need to be submitted before your appointment with the Peer Tutor.
  • The Peer Tutor can’t comment on the content of your essay or presentation, only the clarity of expression.
  • You may only have a total of two appointments per term. This is to allow as many students as possible to use the service.
  • Appointments last for 30 minutes.
  • You can amend a booking 24 hours in advance. However, if you simply miss your appointment you will not be able to reschedule.
  • Peer Tutors cannot review take home exams.
  • Peer Tutors are only able to assist non-native English speaking international students. Language Centre students are not able to use the service. One-to-one appointments are available to all other international students, but are mainly aimed at undergraduates in their first and second year of study. Postgraduate research students are encouraged to seek support from their supervisor in the first instance.

To book a one-to-one appointment, please go to our bookings page here. Appointments can be booked up to 2 weeks in advance.

Workshops

Our workshops cover a variety of academic and cultural topics. They are run by our Peer Tutors and have a mixture of lecture-style teaching, as well as opportunities to practice the skills being taught with the other students. Our workshops are designed so that they will be useful whether you attend every session, or just some. 

Our next workshop of this term will take place in early October. We will update this page and our Facebook page with more details as they are confirmed.

Coffee and Conversation Drop In Sessions

These are informal drop in sessions which will take place at the Advice Service office. Bring a coffee from Gordon’s Cafe and come along to meet our peer tutors and have a chat with other international students.

Our Coffee and Conversations sessions will restart in early October. We will update this page and our Facebook page with more details as they are confirmed.

Still have questions? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.

You can also see what range of resources UCL have on offer to help you improve your written and spoken English here.