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Speaking partners help create an additional bridge between the International Pathway program, the BYU-Idaho campus, and LDS community. If you have previously been involved with the Speaking Partner Program, it is important that you read and understand the changes that are taking place for the Fall 2013 Semester. In any case, whether you are an on-campus faculty member, online instructor, or Pathway missionary, please become familiar with the content and instruction throughout our Speaking Partner website so you can accurately inform your students regarding this assignment.
If you are a campus instructor or curriculum designer looking to give your students a practicum opportunity that increases their cultural awareness or helps them develop communication and teaching skills, then you might consider utilizing the Speaking Partner Program as an assignment in your course. Please read through the Speaking Partners as a Course Assignment document before implementing this activity in your course.
Students self report in I-learn on the completion status of each week's visit; this is auto-graded so should not take you too much time to check on the student's participation each week. If students experience any difficulty with the assignment, they are to contact the Speaking Partner Support Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and, if necessary, we will issue an alternative assignment, which is also self-reported and graded. However, as the instructor, you maintain autonomy over the grading and deadlines of assignments for your students. Due to the logistics of the program, students may on occasion need to complete a visit appointment after the due date; in such cases please allow reasonable flexibility to accommodate situations such as rescheduling appointments with partners.
As with all assignments in all courses, your role as a missionary is simply to encourage the student in their studies; the only difference with the Speaking Partner activity is that you are encouraged to be a part of the recruitment effort to enlist English-speaking volunteers to be speaking partners for our foreign and international students. If the English-Speaker lives outside of the geographic area of the English-Learner, we simply ask that you forward them to our website so they can register as a participant. If you have any questions regarding the assignment content or student's experience, feel free to contact us; however, please note that we cannot assist a student in any query unless they make direct contact with us.