Skip to main content
School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Speaking Practice

Speaking practice allows language learners within the Queen Mary community to book 30-minute speaking sessions with native or proficient speakers.

Silhouettes of two heads in conversation with each other, with speech bubbles.

You can practise your speaking skills in the language you're learning, in an informal way. Sessions are offered by volunteers – QMUL students and staff, who enjoy helping others learn. It’s a great way to practise the language, and get to know Queen Mary students from different schools and different backgrounds.



Any member of the Queen Mary community, from any school, can book sessions – students as well as staff. You don’t need to be taking a QMUL language module to be able to participate. Maybe you are learning the language by yourself, or you just want to brush up your speaking skills. The sessions are for any level, except complete beginners (Hindi and Catalan can also be booked by complete beginners). The session hosts (volunteers) will encourage you to speak, ask questions, suggest topics, and will listen, but they won’t formally ‘teach’ the language.

There are no sessions over the summer, but they will resume in September 2021. In 2020/21 we offered CatalanEnglish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu. The languages available depend on the volunteers that offer them. We’re adding new languages and new slots as they become available – so come back regularly to check this site for updates! Are you a native or proficient speaker in any other language? Why not sign up as a volunteer? We currently have a gap in Arabic!

We're taking a break over the summer. Once sessions resume in September 2021, you will be able to book a session by clicking on the link below. On the booking page you can choose the language you're interested in (more languages may be added as more volunteers join), and when you scroll down you will see the days and times of available slots, for the following three weeks. In the current academic year 2020/21, the scheme is scheduled to be running until mid-June 2021, and will be opened again in September 2021.

Use your QMUL email address to make the booking. You can book sessions until 24 hours before the session is due to take place, to give the volunteers sufficient notice. Once you have booked, you will receive an email confirmation for your booking, with a link to join the meeting on MS Teams. The session will appear in your Outlook calendar, and you will also receive a reminder email on the day before your session is due to take place.

You can book sessions up to three weeks ahead. Bookable slots further ahead will become available on a rolling basis. To book further sessions please come back to this booking page. 

If you need to cancel a booking, please do so as early as possible so that another learner can book that session. You can cancel a booking up to one day ahead of the session. Check the confirmation email you received as you booked - there's a link to reschedule or cancel your booking.

Absolutely. We look for volunteers for the next academic year, 2021/22. As a volunteer, you will receive training, become part of a Speaking Practice volunteering community, and receive a certificate for the volunteering work you have put in. Please email to volunteer. We are particularly looking for volunteers for Arabic, French and Japanese.

Book a Speaking Practice session - the link to bookings will be available from September 2021