ELI Conversation Hour

Every quarter, the ELI hosts free, drop-in extracurricular activities

Conversation Hour

Hosted by Josh, one of our ELI Pedagogy Specialists, Conversation Hour gives you the opportunity to practice speaking English in a fun, relaxed setting. Each week, we have a new theme and/or topic to discuss, and you practice speaking and listening with other attendees.

You never know what to expect! One week might cover baseball idioms that North Americans frequently use, another might have a King Cake for Mardi Gras, and yet another might feature art sponsored by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Each Conversation Hour is an opportunity for you to make new friends, pick up some new vocabulary, and most importantly, gain confidence when speaking in English.

All proficiency levels are welcome*

Winter 2020 Schedule:



January 14 to March 3

Cobb Hall, room 219


Drop in, no registration required

*If you are not a UChicago degree-seeking student or postdoc, we may conduct a short interview to ensure that Conversation Hour is a good fit for you.


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“I attended Conversation Hour in the Spring, which gave me ample opportunities to practice English. The ELI plays a key role in making UChicago an inclusive community that values multicultural and multidisciplinary backgrounds. I would like all the future participants to know and be proud of the fact that their attendance itself is an enriching factor to the university”



“I took the Academic English Pre-Matriculation Program: Speaking because I was worried about my English before coming to UChicago. And I definitely made the right decision! My English was improved not only by gaining more language learning skills, but also by being more confident and more willing to express myself and learning from others. My instructor James was always patient and open to all my questions and suggestions. I also want to say ‘thank you’ for my dearest classmates for always supporting me and encouraging me for everything. We are now very close friends and I know they will be always with me.”



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