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Speaking Practice - Three ways to go

Speaking Practice


How would you like to practise speaking?

Please, click below to choose how you would like to practise speaking in the language you are studying.


    • During the French, German and Spanish Conversation Hours learners take it in turns to select a conversation topic, send round a web link to some pre-reading/listening material and draw up a short list of simple questions for small group discussion during the session. Intermediate level is currently offered for French and Spanish only.

    • The English Conversation Hours are a great way to practice every day spoken English up to the more learned/elaborate spoken English of academic discussion and debate.

The weekly sessions encourage a relaxed and fun approach to communication designed to both aid interaction and build confidence.

Groups meet for six sessions every term to discuss topics of cultural, international or general interest. Each group is led by a native speaker who is there to help sustain momentum in conversation, encourage debate and support with feedback on language.

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    • Students: £31 to be paid online (select 'Concessionary').
    • Staff including Colleges and Cambridge Assessment/CUP* staff: £41 to be paid online (select 'Full').
      (*Please see that you obtain a Raven password and a e-mail account from your Institution.);
    • General Public: £51 (Please, contact

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    • Registration for Conversation Hours is via the Language Centre Enrolment page. (Members of the public need to contact

    • After registration, you will receive an email with a link to the payment page.

    • Please make a payment within 24 hours, otherwise your place may be cancelled.

For information regarding elligibility, cancellation policy and current sessions, please read below.

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    • Cambridge University students
    • Cambridge University staff and post-docs (including post-docs, Colleges and Cambridge Assessment/CUP staff)
    • General public
    • Please note that the Language Centre reserves the right to cancel groups that enrol fewer than 6 participants. This will be done before the first session. Participants affected will be offered the chance to enrol in an alternative group (when possible) or fully refunded (participant’s choice).

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Cancellation policy

    • Participants may cancel their enrolment on a Conversation Hour and obtain a full refund up to the start of the second session.
    • University students and staff can cancel their enrolment themselves up to the start of the first session via
    • For cancellations and refund enquiries after this time, and for all cancellation and refund enquiries by members of the public, please contact

Please direct any financial enquiries to
Include your CRSID and details of the issue in the message (if applicable).

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Term time sessions

Language Booking
Arabic (Egyptian)
Intermediate level B1/B2
Mondays 17:00-18:00
Arabic Egyptian
Intermediate level B1
Wednesdays 13:00-14:00
Advanced level C1
Wednesdays 14:00-15:00
Intermediate level B1/B2
Thursdays 13:00-14:00
Advanced level C1
Wednesdays 12:00-13:00
Advanced level B2/C1
Mondays 13:00-14:00
Intermediate level B1/B2
Tuesdays 12:30-13:30
Advanced level B2/C1
Tuesdays 14:00-15:00

For information about the CEF levels referred to in the language details please check the CEFR Self Assessment Grid.

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      • Speak the language you are learning with a native speaker.
      • Open to University members and UK residents.
      • Help someone learn your mother tongue.


    • How does the Conversation Exchange work? You email the person and decide between you when to meet, where, for how long and how frequently.
    • Is it free? Yes!
    • When does it end? If you wish to discontinue your Conversation Exchange, inform the Conversation Exchange co-ordinator so a new match can be found for your partner.
    • Is it conversation only? You and your partner structure your own meetings.  Informal conversation is the main aim, but you may choose to incorporate other activities that assist with each other’s learning in a reciprocal way.
    • I don't live in Cambridge, could I do an online Conversation Exchange? Participants of the Conversation Exchange are welcome to arrange meetings together online. However, the Language Centre cannot accept any responsibility for any such meetings.

Languages for Medics

School of Clinical Medicine - Language Provision for Year 4 Medical students and staff.

Each group (5-10 students) will have 20 contact hours of tuition and will study for another (at least) 30 hours.

The primary focus of the course is to develop listening (aural) and speaking (oral) skills with special reference to topics and functions related to medicine and the medical profession. Students will also gain a greater understanding of the societies and cultures of countries where the language is spoken with special emphasis to the medical context. Students will be introduced to the language used in general medical situations and (depending on the level and language) be operational in these.

The teaching methodology is learner-centred as great attention is placed upon the cultural background, learning style and needs of each individual student. The course features a strong presence of multimedia digital materials that are accessible online in a flexible manner. The 'social environment' of the classroom is exploited to maximise the opportunities for learners' to practise and improve real-time, face-to-face communication skills.

The assessment is mandatory and its format will depend on the language and level. Here is an example for a French intermediate II level:

  • At the end of weeks 1-4, students will write for homework and submit a 250-400 words essay. The three best essays will count towards the final mark (10% each).
  • At the end of the course, students will give a presentation in front of the class. The topic of the presentation will be relevant to both the course content and student's medical study interest. The presentation will last 10 minutes and will be followed by a 5 minute Q&A session. The presentation will count 70% towards the final mark.

For further information about these courses please contact the SSCs Administrator, Ms Susan Coyle ( or the CULP Administrator, Mr Bagir Agajevs.

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A team of native speaker volunteers who will practice conversation and/or pronunciation in a language you are learning.

Very informal and friendly, the volunteers offer 20-minute sessions suitable for any level of learner.

Language Booking
Arabic Arabic
Chinese Chinese
English English
French French
German German
Greek Greek
Italian Italian
Japanese Japanese
Portuguese Portuguese
Russian Russian
Spanish Spanish
Turkish Turkish

External volunteers may be considered where there is demand for a language.

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A great way to improve your fluency and expand your vocabulary in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The Advising Team

Nothing has boosted my confidence and enjoyment so much as having a Conversation Exchange partner.